Why Entrepreneurs Are Scared Of Scaling

Why Entrepreneurs Are Scared of Scaling




For a while, I've had “helping entrepreneurs scale” in my tagline, but over time I became aware that people are resistant to scaling or that there is fear behind it. This was one of the reasons I’ve decided to interview 12 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, agency owners, and experts and get their perspective on scaling. One thing that I realized through that process is that a lot of the time scaling is defined by other people, based on what they consider scaling to be. So in a traditional sense, scaling meant success; it meant you went from a one-person show to a team, or multiple offices. Bigger and bigger and bigger. But the reality is- that is not what everyone wants. It's not what I want. 

Growing and scaling are not the same thing

Growing means that something is getting bigger and heavier, and there is more effort involved. (Listen to my conversation with Wayne Mullins), whereas scaling is simplifying things while making them more potent at the same time so that you can expand without actually increasing effort. 

I do not want to have a legal department, a whole launch team or graphic design team, and needing to make a paywall would just freak me out. Ultimately, that version of scaling is not what I'm interested in. And I feel a lot of entrepreneurs are the same. We don't do this business in order to become a huge conglomerate, in order to become something that is similar to corporations that we probably came from and do not ever want to go back to. So there's a resistance about scaling. This is why I want you to know that no matter what business you have, and whether you ever want to sell it or not, the wisest thing to do is to structure it in a way that it could be sold at any moment.

Let me explain.

Anything can be sold

When I had Sleep Like a Boss, I never considered selling it.  During a mastermind, I sat next to someone and I was talking about my business, and she looked at me and said: “Why don't you sell it?” Anything can be sold. And I’ve realized that I had instinctively built my business in a way that I could be taken out of it. I had my systems all in place. Yes, it was branded around me, but it wasn't my name, it's not known for me. And that is what happened in the end.

This whole process made me understand that creating offers and creating processes that could be taken over by someone else adds value to a business. So, even if you don't want to sell it, building it that way will allow you to take a good hard look at your business structure and see where you are doing things that could be done by someone else. If you build it in a way that it is meant to be scaled, you will instinctively use strategies that help you to eclipse yourself, which is great, because it means you can go on holiday whenever you want to, you can take time off, or you can do a PhD on the side like I do and your business will still work. 

This is why I'm helping entrepreneurs create more time and simplify their business by using scaling techniques. Actual scaling is optional. You don't have to grow it necessarily, but you can set everything into place so that it could be grown and it could be sold if you decide to at some point. If you want to become even bigger, if you want to have more things in your program, if you want to have more launches, if you want to have courses, if you want to have another podcast, if you want to have a TV show, whatever it is – you will be able to do that. Or you can stay exactly the same but a lot more efficient without sacrificing more time.

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