Lessons in Growth
March 20, 2017 | By Erika Rasmussen
By Bozeman PowerHouse Jessica Dehn Growth – there is nothing so inspiring, exciting, and nausea inducing for me. Growth means change, adaption, fun, innovation and so many other things for a business. In the last 14 months, I have gone from a stay at home mom – with a side gig as a start-up consultant – to a business owner with two successful locations. Was this luck? Was it hard work? It was both – tempered by a lot of faith. Faith in myself, my idea, my network, and my customers. What I have learned from this growth is that I need to surround myself with great advisers. Luckily there is no lack of friends and colleagues in Montana willing to lend a hand or tidbit of wisdom – if I am only willing to ask. In month two – the first month we were in the black – I was still high on having launched the first location and I wanted to continue riding the big wave by searching out growth opportunities. Fortunately, I had advisers – The Montana Women’s Business Center among them – to help me effectively analyze my numbers and make decisions that supported the health of my finances in addition to my desire to do more for our community. In month six, my partner moved across the state. Did I know how find financing and purchase a business? No. Luckily, I had access to advisers who had done this in a variety of ways and could help me navigate the relationship and financial challenges this entailed. In business growth, as in any growth, learning to turn down opportunities is as important as taking on new challenges. It’s extremely difficult for me, as an entrepreneur, as a mom, as a woman – to say no. I have an extreme faith that I can do anything I make up my mind to do. I have experience achieving the goals I set. Does that mean I can take on every opportunity? The answer is a resounding, NO. In my world if I take my eye off the target for a minute my business suffers. Maybe today, maybe not today, but long term. Finally, just having me is not enough for my business to grow as quickly as I have planned. Having a support system is critical. I have the good fortune to have married a man who is willing to do 50% (often more) of the home keeping and child rearing to support me as my business grows. (It also doesn’t hurt that he is also a builder with the ability to do business renovations on tight timeline and way below budget.) As an entrepreneur, the need for growth is my natural state. It can be fun, it can be challenging, it can be scary, but I – personally – wouldn’t want it any other way.