Why focusing on exponential growth is wrong and what should you do instead?
Have you heard from almost all consultants and motivational gurus asking us to grow exponentially?
It’s a piece of wrong advice and belief to focus on growing exponentially because it doesn’t work. It drains our energy and makes us more unhappy and frustrated
Just think, “Did you lovingly start your business to work endlessly?
Do you work harder to get more free time for yourself? And even if you have more time, you still want to work harder to find more extra time. But does it ever stop?”
Instead, there is a way to grow slowly and still exponentially.
In this podcast, how some of the most successful people have grown exponentially without losing their happiness and joy?
How do you book a table at a restaurant?
Well, you just call them up and book or book online. But you will not get a booking the same at a restaurant. This restaurant is in the basement of a building next to Ginza Metro station in Tokyo. It’s called ‘Sukiyabashi Jiro’. It’s a 3- Michelin-star restaurant. A regular meal consisting of twenty pieces of sushi costs thirty thousand Japanese yen which is equal to three hundred seventy dollars.
It takes only 15-20 minutes to consume.
There are only ten seats. There is a set menu (no appetizers or modifications), and nothing else on the menu. People from all over the world visit this restaurant. It is fully booked months in advance as its website says. There are about 400–500 people on its waiting list at all times while only 10 seats in the restaurant. So, it never accepts a booking by calling and through its website.
Why is this average-looking restaurant in a basement so special?
It’s owned and run by Jiro Ono. He was born in 1925, left home at the age of nine, and has been making sushi ever since. He goes to work every day by getting on the train from the same position. He dislikes holidays. He loves doing what he does but not for the sake of doing it. He believes in delivering consistent and perfect sushi for years.
At the age of ninety-five, he says, “All I want to do is make better sushi.”
I love this philosophy. I believe in the same way. I want to just make my things better. This is not only about me. It’s for all of us. We are not looking for some magic tricks of 10X our income or having a mansion. To me and to all of us, that’s just hype. We all want to do our work better just like Jiro Ono says, “All I want to do is make better sushi”. All the things that we are told about getting super-rich and famous, all sound good but do we really find them meaningful. It’s good to have money but it’s also great to have fun in the process of making money.
In this podcast, we will discuss one of the beliefs that are wrong. It’s “Oh! You have to grow exponentially!”
There are some false beliefs that have put many business owners into some big life and business problems. Let’s find out why “You have to grow exponentially” is wrong advice and what to do instead?
In the year 2015, I delivered a 2 days workshop on ‘Excellence in Business in London, UK.
There was a guy called, James Malone. He is a graphic designer. During our conversation over lunch, he said something about the way he works and lives. He works only 5 hours a day but he makes 4 times more money than his competitors. Someone argued with him that James should work for 9-12 hours a day so that he can make more money.
He said, “I lovingly started the business to have more time to do the things I wanted to do and spend more time with my family. I never wanted to run the business to work endlessly.” It’s not the story of James only. Perhaps, all of us started the business with the same idea. We wanted to have more time, peace and joy for ourselves.
Then some people came into your life and said, “Hey, double your income, quadruple your income” and people started believing in them.
Of course, those things do happen but do you want to sacrifice your health, family and even personal life? We were not born to work endlessly. We are not biologically programmed to hustle for 24 hours. You don’t have to work 5 times more. Instead, you can grow slowly and still enjoy your life. Nothing builds up overnight.
We need to enjoy the process called the work.
The work that we do in business should give us more joy and satisfaction. That’s exactly what we are looking for in our business, aren’t we? As an example, we earlier talked about Jiro who runs one of the most expensive sushi restaurants in the world. He didn’t want to work endlessly. Instead, he is earning money as a by-product of his love for his work. The fame, exponential growth and a lot of money should not be the measure of the achievement. Those things matter but not more than the quality of our life and our business.
Look at any sportspersons, filmstars and even successful business people, they all enjoy doing their work.
They all work just like us. Tom Cruise doesn’t work day in and day out to get money, instead, he loves playing better roles. Christiano Ronaldo doesn’t work hard to get money, instead, he enjoys playing football better than most footballers. Roger Federer is not looking for 10X his grand slams. He loves playing tennis and he wins grand slams as a bi-product of his work. It’s the same with every single successful business people from Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos etc.
One of the most famous music artists called, John Lennon said, “Work is life, and without it, there’s only uncertainty and unhappiness.”
We don’t have to follow others’ benchmarks of success. Their benchmark of success may not be the same benchmark of success for you. If you are enjoying the work that you do, the family that you spend time with and enjoy your life, then it’s your success. For Tom Cruise, Christiano Ronaldo or Roger Federer, the money and fame don’t matter much for them. Our work in the business should matter more than anything else.
As John Lennon said, “Work is life, and without it, there’s only uncertainty and unhappiness.”
Read next: You need to slow things down to make your journey to your goals smoother.
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