Growing Pains and Things to Avoid When Growing Your Business

July 27, 2022

Growing Pains and Things to Avoid When Growing Your Business

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.”—Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Do you remember when you were a kid growing through a growth spurt, and all of a sudden you felt aches in your joints and all this body pain? Sometimes, when we grow so fast, we aren’t ready to support that growth fully, and we feel these growing pains. As for humans, the body can adapt over time with some exercise, a proper diet, and good sleep.

But businesses aren’t always the same.

We all want our businesses to grow. It is proof that people find value in the idea you had and committed to for many years. Growth is great. We should all aim to achieve it.

However, keep in mind that with growth comes changes, and if you want your business to survive that growth, especially if it is rapid growth, you need to be agile and adaptable. You need to be prepared to support that growth.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when growing (or scaling) your business.

Timing is key

It is easy for us to get impatient. We want to succeed and see proof of our success as soon as possible. No one starts a business with the intent of remaining small. However, growing too fast can damage all your hard work.

Make sure you validate your strategies first and make sure they are sustainable. Otherwise, even if you manage to grow, if you can’t sustain that growth, your business will just get bigger and less efficient.

Plan for long-term growth

Research is necessary if you want to grow long-term. Can your business infrastructure support those new transactions if you get more clients and customers? Can you keep up with the quality of service or products that your clients deserve? Do you need to hire new hands to get the work done? How many should you hire? When do you bring them in? What about supply and processes? Can they keep up with the pace of your growth?

There are many things to consider for sustainable growth, and these things need some planning. You and your team need to be aligned on purpose, from ideas to decision-making and execution.

As the Growth Institute says, “More companies die for the excess of opportunity than for lack of it.” Planning ahead and planning long-term is key to this.

It includes knowing your clients’ needs, keeping up with trends in your industry, foreseeing challenges from your competition, identifying potential problems, and coming up with possible solutions for them.


You can’t remain a one-man team if your vision is growth. You need to look for people you can trust and delegate some of the work, responsibilities, and even business matters. Hire people who share the same values, are trustworthy, and have expertise that you lack in order to grow.

The most important asset a business person can have is people, and that includes having great people to work with you in achieving your goals.

Be adaptable

No matter how perfectly laid out your plans and strategies are, and no matter how great your vision is, things won’t always go 100% the way you envisioned them. There are always factors outside your control, and unexpected things always happen.

It is frustrating to handle the unexpected. That’s why adaptability is the best skill you can wield, especially in the world we currently live in.

When things don’t go as planned, pivot. Adapt. Be agile. A sword that is too rigid will break when faced with enough pressure, so learn to be flexible.

Make sure that your team is equipped and empowered to adapt and pivot as well.

I liked what Olivier Chateau, Co-Founder and CEO of Health Union, shared on Entrepreneur. He said, “I've learned that if a project matches 80% to 90% of what I had envisioned, it's a success. Ultimately, I've set the path and I've hired the team to lead it.”


You need a lot of information to help you plan, be agile, and figure out when the perfect time to grow is. This means listening to what your audience needs, putting your hand on the pulse of your industry, knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing, and listening to the perspectives and insights of the people you hired.

We can’t see all perspectives from a single point of view.

Of course, you can’t satisfy all of your clients’ and customers’ needs, or do all the things your competitors are doing. But knowing what is out there will help you widen your horizons and consider possibilities you haven’t considered or identified before. You see new possibilities.

And the insights from your people? They are valuable. Their different backgrounds, expertise, and diversity of thought help enrich you, your business, and its culture. There are many things you can learn from them that will help you and your business grow.

Embrace change

Sometimes, we get so stubborn about sticking to what we know, that we forget things change. To grow, you have to change.

Yes, not all change is growth, but all growth is change. And you need to embrace those changes to sustain your growth.

When the developments of the internet started transforming our daily lives, John Chambers, former executive and CEO of Cisco Systems, said this: “At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years. If they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”

Times are always changing, and there’s nothing to stop them from doing so. Position your business in a way that is ready to change with the times.

Yes, change is scary, but it is necessary. Know that it is possible to evolve while staying true to who you are and what your values, purpose, and mission are. But first, you need to accept change.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”—James Cash Penney

Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.