Based in Salt Lake city, Utah, JustStartGo is a blog by Drew Little. His posts explore business and productivity concepts that lead to a better, more balanced and profitable life. More about Drew.

Better Wealth, Health and Self Through Exponential Relationships

Better Wealth, Health and Self Through Exponential Relationships

Achieve exponential growth through relationships, make them exponential relationships.

I view pursuing exponential growth in my business, family, and health a mandate. Developing powerful, genuine, and productive relationships around you is the best way to achieve financial success and simultaneously maintain the freedom to live a full, balanced and satisfied life.  This is what I mean by exponential relationships.

We need to redefine how we measure success. Financial success is the easiest to measure, but have we really achieved success if we are wealthy at the expense of our health, family/friends or self?

By getting individuals around you to be productive and their best self with or without your management and constant guidance is the best way to increase the productivity around you while decreasing your time managing things.

How can you increase your output while decreasing your input? How do you make more money in less time?  How do you achieve better family connections and relationships? The answers are all the same.

What is exponential growth?

Exponential means to double over and over. For example, if your business does $100,000 in the first year, then doubles each year for five years, it's now doing $3,200,000.

But achieving exponential financial success when family, friendships, and your personal health suffers does not equal success; it could be considered failure. Resetting your definition of success to achieve financial success while improving things is equally or more important.

How do relationships lead to exponential growth and a more balanced life?

The goal should be to do more with less in our business, health, and relationships. When you invest in people around you, they give more, work harder, produce more and, most importantly, do it all when you're not around.

Instincts often drive an owner or manager to be a tyrant or demand things in the short term. Although this does work in the short term, in the long term it's not only ineffective but inhumane to both the employee and manager. Both end up losing.

When an owner/manager only barks orders or requires a checklist of tasks to be done each day, people tend to slow down or outright avoid work whenever possible or when the "boss" isn't around. This causes two huge problems: one for the company and one for the owner/manager. The company suffers from low productivity and profit and the owner/manager can never leave work, take true vacations and grow his organization beyond his direct control. The company and everyone in it suffers.

When you get one person around you to increase their productivity and autonomy, it grows your business slightly. If you get five people engaged and working at their best, the profit and growth will really start. Imagine 20 or 50 people focused, caring and working for each other. You'll not only see exponential growth but the opportunity to work less and spend more time with family, friends, and be investing in your health.

5 Ways to Create Exponential Relationships.

The discipline of creating exponential relationships is both rewarding and profitable. It can be accomplished within any company or organization with a few easy steps and some mindset changes.

1. Get people to care

If a person cares about what they are doing, it not only improves the quality of work but their overall productivity. People care about themselves first, but also in people around them and in a mission.  They don't care about companies, organizations or mandates per se.

The formula for getting hard-working people begins with the golden rule or, treat others as you'd like to be treated. You must find out what's most important to individuals short term and long, find out what aspects of work they enjoy doing and try to increase those things. Have one-to-one conversations with everyone about work and goals. This creates  both a mutual sense of caring and respect. Remember, people care about themselves and people, not companies.

Also, taking a  full disclosure approach to the business helps build the company community, mutual respect and caring in the entire hierarchy. For me, this includes disclosing revenue numbers, company goals, and failures, as well as  providing a company-wide profit sharing program and a system of asking for and using everyone’s input.

2. Cultivate momentum in people

I've found people can be held back from achieving their potential by either lacking confidence or the knowledge necessary to try something new or taking on a bigger challenge. When you recognize that someone has great potential but isn't taking the initiative, it's an opportunity to move them towards higher productivity. The cool part is it generally only takes 1-3 meetings to start some momentum towards the new endeavor. The first meeting is about identifying the new challenge, setting a goal together, then discuss what is holding the person back from moving forward. It's part therapy and part career counseling but most become part of your management process. If a single meeting doesn't create momentum or move the person, have one or two more repeating the process. Building confidence in someone to take on a new challenge is done through encouragement, knowledge and, most importantly, the opportunity to have success actually doing it.

Investing in those around you will, in the long run, be recognized by the individual and those around. If you make this practice a constant in your rotation as an owner/manager, over time you elevate many of those around you and add to your exponential growth.

3. Empower individuals

There is no better way to free up your own time while continuing to make money than to empower those around you to work independently and work at their best.  Ambitious and driven people often have the hardest time empowering those around them. Ironically, ambitious people want to have success but the only way to achieve a high level of success is to empower those around you.

Empowering individuals around you is less skill and more a discipline. It takes patience, awareness, altruism, and the wiliness to sacrifice the moment for the longer term gain. When you take the time to teach something, then allow a person to cycle through some failures or learning process, the end result can be both rewarding and often surprising. When a group around you works independently, and productively, exponential growth is fueled without sacrificing your life. Also, individuals that are empowered and allowed to do their work have much higher job satisfaction levels, which fuels growth long term.

4. focus on the double bottom-line profit

All decisions in business should serve a higher purpose and serve a goal.  We make thousands of large and small decisions every month, multiply that by the number of employees and it's staggering to think about.  I want those decisions to  be guided by an overarching purpose and philosophy.  There are two purposes I focus my teams on, the mission of the company, which is more business oriented, like being number one in pencil sales in North Dakota. And more importantly what I call the Double Bottom line or how do our decisions and behavior maximize both our money profit and our human profit.  Sometimes it's best to make decisions that lead to the most money but others lead to what's best for the humans that work in the company, both should always be considered when making decisions.

The overarching philosophy I've found most effective is using Human DOS Operating System.

    5. Teach using the Human DOS Operating System

    Instead of always telling people what to do, coach them using the Human DOS System.  DOS stands for Diminishing Returns, Opportunity Cost, and Scalability.  These are terms that have had the biggest impact on my business life and continue to guide all my decisions and behavior.  So many decisions are made every day and if they leverage the power of DOS, they will be better, more productive and efficient decisions.  The art of decision making and behavior choices is an art, that is part instinct, part experience and part intellectual.

    • Diminishing Returns -Recognizing there is a point where you should stop what you're doing on a project, conversation or meeting because you've reached the point where more effort doesn't yield any more value. Following this powerful principle keeps people from spending too much time on projects that are really done, and the additional benefit is minuscule.  So much time is wasted every day when people continue down paths that have been exhausted.
    • Opportunity Cost - This is where you recognize where and how you spend you time has different values. You must identify the most important objectives in the company and make sure you spend most of your time doing them, and limit the time spent on things that seem important but have low impact on the success and double bottom line of the company.
    • Scalability - To "scale" a business is simply to create a system, product or structure that enables the companies profit to grow exponentially, while maintaining relatively low expenses.  A big example is building a product in the company that can be sold at exponential scale, as opposed to linear scale, will allow massive profits while capping the time and people involved.  But as important and on a smaller scale, is getting people to build systems around tasks that repeat, like building FAQs to answer customer questions, rather than customer service just answering the same question over and over.  

    Coach employees on the art and discipline of DOS, allow them to make decisions, fail and succeed, then review things through the lens of DOS to improve future decisions.  Repeat.

    Attracting the best

    An interesting thing happens when you and your organization get a reputation for being fair, fun and on a compelling mission. High-quality people want to join you and the group you assembled.  Word of mouth about a company, what's it's like to work at a company, moves quickly in all industries. Investing in those around you is one of the best recruiting tools I've experienced.

    Limiting your exponential relationships is a sure fire way to limit your growth

    I've had the pleasure of counseling dozens of businesses over the years; I consider it a hobby. While many of them are great businesses, I consistently see them limited by the lack of investment in the group of people at the company. There are two reasons to adopt an Exponential Relationship strategy in your company or division. First, it's the more humane thing to do and is truly best for everyone in the hierarchy or you can do it because it will provide the maximum profit with the least amount of effort.

    People don’t wake up each day caring about and thinking how they can make a company better, they want to work for others and demonstrate their abilities. The bottom line is if you insert more human into your business, the human will insert more business into themselves.


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