Fast growth is hot right now. Just take a look through your Facebook feed.
“How I made 6 figures in 6 months!”
“Double your Instagram following today!”
“Explosive list growth for entrepreneurs!”
It’s too much. Too much pressure. Too much comparison. Too many exclamation points.
I definitely get caught up in that fast growth tornado on an almost daily basis. It’s hard to remember that I’m making steady progress when I gain a few new followers and subscribers every day. I look at entrepreneurs who seemed to skyrocket overnight and wonder what I am doing wrong.
And then I remember the truth. I am not doing anything “wrong.” Most of those headlines proclaiming six figure months don’t mention the fact that it took years of slogging it out to get to that point. Making six figures in your first year of business is like a unicorn. It’s sounds and looks amazing, but may not actually exist (I say may, because I’m still holding out hope for the unicorn.)
Over these past few years, I have tried to keep up with the explosive growth all around me, but I have now come home to my truth. I am purposefully growing slowly, and here’s why.
Because I will probably change my mind
Here’s the problem with overnight success. It takes time and experimentation to decide on the right path for you. Think about your first days in business. You have learned so much since then and have probably changed course quite a few times.
If you became the expert overnight, that would be it. It would be much harder to try new things and explore with everyone watching you now. The beginning of a business is probably the most liberated you will ever be, so embrace that freedom. Try new things. Fail. Try again. Slow growth means time to find your path.
I want sustainable success
In the five years of working as a freelancer and business owner, I have truly learned new lessons everyday. In the beginning, I wanted my business to support me so badly. However, looking back, I can see that I wasn’t ready for it at that point. It has taken a few years to learn how to manage my schedule, support a full load of clients, and create business budgets.
If I had achieved my dream overnight, it’s very possible that it would not have lasted. I needed to gain the confidence and skills that only come with experience.
Because momentum is coming
When I was first starting out as a freelance writer, I send hundreds, if not thousands of pitches. Most of them were never returned. It took time and persistence to build up client work and keep new projects steadily coming in.
However, now I rarely pitch new clients. I reached a point where momentum took over, and I now have clients and companies reaching out to me, instead of the other way around. The beginning can feel painfully slow, but every time I take on a new venture, I know that the momentum is coming. Slow growth in the beginning provides a strong foundation to go big in the future.
Life will always come first
Finally, I am choosing to grow slow, because my work is not my entire life. I just had a baby girl, and she started kindergarten yesterday. While I love my work, it will never take the place of family, friends, and travel. My work is my creative outlet and my way to support my life.
Growing slow means my business can grow as I do. With each life transition, I can tweak pieces of my work so that it can better support me.
So next time you’re scrolling the Facebook and start to feel that nagging feeling of being behind or not successful, take a deep breath and come home to the truth. You’re not failing. You’re choosing slow growth, because it is the only way to create the business of your dreams.