Growth is a naturally occurring component of life, and the same is true for the life of your small business. As rabbi and psychiatrist Abraham Twerski explains in his viral YouTube video, “The stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it feels uncomfortable.” His words are a reminder that stress doesn’t have to be debilitating — it can be an impetus for positive change, too.

But, contrary to popular belief, growth doesn’t always have to entail heightened wealth, bigger offices or more employees. Before producing a new and improved lobster shell, so to speak, it’s beneficial to reflect on what growth means to your small business and what it will take to get there.

Hugh MacMaster, a mentor at SCORE who helps companies scale their operations, explains that businesses are born out of the need for a particular product or service. “Somebody has an unmet need and you have the opportunity to fill it,” he says. “And if it’s focused on you making more money, it isn’t focused on meeting the customer’s unmet need. That usually doesn’t work very well.”

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