To Grow, Get Uncomfortable


Businesses usually begin looking into the Entrepreneurial Operating System® after hitting a ceiling or feeling stuck. A company’s leadership team might know where they want their business to go, and they may even feel like they have the tools in place to get there, but something is holding them back. 

One of my clients provides a good case study of the kinds of barriers to growth that EOS® can tackle. They are a small marketing firm with a team of about ten. They’d been in business for a bit more than a decade when I first met the owner and CEO—we’ll call her Mary. Like a lot of small business owners, Mary had ambitions to expand her revenue base and bring on strategic hires to take her vision to the next level. 

But she also recognized that her business had hit a hard ceiling, and she didn’t know how to get beyond it. She wanted her business to grow as much for herself as for her team, and she knew it was up to her to make it happen.

What she needed—what her business needed—was an operating system, a structure for analyzing the business and crafting realistic goals. 

But the prospect of taking the leap into a more structured world made Mary terribly anxious. 

As we ran through the EOS implementation process, I had a sense that the early meetings—the Focus Day™ and Vision Building™ days —were sources of real stress for Mary. After each meeting we talked a lot about how she was feeling. 

The EOS Process® revealed a lot about the business, its leadership team, and Mary as a leader and visionary.  They’d uncovered a number of big issues that had gone unaddressed for years. There were concerns about how the existing team would fit in the structure that was coming into focus. Some on the team seemed unsure about where EOS would take their careers. 

“It’s all pretty overwhelming,” Mary told me, more than once.

For Mary it was helpful to learn that she’s not alone. For many business owners, starting EOS can feel like turning on all the lights in the old storeroom no one has kept clean for decades. What surprises are lurking there? How do we deal with them all, while still doing our regular work? Will everyone in the organization completely buy into the new format, or will valued employees quit?

As uncomfortable as asking these kinds of questions can be, they often get to the heart of what’s stopping a business from growing.

In the case of Mary’s business, those barriers took time to come into focus. The EOS Issues Solving Track™ was a big help. One of their big issues was a lack of documented processes. Having run her business for over ten years using a system that was only in Mary’s head, she spent a lot of time documenting the work she and her team did for their clients. Just doing that allowed them to work more efficiently, confidently take on new clients, and be happier doing it. 

EOS provided the framework to push through the discomfort and get things done.

Are you ready to get uncomfortable and start tackling the roadblocks to your business’s next phase of growth? I’d love to hear about your business and share what EOS might offer. Send me a message or give me a call.