I was chatting with a referral partner this week (The incomparable Adam Radulovic) and as we were discussing a company that I thought needed his services he asked me, “How many grownups are there in that organization?”
“What do you mean, ‘grownups’?” I asked.
“You know. Who’s telling the kids to do their homework, and making sure they’re picking their clothes up off the floor. Who’s driving decisions and accountability and making sure that the right things are getting done the right way?”
BAM! Right there I learned one of the best questions to ask to assess the growth of a business. How many grownups does your business have?
Here are some characteristics of grownups so you can know them if you’ve got them:
- They are driven by business outcomes, not by their job description or their next review.
- They are willing to hold others accountable, even if it’s the boss who needs the accountability.
- They track and measure things. Things you didn’t even ask them to track.
- They don’t tolerate poor performance in others, even the boss.
- Most of them have had training in a big company setting, but have worked in smaller companies too.
- They demand high compensation, likely pushing $200K/year in total comp if not more.
So let me ask you, ”How many grownups do you have in your business?”
I know there are some who would have to say “zero”—if that’s you, call me today. Your business is stuck.
If you are the only grownup in your business I know your pain. You are making progress — but it’s slow and painful — you’re getting tired of carrying all the weight. It might make sense for us to talk about how to get you another grownup and accelerate your business growth.
If you have more than one, you are doing well! Keep growing, but look for a third and a fourth as soon as you can.
(I know some of you are stopped dead by that compensation number. It’s big. I get it. But there are ways to get you there without plopping down $15K/Mo in salary right out of the gate. Don’t let that stop you from finding a grownup!)
So tell me, how many grownups do you have? Hit reply, I’d love to hear your questions, and objections to this idea.