“They’d pay $60,000 to $120,000, and really sixty is on the very low end,” Wes told me. I had just asked him his ballpark price range for a website redesign for the target market we’re positioning our Steward brand around. With this range, he validated the price point I expected to hit on these projects.

I had cold emailed Wes asking for his advice. The goal with approaching him was to both form a connection with someone who could refer us, part of our marketing strategy, and also to learn about the market to address risk in our growth plan. As a veteran technology consultant in our target market, he met both goals.

In May, for a six-week cycle, I worked on a second version of our growth plan. If you’re not familiar, a growth plan is similar to a business plan, but for an established business that is making a strategic push to grow.

Over the six weeks, I did a lot of thinking, analysis, and research. In the process of developing the growth plan, I tweaked several of our systems and existing strategies. Due to that planning, I’m smarter today than I was previous to working on the growth plan.

I have a better understanding of:

  • Where we’re going
  • Who we’re targeting and who we’re not targeting
  • What they’ll pay (thanks Wes)
  • What we’re missing
  • Effective marketing strategies
  • Key financial metrics we need to hit
  • How the team needs to change
  • And more…

This all came about through just working on the growth plan.

Last Saturday, in my Toastmaster’s group, an area director visited the club to promote an upcoming speech contest. As we were cleaning up the room after the meeting, one of the newer members expressed an interest in doing the contest.

“I don’t know if I’m good enough to win,” he told me.

“That’s not why you do the contest,” I said, “You don’t go into something like that looking to win. The benefit is in showing up to compete. The challenge makes you better.”

The same holds true of taking on challenges like developing a growth plan. You shouldn’t do the work expecting that it’s one-and-done and going to magically put you on that hockey stick trajectory.

Instead, you engage with the challenge of figuring things out because it is an exercise that moves you beyond your normal effort. It asks more of you and it gives more in return.