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Growth: is it engineered or luck?

When you specifically want to grow your company, the only thing an entrepreneur can do is plan out a strategy to reach some realistic targets. These targets are normally set by seasoned entrepreneurs/investors who understand the targets that can be achieved with the dedicated marketing budget, and most often this could be defined as the coffers left in a startup or “growth-needed” company.

If you define “luck” as finding a $10-er on the street or a half scratched scratch card, then you will never correlate that with the hard work, long hours, and ultimate slog you have to go through as an entrepreneur (or team leader, manager, boss) of a “growth” company. Ask yourself, would you put in all that effort and just rely on luck at the end?

Luck in the context of company growth could be defined as a viral campaign that reached a viral coefficient closest to 1 (serious traffic driven to your site) – who really knew those kittens were that cute, or that home made funny video had your branded tshirt in it, or even that a celebrity thought your product was cool for 5 seconds so they tweeted it to there millions of followers. If you manage to get some that luck along the way, consider it the cherry on top of fruit of your hard work.

The only luck I would count, is the luck that would drive conversions (sign ups, paid accounts, sold inventory) on my website / in my store.

So what are we left with? We are left with only one real option: you plan. You strategise. You set targets. You hope to God your market research and due-diligence completed 18 months ago is now correctly aligned to your growth strategy for today. If not, you change tact, or “pivot” before you run out of money – aka very feckin’ fast.

Bill Gates said “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation [lets say “growth” instead] applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation [growth] applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” If you receive a surge of luck on the back of an inefficient growth strategy – you will crumble…so you better have a solid engineered foundation in place – one grafted by smart targets smashed by your efficient team.

And while I’m on a quote bender, I remember what Gary Play [the golfer] who would quote:
“The harder I practice, the luckier I get
The more I practice, the luckier I get.
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
The more you know, the more luck you have.”

Big shout out to Éabha O’Leary Fitzpatrick for getting me thinking about the topic.

L