July 28, 2022

5 Steps to Shortening Your Business Growing Pains

Nate LeBlanc

We’ve all experienced growing pains at sometime right? Whether it was painful legs during childhood, moving out on our own, learning a new job, or changing operations in our businesses as our workload increases. 


“It’s just growing pains” is a common refrain as we grow and adjust. At least, that’s what the term implies.


In a recent article, the Sydney [Australia] Harold admitted researchers have no idea what “growing pains” - the medical kind - really are. From the Herald:


Two hundred years of the appearance in medical journals of the term ‘growing pains’ – and researchers still have no idea what it is, what causes it and how to fix it. Even the descriptions of growing pains are inconsistent and lack clarity: some say it occurs only in the legs, a few say it’s in the arms. Mostly at night, sometimes in the morning. And very few researchers mention these pains are in any way connected to growth or a growth spurt.


Two hundred years. And most of us just accept “growing pains” as an explanation. At least a few people are doing medical research on it.


It makes me wonder if we tend to write off difficulties correlated with growth, and if perhaps we should be willing to dig a little deeper when we experience them.


Here are a few things to think about to cut through the “growing pains” and get back on track.


#1: Know the Facts


How often do we sabotage ourselves with expectations that are impossible to achieve? Not that high expectations are a bad thing. It’s wonderful to have lofty goals and direction!


Case in point. Our Doorward Thinking Podcast (check out the latest episodes here) was growing at a modest rate, but my expectations weren’t being met. I wanted thousands of downloads per episode because I want the show to be a force in the industry.


In my mind, what we needed better sound quality, a more flexible schedule for guests, better conversations, etc. etc. and I drove myself half crazy trying to make it happen thinking if we didn’t get all those things we’d be a failure.


Only we weren’t.


In the course of refining the show for re-launch I had an idea one day. I would check the average number downloads of an average podcast. I wanted to see where we really stood.


Turns out we were already an above average podcast! Not by much, and nowhere near the biggest out there, but we can say our production is better than at least half the shows in cyberspace.


I had to remember, we’re not Office Ladies with big name actresses talking about a cultural phenomenon or The Joe Rogan Experience getting big name interviews… yet. We’re Doorward Thinking, starting from scratch, with mediocre audio, no dedicated place to record, and an up and coming company people haven’t heard of… yet.


That fact helped me remain calm and gave me the belief that we will be among the big shots one day. There’s still plenty of work to be done of course, but we’re on our way.


#2: Ask an Expert


Whether it’s a personal project or your business, chances are you know of other people doing something similar to you, and maybe you’ve met them in the past.


Odds are, someone in your field will be willing listen and offer to help! Sometimes their assessment will be shocking and it might not always be the most pleasant to hear, but honesty and a way to move forward is ALWAYS better than spinning your wheels in the mud.


You’d be surprised at the effect sharing your work and engaging with someone else who sees the importance in your efforts will bring. You may just find a mentor to see you through more “growing pains” as you continue to grow!


#3: Get out There


If you’re stuck and in a rut, pretty much the worst thing you can do is stay in it and try to power through. Close the laptop, turn the phone to silent and go do something! It can be anything, literally. 


I went to a Jazz Jam Session here in St. Louis and was amazed by watching the musicians practice their craft. Not only did I smile and have a great time, but it also sparked the creative process for a new project I’m working on now!


This phenomenon is something me and the team call Discovery Mindset. Not only does it draw us outside of our little bubble, but it infuses our bubble with new knowledge and inspiration from the outside world.


Tune in to the Doorward Thinking Podcast for our upcoming series on Discovery Mindset and share it with your friends!


#4: Take a Course (or Attend a Conference)


There are courses about absolutely everything.


Art. Ice skating. Spreadsheets. Underwater basket weaving (you think I’m just using it as an idiom but I actually found several).


If you feel stuck, taking a course is a viable option to gain some new insights for your career or your project!


One thing about courses and conferences: good ones usually cost money and sometimes it can be hard to justify spending some cheddar when you’re starting something new or when you’re looking for a return on money already invested.


Here’s your friendly reminder that your new knowledge will serve you no matter what! Here’s an example. 


We just hosted our good friend John Powel Walsh talking about starting a career as a real estate agent and he suggested everyone take an introductory course in selling real estate, even if they never make a sale as an agent.


Why?


Because all of us need a place to live! A $1,500 process (a pretty penny, to be sure) could save you TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars if you have the knowledge when it comes time to buy your own home!


So if a course seems like a good option for you, find a good one that works with your schedule, the way you learn, and that will bring you a return no mater how you use the knowledge.


#5: Make a Big Change


Every business or project comes to a point where the standard operating procedure that was developed just won’t work anymore. It’s inevitable.


When that happens it’s time to adapt!


My friends over at Louise’s Granola have had tremendous success with their business over the last couple of years and have come to the point where one of their team members had to quit her job to dedicate to the granola full time!


With everything accelerating for Doorward, we needed to bring on new team members to share the load! This means letting go of some responsibilities we grew accustomed to having to focus on others.


It can be tough to leave something secure for a dream, or to let go of something we take pride in and ownership of, but it can be far worse to let feelings of security prevent us from making the big move that will propel things forward.


Study the opportunity and strike when the iron is hot!


(Unofficial) #6: Enjoy the Results!


While it’s important to buckle down and get through the difficult times, it’s also important to take a pause and see how far you’ve come!


Periods of growth are challenging and push us, sometimes to our limits. The worst thing you can do is to trudge forward without any recognition of the hard work you’ve put in. At the very least, we learn that we CAN persevere, and that will serve us the next time we need to grow.


Sometimes all you can do is ride out a wave of change but, more often than not, there are actions we can take to mitigate the “growing pains” and move forward. It’s always worth the time to step back and analyze what is going on and what we can do.


Check out the results of our work as we grow by downloading the Doorward App and listening to the Doorward Thinking Podcast! New episodes begin on August 15th! Join us for conversations with Realtor John Powel Walsh, and businesses like Louise’s Granola, coming soon!

Post Summary

Doorward Thinking host Nate LeBlanc reflects on some recent growing pains. Here are the top five ways he's discovered to stop spinning your wheels and move forward.

This article was written, edited and published by members or collaborators of the Doorward Team. Doorward Inc. maintains a positive outlook on the inherent dignity of each: their singular ability to reason and create, to choose and likewise be responsible for their decisions. We defend their best intentions and affirm each person’s freedom to express their own thoughts and opinions and experiences, and to engage in civil discussion regarding them.

This article is meant to be thought-provoking, and is not intended to be specific direction for the topic of this post. Please do your own research and consult the appropriate people for guidance before making a decision related to the topic of this post.

We’ve all experienced growing pains at sometime right? Whether it was painful legs during childhood, moving out on our own, learning a new job, or changing operations in our businesses as our workload increases. 


“It’s just growing pains” is a common refrain as we grow and adjust. At least, that’s what the term implies.


In a recent article, the Sydney [Australia] Harold admitted researchers have no idea what “growing pains” - the medical kind - really are. From the Herald:


Two hundred years of the appearance in medical journals of the term ‘growing pains’ – and researchers still have no idea what it is, what causes it and how to fix it. Even the descriptions of growing pains are inconsistent and lack clarity: some say it occurs only in the legs, a few say it’s in the arms. Mostly at night, sometimes in the morning. And very few researchers mention these pains are in any way connected to growth or a growth spurt.


Two hundred years. And most of us just accept “growing pains” as an explanation. At least a few people are doing medical research on it.


It makes me wonder if we tend to write off difficulties correlated with growth, and if perhaps we should be willing to dig a little deeper when we experience them.


Here are a few things to think about to cut through the “growing pains” and get back on track.


#1: Know the Facts


How often do we sabotage ourselves with expectations that are impossible to achieve? Not that high expectations are a bad thing. It’s wonderful to have lofty goals and direction!


Case in point. Our Doorward Thinking Podcast (check out the latest episodes here) was growing at a modest rate, but my expectations weren’t being met. I wanted thousands of downloads per episode because I want the show to be a force in the industry.


In my mind, what we needed better sound quality, a more flexible schedule for guests, better conversations, etc. etc. and I drove myself half crazy trying to make it happen thinking if we didn’t get all those things we’d be a failure.


Only we weren’t.


In the course of refining the show for re-launch I had an idea one day. I would check the average number downloads of an average podcast. I wanted to see where we really stood.


Turns out we were already an above average podcast! Not by much, and nowhere near the biggest out there, but we can say our production is better than at least half the shows in cyberspace.


I had to remember, we’re not Office Ladies with big name actresses talking about a cultural phenomenon or The Joe Rogan Experience getting big name interviews… yet. We’re Doorward Thinking, starting from scratch, with mediocre audio, no dedicated place to record, and an up and coming company people haven’t heard of… yet.


That fact helped me remain calm and gave me the belief that we will be among the big shots one day. There’s still plenty of work to be done of course, but we’re on our way.


#2: Ask an Expert


Whether it’s a personal project or your business, chances are you know of other people doing something similar to you, and maybe you’ve met them in the past.


Odds are, someone in your field will be willing listen and offer to help! Sometimes their assessment will be shocking and it might not always be the most pleasant to hear, but honesty and a way to move forward is ALWAYS better than spinning your wheels in the mud.


You’d be surprised at the effect sharing your work and engaging with someone else who sees the importance in your efforts will bring. You may just find a mentor to see you through more “growing pains” as you continue to grow!


#3: Get out There


If you’re stuck and in a rut, pretty much the worst thing you can do is stay in it and try to power through. Close the laptop, turn the phone to silent and go do something! It can be anything, literally. 


I went to a Jazz Jam Session here in St. Louis and was amazed by watching the musicians practice their craft. Not only did I smile and have a great time, but it also sparked the creative process for a new project I’m working on now!


This phenomenon is something me and the team call Discovery Mindset. Not only does it draw us outside of our little bubble, but it infuses our bubble with new knowledge and inspiration from the outside world.


Tune in to the Doorward Thinking Podcast for our upcoming series on Discovery Mindset and share it with your friends!


#4: Take a Course (or Attend a Conference)


There are courses about absolutely everything.


Art. Ice skating. Spreadsheets. Underwater basket weaving (you think I’m just using it as an idiom but I actually found several).


If you feel stuck, taking a course is a viable option to gain some new insights for your career or your project!


One thing about courses and conferences: good ones usually cost money and sometimes it can be hard to justify spending some cheddar when you’re starting something new or when you’re looking for a return on money already invested.


Here’s your friendly reminder that your new knowledge will serve you no matter what! Here’s an example. 


We just hosted our good friend John Powel Walsh talking about starting a career as a real estate agent and he suggested everyone take an introductory course in selling real estate, even if they never make a sale as an agent.


Why?


Because all of us need a place to live! A $1,500 process (a pretty penny, to be sure) could save you TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars if you have the knowledge when it comes time to buy your own home!


So if a course seems like a good option for you, find a good one that works with your schedule, the way you learn, and that will bring you a return no mater how you use the knowledge.


#5: Make a Big Change


Every business or project comes to a point where the standard operating procedure that was developed just won’t work anymore. It’s inevitable.


When that happens it’s time to adapt!


My friends over at Louise’s Granola have had tremendous success with their business over the last couple of years and have come to the point where one of their team members had to quit her job to dedicate to the granola full time!


With everything accelerating for Doorward, we needed to bring on new team members to share the load! This means letting go of some responsibilities we grew accustomed to having to focus on others.


It can be tough to leave something secure for a dream, or to let go of something we take pride in and ownership of, but it can be far worse to let feelings of security prevent us from making the big move that will propel things forward.


Study the opportunity and strike when the iron is hot!


(Unofficial) #6: Enjoy the Results!


While it’s important to buckle down and get through the difficult times, it’s also important to take a pause and see how far you’ve come!


Periods of growth are challenging and push us, sometimes to our limits. The worst thing you can do is to trudge forward without any recognition of the hard work you’ve put in. At the very least, we learn that we CAN persevere, and that will serve us the next time we need to grow.


Sometimes all you can do is ride out a wave of change but, more often than not, there are actions we can take to mitigate the “growing pains” and move forward. It’s always worth the time to step back and analyze what is going on and what we can do.


Check out the results of our work as we grow by downloading the Doorward App and listening to the Doorward Thinking Podcast! New episodes begin on August 15th! Join us for conversations with Realtor John Powel Walsh, and businesses like Louise’s Granola, coming soon!

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