I ran track and cross country in high school and was pretty good. But when I went on to run for Texas Tech, the expectations and the training regimen skyrocketed.
I couldn’t be successful doing what I’d done in high school. Success at that elevated level was in no way guaranteed.
In this context, I had to reset my expectations and rise to a new level of competition if I wanted to reach new heights for myself. As the title of one of my favorite books by Marshall Goldsmith suggests, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.”
For advisory firms who want to keep growing and not plateau, I have three easy-to-remember steps for how to reset expectations and think about growth in a fresh way.
Step One: Rethink
Our society today is one that values competition and comparison. We compare ourselves to how many friends we have on Facebook, how many likes our last post got, and how many retweets we get versus our closest competitor.
Constantly comparing is not where you want to be when you are building a company.
Before you plan for growth, you have to rethink your approach to it. Instead of following the crowd, set your own rules.
More often than not, trying to keep up with the Joneses will lead you away from your real goals instead of helping you secure a well-established, solid growth plan.
Thinking about growth correctly requires that you step back and look inward. You do have to change and adapt as you reach new milestones, but the change should be spurred by measuring against yourself, not comparing to outside metrics.
Step Two: Retrain
Rethinking growth may require a new way to think about how your team approaches work.
Carefully consider who you listen to when setting your firm’s growth expectations and goals. You can certainly get fantastic insights from the “big guys” in the industry, but be aware of how their talking points will likely point to what they are selling.