Growth Can Be The Reason Why Your Business Fails
I often tell people to start small with their first investment or when starting a business. However, let me be clear that this doesn’t mean you should think small. Quite the opposite—you should think big when it comes to where you want to go and what you plan to achieve. But that doesn’t mean you have to “be big” to be successful. To me, success is being in control of my life without anyone telling me what to do. It means having regular, passive income so that I can spend my time and money how I please…without working at a job or worrying about my financial future.
When I formulated my plans to build my first business, my rich dad was adamant about the spirit with which I undertook this new adventure. “You build a business because of the challenge,” he said. “You build a business because it is exciting, it’s challenging, and it will require everything you’ve got to make it successful.”
Rich dad also wanted me to build a business in order to find my entrepreneurial spirit. “The world is filled with people with great ideas,” he said, “but only a few people earn great fortunes from their great ideas.”
He encouraged me to start a business, any business, no matter whether I liked the product or not. He was not concerned about whether I failed. He simply wanted me to start. One of his favorite quotes from Albert Einstein was, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” He wanted me to start a business simply so I could challenge my mediocre mind and develop my entrepreneurial spirit.
That being said, while money is important, it’s not the primary motivating factor for building a business. I think the question, “Why would you start a business?” can be best answered by asking the same question in another way. “Why would you keep playing the game of golf?” The answer is found in the spirit of the game.
In the age of entrepreneurship, developments in technology, the economy, and resources available it seems to me that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. But what separates those who are successful from those who ultimately fail?
I believe all of these businesses are failing, not because of competition, not because of bad products, not because of the market, but because they could not sustain the resources required for their rapid growth.
Follow Your Mission
It’s very hard to run a profitable business when you’re running a growth-focused business. When you’re running a growth-focused business, you’re forsaking profit now in the hopes that you will have more profit later. It can sometimes pay off, but not all the time.
I know small isn’t cool, small isn’t sexy, and small doesn’t satisfy a lot of egos. There is a lot of pressure to go big and to grow. There’s a social stigma out there that is all about “go big or go home.”
Some entrepreneurs are always chasing more and more and it’s something they can never reach. Think about it like a line on the horizon that we can run towards and we’re gonna get sweaty, and need to drink some water, but we’re never gonna get there.
Referring back to the B-I Triangle, cash flow is only one of the eight integrities that is necessary for a successful business. If you look at the B-I Triangle, Mission is at the base of the triangle because that is what the business is built upon.
I don’t think growth is bad but growth can be questioned, and we can determine what growth makes sense or not for ourselves. Kim and I think having a purpose and having a mission is so important in business because that mission can help us figure out, “Hey! Does this growth line up with my mission? Does this growth line up with my purpose?” And if it doesn’t, then we can just say no to it. And that’s perfectly okay.
All eight integrities must work together. They are all essential to the growth and profitability of the business. If your mission doesn’t support billion-dollar growth, that’s okay because it means the other seven integrities aren’t going to support that growth either.
Find Your Why
Kim and I didn’t start Rich Dad or continue to invest in real estate to become billionaires, we did it to be financially free and to teach people what wasn’t being taught in school. For some, the personal reason why is more free time with family. For others, it’s the ability to travel the world. For still others, it’s to invest more time in their health.
Whatever your reason, when you are an entrepreneur, your “why”, or your mission should be what drives your growth.
The following is a system to help you determine your personal why for starting a business.
Find a quiet place with no distractions—a setting that allows you to get in touch with yourself. Take your time with this process. Don’t rush through it. Your personal reason why may come to you in an instant or you may find you want to think about it over time.
- Ask yourself, “What is my true reason for wanting to be financially independent? Think about:
- What you would do if you never had to work again
- What you would do if you had all the time in the world to spend exactly as you wanted
- How your life would be different if money were not a worry
Write down everything that comes to mind.
- Ask yourself again, “What is my deep-down core reason for wanting to be financially independent?” Look deeper. Write down everything that comes to mind
- Ask yourself again, going deeper, “What is my innermost, heartfelt reason for wanting to be financially independent?” Write down everything that comes to mind.
It may seem simple and rudimentary, but if you continue to ask yourself the question, again and again, going deep within yourself each time, until your personal reason why is crystal clear, you’ll find surprising answers that will keep you going, even in the face of great adversity.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily