Is your business starting to walk? Is it getting into things you never thought it would get into? Are you constantly on your toes? Congratulations – your business is now an Unruly Toddler. Get used to the idea that there are things you just cannot prepare enough for.
Take, for instance, toilet training. The first thing I can tell you about toilet training the Unruly Toddler is that I know nothing about toilet training. Even though I have three kids past this stage they each surprised me. My daughter, who was talking in sentences before she turned one, was in Pull-Ups so long I’m embarrassed to put it in print. My middle kid trained himself one day when I wasn’t looking. And my third and most cooperative child was most decidedly uncooperative in this area. I’ll spare you the details.
Here’s the point – despite your best intentions you cannot engineer everything. You can read the books, buy the props (singing potty seat, anyone?) and put up the sticker chart but you can’t make the kid use the toilet until they’re darn good and ready.
In the same way, you can’t push the Toddler business past its limits. Despite what you want for it there will be times you’ll need to admit that it’s just not ready. Maybe you want to add staff but your cash flow won’t support it. Maybe you want to introduce new products but can’t invest the money – or time – in development. Whatever your goals be patient and watch for signs that its safe to move forward.
Just gird yourself and get ready for the accidents. It will all be over before you know it.
P.S. If your business is an Unruly Toddler send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. If I use them I’ll feature your business.