Why Does it Hurt to Grow
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
“People will refuse to change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” ~Tony Robbins
We all resist change to some extent. Some of us are more flexible to life’s changes than others but nobody likes every change they are forced to undergo. Even worse are the changes that we are not forced to make, the ones we have to consciously make in order to try to improve ourselves or our situation. Consistency is comfortable, but stagnate water cannot support life.
We currently have projects coming in the door faster than we can get them done at work. This is a good problem to have but not one that you can sustain very long. We basically have three options in order to confront this “problem”. We can do nothing and eventually our customers will get tired of waiting for us and go find someone else to do the work. That is not a good business model. Our second option is we can be more selective with the projects we take on. While this is better than losing customers, you are still losing out on work, which is lost profits so still not an ideal way to business. Our final option is to grow. This brings us back to that whole, "change is a painful thing", and the bigger the change the more painful it is sure to be.
If you look at your local Walmart for example, they employ between 150 and 200 people per store on average. That means that if they add or subtract one person, they are looking at a less than 1% change. Our shop employs 7 people full time and one-person part time. That means that if we take on one more person it is more like a 13% change. It is just a lot harder for us to absorb that than the bigger guys. That being said though, our newest employee has been vetted and starts work Monday morning so ready or not, here we go.
The biggest challenge of hiring a new employee is the initial training period. You can’t expect people to understand every facet of their job on day one so there is a period where you are paying them without actually getting any work done. It is not just the new employee's lost time but also the trainer's lost productivity. That means 26% of our people are not bringing in money while still incurring expenses we have to pay. That is where it is actually painful.
However, once you have made that initial investment in someone, it can pay dividends. A well-trained employee that can work independently and is easy to manage is the best thing a business can invest in. That 13% growth in size becomes a percent growth in your income year after year. The benefits outweigh the cost, so we grow.
Like an infant growing their first teeth, the change is painful. But after suffering through the change they are able to eat solid foods. The food fuels their growth further paying off the suffering of getting the teeth in the first place. Learning to walk is hard but the ability to move faster over more diverse terrain makes the change worthwhile. The first few years of life are full of constant change for children. As we get older and are forced to change less, we get comfortable with where we are, even if it is not where we want to be. The longer you stand in one place the harder it is to move on when you need to. If you are where you need to be, then find other ways to grow. A tree spends its entire life in the same location but never stops changing. It grows taller, puts on new branches, and gains and loses leaves right up to the day that it dies. Change is a natural and important part of life that we often resist when we should be getting swept along in the adventures it brings.
But more on that later. I hope this message finds you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering ...
What change are you fighting against?