J.K.Rowling is a highly successful and wealthy writer. Yet many business advisers would condemn her for not having a ‘proper business’ because she hasn’t grown it and employed lots of people. Their advice to Picasso would have been that he needed to employ lots of ‘mini-me’ Picassos if he wanted to be successful in business. Madonna, who describes herself as “an artist and a businesswoman” is also successful and wealthy, yet her business is not “scalable”. And if your business isn’t scaleable, then it is condemned by those same business advisers as being merely a ‘lifestyle business’.
What’s going on here? There is a model of business growth, based on ‘scaling up’, that is useful and appropriate for many businesses, BUT NOT FOR ALL BUSINESSES. It’s the only model that many business advisers know, and as a result they push ALL businesses in the same direction, even when it’s clearly not appropriate for them. They say: “this is how you must grow your business, and if you cannot or will not, then you are a failure”. As a result, many solopreneurs then give up, or go their own way but feel they are not ‘real businesses’. It’s annoying and tragic.
The conventional business growth model, based on scaling up, is a great one. It works. It makes sense. I’m not against it. My point is that it is not the ONLY way to grow a business. We can do business differently, and I’ll say more about that in a moment.
But first, let’s look at the conventional growth model that has been programmed into the heads of many business advisers as the one and only god of business growth.