Over the last few years, I have spoken to hundreds of thousands of people involved in every kind of business you can imagine.
I’ve spoken to retail businesses, fast food, insurance, health care, direct sales, government workers, lawyers, and the list goes on and on.
One of things that I have come away with is the Growth/Death Analogy.
When it comes to growth, businesses are just like people. A business is either growing or it’s dying. There really is no maintaining. With a business there is always attrition – so there has to be growth just to maintain status quo. So a business always has to be proactive, taking action, focusing on growth – or it starts to dwindle and move in the wrong direction.
The same is true with people. All of us are either growing or dying. We are either learning and developing or we are letting good habits slip away and become bad habits.
There is no maintaining. When we are trying to just get by and do the minimum – we are only fooling ourselves – we are shrinking and moving in the wrong direction.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says: “Learning is like rowing upstream, to not advance is to drop back.”
Growth is the purpose of life. I believe that for each of us to live up to our potential and thrive we need to be proactive, taking action, learning and growing.
Otherwise, we don’t stay the same – we begin to die.
I’ve spent a few years doing the “just maintaining” thing in my business rather than growing or dying. But guess what? It’s not maintaining. It’s a slow fade. Then one day you realize you’ve lost a lot of ground and you wonder what happened. In my case it was because I had other stuff to do, and the slow fade didn’t sneak up on me at all. And that’s the key. I was aware. I made that choice. If you’re sitting still, and everything else is changing, you’re actually moving backward. Don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise.