Growth Brings Pain

by James Orsini- President The Sasha Group

Last night a colleague and I enjoyed a dinner with several entrepreneurs. Small business leaders attending our Digital Discovery and Deep Dive Educational session. As with most of our clients the topic of growth dominated the conversation. Each founder shared their pains associated with their growth.

Reflecting on the last several months, I have seen growth bring pain in so many areas. We have all heard the term “Growing Pains” defined as neuralgic pains which occur in the limbs of some young children. It has come to mean the difficulties experienced in the early stages of an enterprise.

I witnessed this at Vayner Media as we stretched our infrastructure which had been built for a social media advertising company to now handle a holding company at the Vayner X level overseeing a production company, a digital publishing company, a media SaaS offering and now most recently The Sasha Group. IT, Finance, Legal, Human Resources all feeling the pain of that growth. Add geographic expansion to international markets like London and now Singapore and the stretching hurts even more.

At The Sasha Group, I am constantly stretching our leaders to move out of their comfort zones, often practicing skills they haven’t fully embraced. We are chartering new waters outside of the comfort of Vayner Media hallways. I know it is uncomfortable for them and for their support teams as we try to bring a new and growing offering to small and medium size businesses.

On Saturday I attended an event for my beloved Alma Mater Seton Hall University. Nearly 20 years in the making and we have now birthed a Medical School. This growth into new territories (medical schools law schools) brings a host of challenges to the Universities current structure. The administration is feeling the pain of progress.

We recently did a renovation on our home, expanding our family room and kitchen. It was painful for all of us. An inconvenience while living with the construction, the pain of funding the project, all the burdens of decisions to keep things on time and on budget. The stress could be felt in every room of our home.

On Sunday while at Church we discussed the increase in the congregation. It would require the pain of needing more ushers, more parking lot attendants, more Sunday school teachers, etc. The pain of that growth will be on those who currently volunteer and serve until others are raised up to support.

At my gym recently I can see the body builders (not me!) preaching no pain no gain as they pump more iron. Pressing to increase / grow their muscles beyond where they were just the week before.

When our income grows, we feel the pain of additional income taxes.

Our Vayner Mentors consulting clients are giving a three-year growth plan. Most are frustrated at the pain they all experience in year 1 as we stretch them beyond their comfort zones. Moving their businesses into areas they have not ventured into before in hopes of helping them achieve explosive growth.

And the list goes on and on. Growth simply put, is an uncomfortable experience. I implore you however to embrace growth. In each of the examples above, business, school, church, home, physical, ALL are in a much better place after the growth spirt. All are happy they endured the process. All are celebrating the final product of growth. In the most basic understanding, anything NOT growing, is in fact dying. Seek growth, plan for growth and accept growth in all you do.