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Small Changes Lead to Exponential Growth

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Jun 04, 2019

Potential growth, even exponential growth, is possible.

Here's an example. Let's say that you start an investment bank account with an opening balance of one cent.

Just a single penny. Yes, we know, what bank would accept that? Indulge us for a moment.

Okay, now, every day for one month, make a deposit that doubles what's in the account. So, on day 1, you add 1¢ for a total of 2¢; day 2, you add 2¢ for a total of 4¢, and so on.

Simple, right? Even silly. And yet, after just two weeks, or 15 days of doing this, your account would hold $163.84. Big whup, you say. But, keep doing it for another 16 days, for a total of 31 days, and now (drum roll, please) your balance is a staggering $10,737,418.24. That's right: nearly $11 million.

That's the power of exponential growth.

Okay, so you've probably already figured out that to add more pennies to your bank account every day, eleven hundred million pennies have to come from somewhere. If you had them to begin with, you wouldn't need the exercise!

So, where do those additional pennies come from?

Think about how many times you've seen a penny on the sidewalk and just bypassed it. What's your threshold for picking up small change? Will you pick up a nickel? A dime? Will you pick up a quarter? Do you just dump your coins into the tip jar at the coffee bar to save yourself the trouble of putting it away? A lot of us ignore small change because we don't have time for it. We've already got big bills in our wallets, so we don't sweat the small stuff.

The point we're making is that there are hundreds, thousands, and even millions of small things in your business that you're stepping over because you don't think they could be valuable. But as we've seen, those small things add up. And once momentum gets established, your return will quickly surpass your initial investment.

This should give you an idea as to why most businesses are essentially stagnant: they think they're too big or important to collect the money that's lying at their feet.

Still think you don't have time for the small stuff?

Here is the small stuff that businesses usually ignore:

  • morale,
  • emotional connections,
  • employee engagement,
  • employee retention, and
  • impact on our communities.

These are the basis of what we've identified as the 5 Disciplines for Exponential Growth.

When a company commits to exponential growth by making even a modest investment in itself, it can achieve optimal success as if by magic. As we said, it's a matter of adding up the small things that are overlooked (like pennies): morale, emotional connection, employee engagement, employee retention and our impact on our communities.

The organizations that have indeed left their mark on the marketplace are those that have grown exponentially; they have multiplied their results, not just added to them, bringing them optimal business success.

We'd love to hear from you. What has been your experience with the small stuff of running a business? Have you or those you work for been willing to make a modest investment in the company in order to help achieve exponential growth? Have there been examples of where this worked? Thank you for sharing.