We have a towering Douglas Fir in our backyard. In trying to figure out how old the tree was, I attempted to look up the ratio between tree height and age. What I discovered was that height is not an indicator of age.

If you have a tightly packed grove of Douglas Firs they may be extremely old, but not very tall. On the opposite side, you might have a young and tall tree that dwarfs similar trees because it has more space around it.

Competitors in markets have a similar effect.

We often think about growth as adding things, like people, resources, and revenue. This is only natural as growth is expansion.

However, often we need to subtract things to grow:

  • Toxic employees
  • Bad fit clients / customers
  • Unprofitable services or operations

Or subtracting competitors by shifting away from packed markets.

Is there something in your business that is a time, energy, or cash sink? If you didn’t have time to run the numbers- what would be your gut feeling on what it was?

Featured image is of a large log of Douglas fir going to market (1937). This log is over 9 ft and has enough lumber to build a 5 room house in it. By George A. Grant and used under Public Domain