I just celebrated a big birthday. It had a zero at the end and pushed me into the back half of a century. How the heck did that happen? It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house on Martha’s Vineyard with 10 girls and the next minute I have two teenagers, a husband, dog, business and life that all seem to grow in complexity by the moment.
I was dreading this birthday. I hate feeling old and 50 has always been old to me. Throw in 25+ days of quarantine and the complete upheaval in the world, and the night before my birthday, I told my husband I didn’t feel like celebrating. It was all just too much. A few days earlier, I helped a client manage through a major restructuring and layoffs. It brought back painful memories and, although it was the right thing for the business, it sucks big time, every time. Couple that with worrying. I’ve been worried about my family getting sick. My 99 year old grandmother, my parents, our kids. Worried about all of the incredible restaurants we love to go to and how can I order enough take out to keep them alive. Worried about all the businesses struggling to stay alive because of all of this madness. My plate runneth over with worry and it can be debilitating at times.
My birthday was a reminder of all the good stuff happening around me – to me, with me, for me. I was virtually surrounded by family and friends, lots of champagne, cheeseburgers, flowers and cake. I heard from so many people near and far with well-wishes – it was just what I needed to remind myself that life is not cancelled. Hope is not cancelled. And, as we make tough decisions about the future of the businesses we lead and build, we need to believe that GROWTH IS NOT CANCELED.
If we cut our marketing budgets to the bone, we’ll be too far behind when the economy comes back – because it WILL come back. But, CEOs are faced with making tough decisions. Harvard Business Review wrote a post during the last economic crisis and said: “Companies that injudiciously slash marketing spending often find that they later must spend far more than they saved in order to recover.” The key word here is “injudiciously.” Rather than slash it all, be pragmatic. No marketing team or budget means no air-cover at a time when you need it most. Reprioritize based on what moves the needle and double-down.
Now, more than ever, growth requires:
- maniacal focus on your ideal customer profile
- seizing your competitive advantage at every turn
- razor-sharp decision-making and alignment
- doubling-down on a few big bets
- agile leadership to move fast
- shipping “good-enough” over perfect
- pivoting everything toward your north star
For over seven years, I have been helping my clients do these seven things and more. Throughout this tumultuous and uncertain time, our clients have stuck with us (thank you!) and we’re in the trenches helping them pivot, ship, think and grow. And, I have never felt more compelled to do something bigger to help businesses succeed than I do today.
I’ve decided to open-up Growth Street Office Hours. If you bring the agenda, I will give you an hour of my time and a new way to crack the nut. Any business, any industry, any growth stage. This is tough stuff. New perspective and different thinking is key to staying relevant, maintaining market position and coming though this with some battle scares but the wind at your back.
Giving up is not an option. I’m too much of an eternal optimist and want to help your business succeed.
And now, over to you. Feel free to take me up on the help. Book an Office Hour and let’s do this together. Growth is different, but not canceled.