In order to 10x your company you have to change everything. The systems, decisions, and operation that exist at 10 million cannot support a 100 million dollar company.
When being part of this type of expansion, the default mindset is that 10x means more of the same.. “just this, but more”. This is false.
This is part of why growing companies hit so many growth pains and problems. They are viewing their growth from where they are, and looking forward; when they should be looking at where they want to be and working backward.
One of the key questions you can ask yourself, and those around you daily is this:
Am I doing this activity, in this way at a 10x sized company?
If the answer is no, you need to start making changes, and making them now.
The second inhibitor is understanding that it doesn’t happen all at once, and it doesn’t happen magically. It’s a step by step process. You don’t go from doing all of the hiring to having nothing to do with hiring at some magical point in the future. You slowly build the system, machine and talent over time, one block at a time.
I use the analogy of moving a lego tower. In a small company, we have many roles. We are towers of responsibilities stacked on top of a few people.
A 10x company cannot function like this. Can you 10x your decisions, your work, and your tasks across all categories you are responsible for? No. So something must change. This part is usually known by the team, but how that change occurs is often not as well understood.
Individuals look at their tower of responsibility and think about all the ways it could break if they move it. Individuals feel responsibility and control over certain parts of the operation. They don’t want to give it up, or feel that no one else will be able to do it as well.
So they keep pushing off the need change. And the result? Continual massive growing pains.
Instead, if you thought about moving this block by block, you would have a much less risky proposition in front of you. You don’t need to move hiring over, but let someone do the initial screening. Slowly pass off the initial call or scheduling. Doing this consistently helps you move towards your 10x structure.
Within a few years you’ll have rebuilt the company, and hopefully it looks more like a city than a tower.
So at each activity think about if you are doing that at 10x sized company. Then consider how it would look at a larger company, and start taking one step at a time towards that structure. You’ll avoid a lot of the duct tape, growing pains, and problems that occur during growth.
- Always ask “Will this work this way at 10x the volume or size?”
- Work backwards from how a 10x company would look
- Don’t think about the whole tower
- Move things one block at a time
- It takes time, start today