Growth, but not at any price

If you’ve set up a small business, the messages targeted at you are all about growth. You read ‘inspirational’ stories of entrepreneurs who went from a standing start to a seven-figure business in two years (which personally I found intimidating rather than inspiring). 

It can seem sometimes as though seeking to grow is the inevitable, natural state of affairs, and if you’re not doing it, or not doing it fast enough, you’re failing. And I DO want to grow – am growing in fact, though not at seven figures yet, or likely to be any time soon. But that’s OK, because actually there are more important things than the rate of growth. 

Which is why when I read this article by David Heinemeier Hansson – the genius behind Ruby on Rails and Basecamp, if you’re technically inclined – I wanted to shake him warmly by the hand. He’s put into words what I have been increasingly thinking but hadn’t articulated to myself so well. Definitely worth a read.  

‘the core assumption is that growth is always good, growth is always unlimited, and if you’re not growing you’re dying… Steady, sustainable growth just isn’t as sexy of a story as the next billion-dollar exit. Sadly. But it’s in this story we’re going to find the companies that are institutionally comfortable with leaving money on the table. Leaving growth on the table. Those offering realistic, ethical alternatives to the exponential growth logic. Ones that’ll benefit not just a gilded few, but all of us.’ Read the rest… 

Growth is good, but not growth at any price.