Teachers in Business

The Magic of Incremental Expansion

February 02, 2021 Sara Torpey Season 1 Episode 12
Teachers in Business
The Magic of Incremental Expansion
Chapters
Teachers in Business
The Magic of Incremental Expansion
Feb 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 12
Sara Torpey

Growing is NEVER instant. And yet we often have expectations of ourselves that are for exactly that. We expect to be perfect, to be expert, to be able to figure out all the things immediately, rather than incrementally. This week I’m making the case for embracing the idea of ‘incremental expansion’ in your business. Embracing this idea will save you hours upon hours of time, and help you do EVERYTHING in business more easily, right now.

Show Notes Transcript

Growing is NEVER instant. And yet we often have expectations of ourselves that are for exactly that. We expect to be perfect, to be expert, to be able to figure out all the things immediately, rather than incrementally. This week I’m making the case for embracing the idea of ‘incremental expansion’ in your business. Embracing this idea will save you hours upon hours of time, and help you do EVERYTHING in business more easily, right now.

Hello, welcome to another episode of teachers in business. So this week, I want to talk about growing. One of the things that happens in business, particularly, at least in my experience, and it happens in lots of places in our lives, is that we expect growth to happen way faster than it actually does. Growing is never instant. Yes, there are cases where it happens a lot faster, it happens so fast that it feels instant, right? But actually growing, isn't. We often though, even though we know this, like, logically, you can get with the idea that growth is, little by little by little, logically, we see that. But often, our internal expectations, especially of ourselves, are for the exact opposite of that, we expect to be perfect, we expect to be expert, we expect to be figured out all the things immediately. And then we also expect to have to figure it out once and then never have to figure it out again. And that's just not how any of this goes right. We grow incrementally, rather than immediately. So this week, what we're going to talk about for just a couple of minutes, this might be a short one, is the idea of embracing an approach to growth that I think of as incremental expansion, in your business, in your mindset in your life everywhere. And I think that embracing this approach to growing will save you hours upon hours of time, because you're not going to be nearly as frustrated. If you think about yourself growing 1% at a time as you might be if you expect to go from zero to 100% today. So what I really want to talk about today is all the examples in the stories where incremental expansion is, is true. But what I start with is what actually I think incremental expansion means. So for me, I think about it like like a box, or even like two, two hash marks on a line, right, they're really close together. And if you imagine standing in between those hash marks, right, if we had a line that went from zero to 100, my job at any given moment is to stand in between those hash marks, and slowly push them wider and wider, a little bit at a time, a little bit at a time a little bit at a time, what I'm not going to do is be able to just like use my superhero Hulk strength and slam them to either end. But what you do is you get stronger and stronger and you push and you push, you can almost think of it like imagine a box and you're standing in a little box, maybe the size of what you'd get a pair of earrings and right, you're standing in this little box. And your job is to push the walls and slowly make a box that would fit a bracelet. And then push the walls and slowly make a box that would fit a necklace. And then push the walls and slowly make a box that would fit a pair of shoes. But you don't go from the box that held the earrings to the box that holds a bookshelf in one step. And we just try to hop over all those steps because we think we should be able to. And then when we don't. We take after ourselves, we just the judgment we lay on and the drama and the stress. We cause ourselves and we're like oh my gosh, I should have been able to magic that little tiny box into a box that holds a bookshelf. And I didn't like oh, okay, well that's not how it works anyways, it's okay. The other way think about this is if you think about boiling water, if I fill up a pot of water from my kitchen faucet, I could use hot water that's fine. It's probably like 100 degrees or so. So I put that on the stove and I turn on the temperature setting on the stove and the water starts to bubble heat as the burner turns on and warms up. So I can turn the burner to high. That's great or I can keep it on low that's going to increase or decrease the rate at which the water boils. But what happens to the water as it goes from 100 to 101, to 102 to 103, all the way up to whatever temperature 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it's going to boil, it might make some jumps. But that just means it touched all those temperatures faster than we could measure it. Right? It went through them all, you go through all the steps. This is true. In growing a business, like if you think about, if you make sales or you have clients, you don't go from one client to 10 clients. You go from one client to two clients to three clients, to get to 10, you have to have nine before you get the 10th. One. And yes, maybe they showed up all on the same day. Maybe all those sales came in at the same time. But as you count them, you're counting them you have each of them occurred. You don't go from one and then you just magically are at 10. There were things in between. This also happened in a classroom. And I think the classroom, the teaching version of this is really instructive for how it goes in business. When you're first, imagine the first time you taught I can remember standing in my first classroom. And like, I knew a lot, but I didn't know anything at all. I thought I knew a lot. And I made a lot of mistakes. I tried things with kids I experimented and disciplined go right and i disciplined go horribly wrong. I can remember like third week at school, saying to my then boyfriend now husband, that I ran out of corners that day, like I had five kids who needed to be put into corners. And I had only had four corners in my room. What happens is in teaching and some sort of craft like teaching is that the first year you like trial, the things in the second year, you know a little bit more about what works and what doesn't work. And you still try all the things and some of it works and some of it fails miserably again, in the third year, you just get that much more expert, right. This is much more like business. The differences in business, you know, in teaching, I think we at least have a sense, even though it's frustrating, we have a sense that we like develop a craft over time, business is the same, except you're coming in at sort of a higher starting point because you have some of the skills you already need. So you're not starting fresh. We've talked about this before, but you are starting somewhere in there is craft to be learned. And the thing is in your classroom, you taught something or you had somebody do something in discipline and you thought like, Oh, I shouldn't have let that happen. Does that mean you never let it happen again? Of course not. Like there are times even with my kids, where one of them will say something and I'll think like, oops, shouldn't let that happen. And I should have known better. But it's okay. We go like okay, I had to learn that again, and we move on. In business. What happens is we, at this point, we beat ourselves up, like I have something that I was doing recently. And I was judging myself really harshly for it. And I didn't even know it until a friend, a colleague stopped me and said, you know, what's really hurting you right now? Is you thinking you should have figured it out the first time, and you would have it forever. And I like to think was like oh, yeah, learning takes multiple tries. But for whatever reason, when we get out into this business world, in a lot of it is the input that comes at us, for whatever reason we get out into this business world. And we think like it should work, right? The first time, I should put a post out into the universe, I should get a client the next day. This is how it's supposed to work. And then when it doesn't, it's like oh, no, I did it wrong, I failed. When in fact, what's really going on, is you're just getting 2% better. 1% better, 3% better every time you try it. And if every time you put out a post, you got 2% or 3% better? Well, it's not really that many posts between you and one that's stellar. But if they're every post, you expect it to be perfect. Then you're just going to spend way more time and energy beating yourself up than you are on the idea that you're just getting a little bit better every day. And that's a really strong learning mentality, right? This is just getting a little bit better every day. Versus Oh crap, I should have known how to do that. That is incremental expansion. And I think it can save us all heartache. If we just think like, Okay, I'm getting there. Your first year teaching, you didn't expect to have every single thing and discipline go perfect. When you put the water on the stove to boil, you didn't expect to snap your fingers and have it boil. That's not how it works. You don't expect to get have all the sudden 10 clients out of nowhere. That's just not how we grow. We grow one degree $1, one customer, one client, one experience at a time. And we need to allow ourselves that, that's the gift we can give ourselves is an understanding that we're just getting a little bit better all the time. And that is incremental expansion. So if you are being really hard on yourself, if you are expecting perfection, if you're expecting to learn things once, the thing that you can do for yourself right here right now is to notice that and just see that that's what's going on, and sort of start to play with the idea that maybe it could be different. Maybe you could just think about getting one or two or 5% better today doesn't have to be perfect. Or you can just think about learning at this time. And then knowing you're going to need to learn it again. And that's okay. That's the shift to make here. Instead of beating yourself up, know that you are growing. And if you would like to, you know, put the boiling water on the burner and put it all the way to high, rather than leave it on low and just let it take the time it takes this is what coaching is for coaching is sort of turn not even sort of is turning the heat up all the way on that pot of water to like the superheated burner, so that the growth happens more rapidly. The reason that happens is because as a coach, I see when you're expecting perfect. I see when you're trying to learn something once. And we can talk about that and see what's going on and save all the frustration and the beating yourself up and the giving up and all that whole cycle of fun stuff of like miserable pain. What we do is we short circuit that. And we do more productive things we go up. Yep, that was a great learning experience. What did we learn from this. And we use that to do it again. So that we're not just beating heads against the wall, because beating your head against the wall hurts. And we'd rather be just, you know, slightly more fun than that. So if you're ready to turn up the heat, let's talk about coaching together. I am happy to at least have a conversation one on one to see if we're a good fit. And if we are we'll talk about what that means that if we're not that's okay, too. You'll walk away with a plan at least to think about how to grow incrementally. Rather than banging your head against growth and thinking it's not going well when it is what you do to set that up as you reach out to me on Facebook, or on LinkedIn or you go to my website which is Torpey t o r p y coaching.com. You can also just send me an email at Sarah Sa ra at Torpey coaching COMM And that's how you get in touch. If you're not in my group, my group is just like the name of this podcast, teachers in business. We would love to have you in there. We talk about growing just a little bit more every single day. That's my whole goal in that group is to make everyone just 1% better every day. So if you're not there, come join us and I look forward to talking about coaching with you. Have a really good rest of your day. Bye