Although I’m a fan of (and evangelist for) regular map-making (setting a new goal + plotting the course to get there), there’s a difference between moving forward and growing bigger.
Most of us are at the place in our business where we want and need regular growth to get to the point of a sustainable, reliable business (and income.) And we know that just waiting around for that growth to happen isn’t going to work. We have to plan for it, lay out a path, and do the work to move towards the destination. A lot of times, this looks like growth.
But even before we get there, before we have that sustainable and nourishing business, every quarter (or month, or day!) isn’t about growth or sales or money.
Some are for healing.
Some are for resting.
Some are for immersing in the work.
Some are for learning.
Some are for flow – finding how we work and operate best.
Some are for finishing and shipping.
Those months aren’t breaks from growth – they are the catalyst of growth. They are the fertilizer and sunshine and rain. They build the foundation, repair the weak spots and replenish your enthusiasm. Even when you’re not setting the intention to grow a metric in your business, you are still growing, as a person, a business owner, a maker.
And when you get that sustainable, reliable business (and income) you may still seek growth – in sales or in another metric, like skill growth, project growth, free-time growth.
As you set your destination for your next adventure, or you review the last one, don’t be discouraged.
Remember that you’re plotting a destination not so that you’re always striving, but so that you focus your energy on what you really want, so that you filter out the distractions, so that you find your own path and trust your choices.