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From “Just Don’t Die” to “Thrive!”

I don’t remember the podcast that caused me to think about this, but the thought stuck with me for days as I met with small business owners that were laser-focused on growing their businesses. For practically all businesses that are started from scratch and then grow into an enterprise bigger than the entrepreneur’s sole efforts, there comes a point where the thought process changes from “just don’t die” to “thrive!”

I saw this in my own business during the early days. As with most business owners, I simply wanted to do enough of the right things that we were able to pay the bills and then slowly start to grow. And also as with most business owners, when I started to achieve a little success and wasn’t living hand-to-mouth anymore, the mantra changed from “just don’t die” to “thrive!” It’s a truly momentous period when that happens.

Many things must change when this evolution occurs. One of the critical items that must change is your expectations of your team members. Their outlook must change from simply surviving to thriving as well. So, what does that look like?

Team members that are in ‘thrive-mode’ don’t just simply show up, do a job, and then go home. Team members in thrive-mode do crazy things like show up early, brainstorm on how processes could be improved, go above-and-beyond in service of both the customers and the company, and just generally care more about their work. If you can find enough team members that care enough to give this proverbial 110% in service of the greater vision, you are fortunate and are on your way to building a great organization.

This is a difficult chasm to traverse though. So often as we are growing our companies we settle for less-than-qualified or less-than-enthusiastic team members so that we can save a buck. Money is tight in the early days of a business, and so we rationalize that this is the best approach. Unfortunately, it is not. If we want to grow past this just-don't-die state, then we must invest for the future, and that always involves investing in your people.

As I close out this blog post, keep these two items in mind...

  1. If you want to move into thrive-mode, your expectations of the team and organization overall must change, and

  2. It’s easier if you hire thrive-mentality team members in the first place, even though the initial investment may be greater.

If we can be of assistance in helping you move into thrive-mode, please reach out on our Contact page. Until next time, I truly wish you the best in your business.

Mark Goldman



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