Fulcrum: Be Wary of Effort and Capital

As business owners seeking growth, we will hit points where progress slows down. It is easy to resort to working harder or to throw more capital at a problem to solve it. These are forms of leverage, but they are to be used only to scale what is already working, not to force growth where growth isn’t there. There are other fulcrums that we can use as pivot points that provide leverage to give you the force needed to press through a limit. The key is to learn to embrace the limit as a teaching mechanism and to pay attention to what is causing the limit.

In my experience in consulting with companies for growth, there are some common limits. Once these limits are identified, the fulcrum that will bring a pivot is quickly revealed. For small companies and solopreneurs, the limit is expertise. They are understanding the knowledge needed to help a specific type of customer. As this expertise is found, then they must learn to find more customers. Now the limit is marketing and the company needs to learn to tell its story to more and more customers. Once there is a repeatable lead generation system, the company must now learn to scale systems and operations. Finally, the company must learn to recruit and train a team.

There are times when more effort and capital can be used, but don’t allow these to mask the underlining limits that need to be dealt with first. If you apply effort and capital too soon, you could be going in the wrong direction faster. This approach is lazy and can be the easy way out. Find the correct leverage point that will allow you to pivot. Once you see growth, apply effort and capital as compounding levers, not as the fulcrum itself.

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