Taking your company to the next level doesn’t necessarily mean only working harder or smarter. You must completely adjust your mindset and approach.
Maybe you’re just starting out in your business. Maybe you’re struggling in a broken business and want to fix it. Maybe things are going really well, and now you’re trying to figure out how to grow it. Maybe you’ve had a great career and are thinking about the next step.
No matter what situation you’re in right now, you probably have a next level you are thinking about. Problem is, how do you get there?
Many people simply try to work harder. For example, they put in more hours working evenings and weekends. They try to get jobs done a bit faster. They try to squeeze more into each day.
That seems to make sense, right? If you can achieve a certain level with a certain amount of work, doesn’t it make sense that you can achieve a higher level with even more work?
It doesn’t work that way, though. The only thing you achieve by working harder and trying to squeeze more into your day is that you burn out sooner or, worse yet, you cut corners and do poor (or unsafe) work. You’ll see your family less. You’ll create a team that resents how hard you are pushing them. You’ll miss important steps or overlook critical activities.
Here’s what you need to do to get to the next level
No, this is not an article about how you need to “work smarter instead of harder.” That’s a common phrase that sounds good and has some good implications, but it isn’t what I’m talking about here.
Rather, what you need to do is change your thinking. The thinking that got you to the level you’re currently at will not get you to the next level. The secret to growing and achieving the next level is not just about trying to do more of the same thing but rather to do something different and better.
If you want to be in a different place in your business, then you need to think differently and act differently.
Let’s say you own a company with five employees and you want to grow it to 20. Simple math would say, “Well, if I currently work 10 hours a day to have grown my business to five technicians, then I need to work 40 hours a day to get to 20 technicians.”
Of course, that’s impossible. It doesn’t work that way.
Instead, you have to ask yourself this question: What do I need to do differently as the owner of a 20-person company?
It’s not about working more to get to that next level; rather, it’s about determining the difference in activities between what you do now versus what you’d need to do. The owner of a company with 20 technicians does very different things in their day than the owner of a company with five technicians. And the owner of a company with 200 techs does very different things in their day than the owner of a company with 20 techs.
Your job is to figure out what the next level is for you: A specific number of customers? A revenue amount? A certain number of team members? Then figure out what the owner of a company of that size does during their day.
It might mean, for example, that you have to stop going out on customer calls. Maybe you do that now. However, if you want to be bigger, you have to think and act differently, and that means cutting back on the number of customer calls you do.
Or it might mean that you have to stop being the go-to person for daily questions and problems by your staff. The owner of a 20-technician company might be on everyone’s speed dial to answer questions; the owner of a 200-technician company almost certainly isn’t. They probably have a team structure in place for other people to handle that. If you own a 20-technician company and want to get to 200, you need to start putting those pieces in place now.
What’s the next level for your business? Is it a specific number of customers, revenue, or team members? Is it a turnaround? Is it the sale of your business? Working harder isn’t going to get you there. The thinking that got you to where you are now will not get you to where you want to be. The only way to get to that next level is to figure out what someone at that level is doing differently than you, and to change your thinking and actions to do the same. It’s weird, it’s simple, but it works. And it also means you don’t have to work 40 hours a day to get there.
About the author: Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting, training and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services’ success, as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit www.CEOWARRIOR.com.