Have you had some good success? Been in business for a while? If your business has been doing pretty well for a good amount of time, then you’re likely developing a false sense of security.
There aren’t very many scenarios where you will be able to do things the exact same way forever and always be as successful as you are now. This is why the best way to quantify a business, no matter what size it is, is to think of it as a work in progress.
Forget Your Past Successes
The best way to keep making great strides is to create a great stride and then immediately move past it. Take pride in what you’ve done, learn from it, and put it behind you.
It’s really easy to live off of the afterglow from a successful project or even a good decision that turned out pretty well, and you can get stuck on that until the success becomes stale while you stop looking on to your next good move, or successful project.
There is always Much to Learn
The truth is that no matter how long you’ve been running a business, there is always a different angle that you haven’t seen yet. You’ll never stop learning.
If you do, and your business continues to get by while making just enough profit to stay open without any thought of moving into the future, then something is probably wrong because a business should never be stagnant. If it is not growing, then there’s a good chance that it won’t be able to survive.
Breaking Through the Plateau
Musicians refer to something called, “the plateau”, which is a certain point they reach periodically when their skill level and playing is not getting any better, as they have become too comfortable playing at the level they are, currently.
It is an understood phenomenon and widely lamented among music players, and they all have their own methods of getting past it, which may include anything from reversing the hands they play with, to trying an entirely different instrument.
The one common strategy that they always employ, however, is to push harder, do something different, and patiently work and wait until they find something fresh that breaks them out of the plateau. The same type of phenomenon can be found in business, and these methods can also be used in the same way
The point is that running a small business is not a path from A to B that leads you to an endpoint, when you can simply stop striving. It starts at Point A and requires constant care and innovation to move on to Point B, C, D, and beyond. To have continued success, a business can never stop learning about how to bring itself into the future.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.