As we experience rapid changes in our economy and how we do business, it is important for us to develop strategies for managing the changes and the attendant challenges that come with change. Through the years of my growing an organisation, I have been privileged by God to have encountered books, resources and materials that have taught me about management, leadership and corporate ability. I am convinced that we are in the season where people will start businesses and seven years from now, they will be leaders in the various fields both in this country and internationally.
According to research carried out by the Michigan State University in the United States, it was discovered that most businesses reach a point of plateau or stagnation which it named a brick wall, after the first two years or so of the commencement of the business. Only a few businesses can grow beyond a certain point or scale the brick wall. This situation is common in all businesses including the church and it’s been statistically proven that 90% of young businesses die within the first five years and another 9% die within the span of another five years. However, it has also been discovered that once a business manages to scale the brick wall, it moves on to a completely new dimension. You must be willing to trust God that because your business has a spiritual root, it will scale every barrier because I believe that the most successful businesses should be those that have their roots in God. However, as difficult this environment may be, your business will thrive. The problems and challenges in this environment will be your opportunities.
It is the accepted norm that government should create the right environment for business to thrive but because our ideas are from heaven, they have the power to overcome the challenges of the environment. Whether government creates the environment or not, you carry an environment of your own which is the atmosphere of heaven. Your business will go forward and grow until it becomes very great.
A friend of mine by the name of Tom Deuschel shared with me how he was able to raise millionaires out of people who had nothing when they came in contact with him. Tom advised that lining up with God’s purpose for your being in business and not for what you want to eat will ensure the blessings of God on that business. If you have efficiently impacted the lives of people positively, your vision will come to pass. Imagine for example that the government formulates a policy which would have adverse effects on your business and you are having the ability to know ahead of time and make changes which will pre-empt the situation.
In scaling the brick wall, there are three keys we are going to consider; the first being that you must reinvent yourself. The “you” that started the business and has taken it to the point where it has encountered the brick wall must give way and a new “you” must evolve to be able to move the business to a new level. Remember, to do something you have never done before, you must become someone you have never been before. You must change form. Some things must give way in your personality. I am fascinated with the life of the butterfly. It begins as an egg, then grows into a larva (caterpillar), and then pupa, before it finally grows into a butterfly. It is interesting to discover that the caterpillar at some point in time becomes dissatisfied with its life, withdraws into a cocoon and is transformed into an insect with wings. The same insect, which used to crawl, discovered it has the capacity to fly. It is my belief that God who made it possible for a caterpillar to achieve this feat can do the same with a human. What is needed in our bid to scale the barrier is to become new people. We have to bear in mind that a butterfly will fly through whatever the caterpillar could not scale through.
The second key to scaling this brick wall that prevents so many businesses from exploding is that you must move from being a player who does it himself to becoming a coach. Taking a voluntary organisation, for instance, if the head of the organisation alone does all the jobs necessary to be done for the smooth running of the group, the greatest number of people that he could effectively manage is 200. To be able to attract more people to the organisation, the leader must separate a small number of people from the main body and train them to his own level of skill. It is only when the first 100 people can train, attract, and lead other people that the organisation has the capacity for growth.
In business, the same illustration is applicable in that although you may start out being all things to the business; driver, secretary, marketer, manager and CEO, this should only be for a while. You cannot do all things by yourself. With time, you must let go of some of these responsibilities, employ and train people to handle responsibilities. However, to be able to do this, you must let go of certain things however difficult it may be.
You may not be able to derive maximum benefits from the changes going on in our nation if you are not willing to change yourself. Change your thinking. Change your perception of change and your business will move forward. Get ready.
You will succeed!