Someone at an event I was at the other day said to me, “Yeah I have a very small business but we’re in a specific niche. We’re a big fish in our circles,” he stated quite proudly.
And this was the clue that told me why he wasn’t experiencing the kind of growth that I achieve (and guarantee!) for my clients.
You see, to me saying he was a big fish told me, yes, he had a business that was doing well, but he also said he had a small business – and was claiming to be a big fish “in his circles”.
The implication was he was a big fish in a small pond. But a big fish in a small pond is no big fish at all – it’s just a small fish that is keeping its sights small.
What would have been more inspiring to me was if he said, “We’re a growing business. We’re doing well, but there’s a big ocean out there and we’re still small fish.”
What this would have immediately indicated to me is that while they are humbly realistic about their current size (or their perception of thier current size), they are clearly successful, and have direction, ambition, and the desire to grow. That is what is called having a ‘big business’ mindset – and business owners with that mindset are the ones that get the most out the business coaching strategies I use.
The interesting thing is, as a business coach in London over the last 9 years, I have heard business owners label themselves as “small” many times. Often, these “small businesses” actually have the potential to be (or, in fact, already are) very successful and could achieve impressive growth if they implement the right kinds of tools and growth strategies.
Mindset can be a significant and difficult barrier in business. If you think of yourself as a “just a small business” – or even as a “big fish in our pond” – then you are always going to remain that way. To start achieving the growth that you might consider impossible at the moment, you have to take up Adidas’s slogan and start believing that really, impossible is nothing!
Escape the Small Business Mindset
While it has since been disproved that a fish somehow grows to the size of their tank, what we do know is that a fish has the ability to continuing growing throughout their entire lives or be stunted under certain conditions.
Basically, it is the way you care for your fish that affects how large it grows. Your company is very much like a fish in this regard.
If you keep a fish in a small pond, you’re going to provide it with the kind of conditions that end up keeping it to that size of the pond. So if you constantly think of your company as a small company, or that it only can only remain in the small pond it is currently in, you are keeping it in conditions that are stunting its growth.
A reasonably subtle tweak in your mindset – and you could say, the business’s mindset – can change all that. Instead of saying that you are a small business, think of yourself as a growing company that is always learning, adapting and evolving in order to become a bigger business.
Put yourself in the whole ocean, not just a pond, and give yourself the room to be even larger than you already are.
Become the Big Business in Training
Instead of calling yourself ‘just a small business’, think along the lines of a ‘big business in training’. By doing so, you will start to see your planning sessions and business decisions in a new light. As you set yourself targets and decide what needs to be done with the mindset of aiming to become a big business, you will likely find that a light now shines on the opportunities to take you there.
And you will attract the kind of training and business mentors that will be looking to help you as you leave the comfort of the anemone and teach you how to take on the big ocean currents.
The fact is, the simple act of preparing for growth can actually cause this expansion to happen. Not only are you then ready to become that larger fish, but you are also the direct cause of your own growth! It’s like the anti-thesis of a vicious cycle.
Achieving growth in London, or any city in this world for that matter, is no mean feat, but you are the person who can make it happen. Your drive took your business to where it is – now it’s time to change up the conditions and drive your business out into the open sea to grow even bigger and stronger!
So, let me give you something to achieve at your next networking event. When someone asks you to tell them about your company, say something along the lines of, “I’m running a big business in training.”
Ghandi told us that thoughts become words and words become actions. Start thinking of yourself as a big business, and start talking about yourself as a big business, and then watch as you start taking the actions to become a fish that rivals even the blue whales of the world!