Growing Pains: The Business of Growing Up

September 5, 2023

Growing a business

They grow up so fast…

You might be thinking, “WTF? My business isn’t wearing awkward braces or dealing with teenage angst” But bear with me here. If you’ve ever been through the roller coaster of growing a business, you’ll find some uncanny similarities between the two journeys.

Remember when you were a teen? Pimples, voice cracks, awkward first dances… Oh, the glorious pains of growing up. Now, imagine your business being that teen – voice cracks and all.

The Early Years: A Babbling Business Baby

Think of your startup as a toddler. They’re full of energy, and enthusiasm, and often leave a trail of mess behind them. At this stage, much like parenting a toddler, you’re trying to teach your business to walk on its own. Mistakes are inevitable, but they’re also endearing. Those early hiccups? Just like a baby’s first steps.

Tom Goldenberg’s experience as a new father and business owner in “Growing Pains: Nurturing a Startup and a Baby” echoes this sentiment. It’s no easy feat to nurture both a startup and a baby. As Tom pointed out, the joys and tribulations come hand in hand. While I’m not a parent, I am a business owner and have raised a puppy which is basically the same thing.

This is an exciting time to experiment, be creative, and fall on your face more than once. However, it’s never too early to create processes and routines to make your life easier and more efficient, just like raising kids – the human or furry kind.

Teen Tumult: Finding Identity Amidst Chaos

Here comes adolescence! It’s the time when your business is trying to find its own identity. There’s a delicate balance between wanting to fit in and trying to stand out. It’s this stage where businesses, like teens, make their most memorable mistakes. Ever overpromised and underdelivered? It’s like telling your parents you’ll definitely be home by midnight and strolling in at 3 am.

Dylan Tan’s “My Journey as a Pseudo-Entrepreneur” sheds light on this phase. You’re often working triple hard to prove you’re worth it. You’re faced with self-doubt but also an intense passion to grow. This is the best time to evaluate what changes need to be made and to create a plan to graduate into adulthood.

Navigating Adulthood: Embracing Responsibility

Now, as your business grows into its adult years, there’s stability but also a weight of responsibility. Seniman Calligraphy’s article, “Work in Progress: My Small Business Growing Pains”, dives deep into this. A full calendar might seem like a dream, but it comes with its own set of challenges. The pressures, expectations, and responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming. But hey, that’s what adulthood is all about, right?

If you think back to being a kid you probably thought the grown-ups had it all figured out. Now you realize we never have it all figured out and it’s always a work in progress. Even the biggest companies in the world have to shift and adapt on a daily basis. If you have been cruising along on autopilot, it might be time to assess what’s working, what isn’t and what needs to change. While bell bottoms come back into style every decade, you can safely retire your fax machine.

Embrace the Journey, Awkward Moments and All

The parallels between growing up and nurturing a business are striking. It’s a tumultuous, exhilarating, and oftentimes challenging journey. But guess what? It’s worth every second.

Every pimple, awkward dance, and sleepless night adds up to make you and your business the unique, resilient, and incredible entity it is. So, wear those growing pains like a badge of honor. After all, they’re a testament to your perseverance and growth.

Grow on!