[REPLAY] Dear 24-year-old self, learning how to grow a business is not the same as knowing how to run one

Lately, Tiffany has been reflecting on her journey in building Element Three (more on that soon…) so this week, we’re featuring a nostalgic replay of an episode from last year. In this episode, Tiffany gives advice to her 24-year-old self in a moment of growth for Element Three. Stay tuned for more next week…

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“What I started to realize is that on the backside of growth was making sure we had the operational stability, infrastructure, and maturity to be able to handle all that growth.” - Tiffany

You start a business. You’re selling, you’re making money. It’s exciting. But what happens when you don’t have the infrastructure in place to handle that growth? As Tiffany continues to give her 24-year-old self advice, she walks through her learnings of running and growing her business.


Dear 24-year-old self. I want you to know. That learning how to grow a business is not the same as knowing how to run one. I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident your 24-year-old self lesson number four, lesson number four is also very businessy. So those of you who aren't in the business space, you'll have to just hang with me on this one.

So lesson number four is knowing how to grow a business is not the same as knowing how to run. So like all lessons in life. I joke I live life like a game of bumper cars, but like all lessons in life. I learned this one the hard way, and I really got a lot of excitement and accolades and adrenaline from growing element three from the top lines, selling new clients, getting new people in here.

And a lot of people were clapping along the way. It was like, great. We knew how to sell. What we were doing, but what I started to realize, and didn't have the foresight or maturity to be able to see is that on the backside of that growth was making sure that we had the operational stability and infrastructure and maturity to be able to handle all that growth, because all you were going to have to do is be able to do what you did harder and faster.

And the truth of the matter is, is that we were not ready for. And along the way. Like maybe five years ago almost lost the agency because we were so focused on growth and we were not investing enough in training, in resourcing financially and supporting the people that were working on the, in the business every single day, doing the work that we were doing.

And we were having an ex. Sort of amount of success on the sales side, but we were not able to sustain the delivery. And that was a super sucky thing. Like, it didn't feel good from a values perspective, but I didn't know the beast I was creating. And so now I know no, I'll do it differently as I get a chance to do it again.

But for us the answer to this, and we said yes to EOS the entrepreneurial operating system, if you haven't heard of it, just Google it. I'm not going to go through it right now on this podcast. But that really helped me understood. How do I get clear on the vision? How do I communicate in a cadence that the business and the people who work here understand what's going on?

How do I create the, put the people in place to develop the processes and the infrastructure so that as we grow, we have the way to do things repeatedly. And it's not just unicorns flying around, trying to solve in real time. And I had no idea the speed at which. Disaster ball was going to start rolling downhill and by the grace of God and some amazing people that came alongside me and this agency.

We had a chance to really start fresh. And that doesn't mean that we lost every client. That doesn't mean that, you know, we lost every employee, but we got a chance to really build the infrastructure properly so that as we move back into intentional growth mode, we have a high degree of confidence, not just in our ability to able to increase the top line, but in the ability to make sure that we're not outpacing.

Outgrowing the rate at which we can support really consistent delivery. And I think when you look at Inc five thousands, when you look at these fast 25, when you look at all of these accolades in business, it often is off of revenue growth. And that can become a really intoxicating thing to a young entrepreneur.

Who's dying for attention, which is what I was, and it almost got away from me. And I think. The warning I would heed young entrepreneurs, young leaders is to make sure you likely have a lot of investor pressure. You likely have a lot of just internal pressure and social pressure to make sure that you're growing quickly.

And it can seem sexy, but make sure that you have somebody beside you that knows how to run a business, because it's not just about growing it. So I sort of learning these things across two different decades. Uh, I'm hopeful. You can find somebody who like starts with you at the, at the start line, who knows how to run it, if you know how to grow it or vice versa.

But I think there's rocket ships that explode. And never come back to earth because they only knew how to grow it. I've seen great products and services never be able to get off of the launchpad because somebody just thought about how to make it better, but they never knew how to sell. So it takes both pieces and they'll always be a little bit of conflict between them, but it's important that you're nurturing and thinking and being thoughtful and strategic about both sides.

Knowing how to grow the business and knowing how to run it.

So what else is on your mind? Text me 317-350-8921, 317-350-8921. And be sure to follow along on your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening today.

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