How to Deal with Growing Pains in Your Business
We are back! Season 3 coming in hottttt! We are kicking it off with episode 40! Let’s take a closer look at what does growing pains look like in our businesses!
If you are super uncomfortable and things just seem hard, then maybe it’s growing pains.
-- Jennifer Sakowski
Hello, Jennifer, Sakowski here. Your host of Raney Day talks podcast. We are back with season three. Now, I wanted to say, let’s just blame COVID. Last years podcast didn’t go so well. No, no, no I can’t even do that because that wasn’t even the case. The case was why we decided to take a big pause is that, I was fighting burnout. We had a lot of changes happen. We’re dealing with growth and growing pains of a business, all of that. I quite frankly, had to come to the understanding with myself or to allow myself some grace to hit pause, that it’s okay, and that’s what we did. So that way we have a little space that we could come back stronger, more focused and continue to provide helpful content. So here we are. But you know what the thing is, I’m going to talk about today. It’s about growth and growth pains. And how do we deal with that? How do we deal with changes within our business?
You all know I’m a mom, so I’m having some issues with my children, getting older. I’m in a little bit of denial that my four year old is getting bigger and she’s going into four year old preschool, more independent. My son is going into first grade and he’s going to be gone all day.
I just want to cry. And that realization is, what have I been doing for the last few years? I feel like I’ve been hustling so much and I worked so much and I do all these things and did I give them enough energy? So coming into this summer, as a business owner had to step back and think, okay, how do I want to show up to where I’m still showing up for my home front. Taking care of my family, but I’m also showing up in a way that’s impactful for my team and for work. And what are the issues that the broken links, the things that keep coming up that we keep either just we’ll get to that or I’m not ready to make those changes, whatever it may be. I’m not ready to hire someone else or we need to hire, but oh my gosh, to go through that process again.
It’s a lot. And I believe it just compounded. So why am I telling you all this? It’s because I know what it’s like to go through burnout, and this business turns 10 this year. Sometimes you have to take a step back and be like, is this still bringing me joy? Am I still showing up and being helpful? Am I being impactful for our team and for our customers? How are we delivering those results? What sucks is, is that I have to get my ego out of the way, right? Because it’s not about me, it’s about the people that we work alongside with. I always wanted to show up and be, I don’t know, just a positive force within our team. We have such an awesome culture and the people who are coming on board, they’re just awesome humans.
I feel blessed to be able to work alongside of them. In doing all of this, we’ve had to tackle these growth pains. I always thought growth pains means, we’re selling a lot more. And our revenue is growing and there’s growth pains with that scale. Do you know, growth pains can also happen within depth? It can be deep. It doesn’t have to be up, it can go down deep. If that makes sense, in the root of your business and that’s how we were. Our growing pains has been through identifying that each one of us have a particular role that we need to play within this company. I’m super good at rushing in to be the hero and to be helpful. And, oh, no problem. I can jump into WordPress. Oh, no problem. I can do this.
Oh, let me hijack that too. Like, I’m really good at that because that feels good. Right? You’re putting out the fires, you’re checking off tasks. It’s good. I’m not serving my team well, by bouncing between those tasks. I need to be outside of our support desk and focus on nurturing relationships with our customers, continuing to add value, sales, and just lead generation itself showing up here to the podcast. That’s where I should be. I get all juiced up from talking to people, and from doing these podcasts. Even though I’m sitting here staring at a computer screen and looking back at myself, it makes me feel good. Right? It’s fun. That’s where I need to be. I need not to be saving the day into tasks because my team’s got it. I hired people who are smarter than me and they can take it and run.
They don’t need me. So the shift had to take place to where we started identifying what roles that we have and that we need to fill. The right people in the right position and then getting Jen the heck out of the way. So I’m working on that. Since then, I’m still filling other positions, shoes right now as we’re going through those changes, because I can’t do it all. When we hire someone in and we let them do multiple things, even though they are magical unicorns, it’s muddy in the water. Because if we can focus our team members doing one thing and doing it so well, it’s going to help out the team. So right now I’m fulfilling a couple of roles. I don’t need to be doing that. Does it hurt a little bit to hire again right now?
Yes. But once again, that’s growth, right? It’s having peace about making decisions that will not only have a positive impact, but that it will allow us to grow together. What I’ve identified is that I could hold this team back. There I said it, said it for the world. I could easily just stay in the comfort zone and let’s just continue on where we’re at, and we can just ride this out for doing okay, we’ll just ride this out. But that does not sit well for me, and if you all know me and have seen any of my videos or any of my content that I personally put out. I fight against that comfort zone. I know. And I believe in my core that awesome things happen outside of the comfort zone. So that’s what I’m going to do. If I’m going to preach it, I have to walk it.
So that is what we’re focused on is we’re going to sit outside this comfort zone of having it all figured out, and we’re going to implement the crap out of it anyways. It’s going to be messy, but we all agree to give each other some grace as we implement these new processes, because we just did it. I’m getting all loud, because I’m getting excited, sorry. We just went through this with our project management software. Long story short, it wasn’t working for us. It worked because it was tried and true and we can make it work, and it was fine. It was trustworthy and it worked, but it didn’t flow with our team. If that makes sense. If you’ve dealt with project management tools, because there’re tons out there, it was very rigid. And my team is very fluid, and we’re very creative and it was in a box.
So we decided after, and she’s probably listening to this. God bless you for bringing this to the table and pushing this. It wasn’t until after she had left and spread her wings onto bigger and better things. We’ve shifted over from our current project management to another project management. But in the beginning, I did not want to talk about it. I said, God bless you. If y’all want to take this on and it’s not working for y’all, I just can’t right now. Looking back, that was good and bad I could have handled that a little bit differently but, I know also I didn’t empower them to talk and like work it out because it wasn’t after the fact. That just the same conversations kept coming up, and I had to look at the cost. If we continue on the same route, I’m spending a lot more, if we would just shift over.
I finally was like, okay, if we’re going to do this, let’s start making a plan. I got to see some of those notes and the conversations when they were brainstorming the pros and cons and doing a swap analysis of why would it be beneficial? Do we really want to save and listening to the team, that was awesome. Why don’t we do more of this? Why am I not out of more of these type of conversations and letting y’all run with it because there’s magic in that there’s magic in collaboration and communication. There’s magic in brainstorming to the betterment of our company. That doesn’t involve me, it’s because that means that they got it, right? That they believe in what we do. They protect what we do and that they want to find a better solution. That feels so good.
I only pray that you can feel that too. So, even with that project management tool, it was a beast to move over because it was a completely new software. Well, that was growth as well, because we all relied on each other and we all agreed. This is going to be messy, but we’re going to do this anyways, because we know at the end of the day, it’s going to be better. It’s not better for Jen or the happiness coordinator or the developer, but it’s a better for everyone and it’s going to help us. That’s how we tackled that. At the end of the day, it was good. I’m telling you all of this, is that with growth. It doesn’t always growing pains. Doesn’t always show the same way that it shows in my business and in me, like it will for you.
So if it gets uncomfortable and business gets a little rocky, or maybe you don’t have the sales. Hey, it’s time to look inside the business. It’s time to look at what processes or what links that are broken right now. What is not working, if our business is a machine, what cog is jammed up or what wheel is broken that it’s causing it, not to work. Now, it’s not until now that I’m starting to identify quicker when that happens. So, I encourage you is if you can document your processes. Have those to where everybody knows where they’re at, and that you start to look at the efficiency of how your team runs. You’ll start to pick up on those pieces, and once you start picking up on those pieces, I want to telling you not to just take over. To ask your team what they think.
And if you’re a one man show, I get it. That’s where you just have to make decisions and roll with it. Don’t look at the other businesses. Don’t look at anybody else. Just make a decision because in that gray area, you’re no good to anyone. And that’s where I sometimes get stuck. I need to make the right decisions I need to, no. You just make it and run because good, bad or different. It’s better to make a decision. And if I took this on the face side, I would say, good, bad or different, God will deal with you. Just make a decision. Same thing, make a decision. If you are with a team, they’re looking for you for that leadership. Even if you have to hit, let me look through this.
I’ll come back to you. Allow yourself a little room to really look at the pros and cons. I’m big about making lists, but do not stay in there because that’s hindering you from growing. So, identify what’s going on, and where those broken links are in your business. Just ask what’s working, what’s not? We have tried to change the way that we have our monthly meetings with each of our team members, with me or one-on-ones. And it’s been awesome because last month I just sat and listened. You tell me, you provide me feedback, am I being a good boss? That type of conversations has totally shifted our culture. We were communicating, but now it’s like opened up. Back to growing pains and what that could look like and how it can be deep.
There’s depth to that is it could be software issues. It could be, maybe we don’t have the right person in the right position or you don’t have, or it’s time to hire someone. That it’s coming down to where you’re getting pulled in, because my friend, let me tell you. When, you think that no one can do what I can do. They may not have that same flare, how you show up, but you can train them on how to do the tactics that you’re doing. I don’t care if it’s sales. I don’t care if it’s building something. How we run some of our services. You can still train someone. That’s where I know I struggle, getting out of the way to get the right person in the position so that way they can take it and run because that’s only going to free me up to once again, stay in my lane.
And that’s where I need to say. I can continue talking about this all day long, but I thought coming back in season three. It’s really important to identify, things got a little rocky there, but it wasn’t out there It was inside. But it was down to our who’s doing what and when, how are we handling our support tickets really documenting and how can we do this better? And having hard conversations, if this is not working, then what are we going to do? My favorite thing is if somebody brings a problem to me and I’ll let them talk. There’s opportunity here for growth. What are we going to do about it? We have to look for the opportunities in these problems. We have to look for the opportunity in growing pains because growing pains means what? You’re growing friend.
And that’s awesome. That’s so awesome, right? I think back from 10 years ago, when I started out to think that I have a team like this, or have a business like this, or doing the opportunities or sitting here talking on a podcast. What? I would’ve laughed. I would’ve thought you’re crazy plus to have two humans at home. No freaking way. But here we are 10 years later, freaking awesome team. Still have those humans, still trying to do as much as I can to show up. And we’re doing it all anyways. It’s messy, but it’s glorious because we’re seeing real results for our customers. We’re seeing real results for us internally. And I can’t put a price tag on that. In closing, I don’t have any fancy closing other than to say that here’s your challenge. If you’re feeling uncomfortable and stuff, isn’t working out, well maybe it’s growing pains.
Maybe it’s not the growing pains that you think that you’re supposed to be going through on this massive increase of sales. Maybe it’s growing pains to be more efficient, within your business. There’s beauty in there, my friend. I’ll close on that. If you find this helpful, you know what to do hit subscribe, post a review, give me five stars. If it’s not and you didn’t like it, that’s fine. It’s okay. Just, you know, message me. That’s fine. We’ll talk about it, but that’s it. That’s all I have for today. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of your day and I cannot wait to see you next time.