Della From the Corner

From the corner: Growth is hard.

To grow and to improve, we must do things that are uncomfortable. We must take do things that scare us, that push us into a direction where we would not have gone if we simply let our own inertia determine our direction.

Sometimes we grow because we have no other choice-- because something in our circumstances determined the change of course without asking our permission.

But if we are serious, if we truly intend to grow as much as we can, if we decide that we will capitalize on the full extent of our potential…

Then we cannot coast and we cannot leave growth to chance.

Intentional growth requires seeking out, embracing and grappling with the things that would change us.

It means agreeing to do things that we don't completely know how to do.

It means accepting failure and criticism, even blunt criticism, and intentionally grasping that as tools for building your own growth.

It means trusting others, being honest with others, sharing your limitations with others, so that they can join you in building your growth, as well as theirs.

We all know deeply that not growing means dying. And none of us want that. But are we working on our growth, or are we just hoping vaguely that it will happen?


From the corner: Strengths and Weaknesses

 We spend a lot of time dealing with strengths and weaknesses.  We do StrengthFinders tests on our students, we do SWOT analyses for our Link clients, and we spend hours coaching our students and young professionals on items of professional management that they have not yet learned.

We all know that we have things that we are good at, and things that we are…not so good at.  If we have worked for a large company, chances are we can find a place to slot ourselves, our niche.  We can find a role that makes the most of our strengths and keeps us from getting in too much trouble from our weaknesses.  

But as our businesses get smaller, and as so many of us find ourselves running small businesses or organizations at points in our lives, our weaknesses get more and more in our way.  For a lot of us, the biggest weakness (and threat to the work that we care about) comes in the form of the stuff that we know is necessary, but isn’t what we get to spend our time on. Do you love dogs and excel at training them?  Chances are you don’t want to spend your time on accounting.  Great at designing new projects?  Chances are you might not be so good at marketing.  

When you run a small business, you find yourself having to do everything because you don’t have anyone else to do it. And chances are, you don’t know how to do the things that you have to do, or you don’t know how to do them well or efficiently.  

The difference between the success and failure of your work probably doesn’t depend on how you do the things you love -- the purpose of your business, the things that you knew your could do well enough to offer them to other people.  Most of the time, the failure of a business - and more than four out of five small businesses fail within a few years of their start - happens because one of their weaknesses did them in.  The best dog groomer who does not understand marketing, or the smartest investor who cannot manage employees, end up in the same situation - losing money and looking for a job.

Every small business owner needs to take a clear-eyed look at their weaknesses -- and either build up their skills in that space and get help doing so.

We designed Econogy to help you address those weaknesses.