Five Simple Skills to Master If You Want To Grow
If you’re not growing, you’re stagnating.
Harsh, but true.
As the Growth Manager for SimplyBe., I think about growth all day long. I’m responsible for ensuring our clients - and our own business are always growing. Whether you are trying to boost your Instagram following, your client list, or your organization skills, there is always room to grow. After all, personal branding is ultimately all about growing and improving our professional and personal lives. So what are the skills you need to master this mindset? Here are five I swear by:
1. Realistic optimism.
Our CEO and founder, Jessica, often emphasizes that these days, you’re rarely going to experience exponential growth like this:
Rather, if you approach growth (and your personal brand) correctly, you are going to experience consistency that looks more like this:
There will be dips. That’s okay. We are constantly reminding our clients that personal branding is a long game, so don’t drive yourself crazy by dwelling on the daily dips. Track your KPIs on a weekly and monthly basis, and base your decisions on those instead.
Have you heard? A healthy dose of curiosity happens to be my superpower. Whether you’re trying to growth hack your social media following or your meditation routine, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. What works for one client can sometimes hurt another. Because of that, we can’t offer blanket advice to anyone. That’s why I remain endlessly curious. In my mind, everything I learn is merely data. And data isn’t good or bad. It’s just information. Therefore, I am constantly asking: why? If something goes well, I ask myself what I did to contribute to that success, as well as what was in my environment outside of my control that contributed to it. I can never 100% claim a success. But that mindset applies to failures too. If something does not go well, I ask myself what I could have done better, as well as what was outside of my control that contributed to that result. I don’t view it as a personal failing. I simply adjust my strategy. Stay curious about everything, because there is always a better way to do something. Always.
You’re not the best person for every job. Sorry! If you are humble enough to acknowledge and own that, it can become your greatest superpower. We met a man named Sebastian at Mindvalley in Estonia, who is the Head of Growth at Mindvalley (read more about our experience here). I could have been scared off by how much he knew that I didn’t. But instead, we scheduled a “brain exchange,” in which we both gave each other as much value as possible. We know what we don’t know, and we outsource when we need to. We’re stronger and smarter together.
4. Analytical skills.
If you want to grow, you MUST track your progress. You’ve got to identify your KPIs, and be critical about them. Before you even start trying to grow, think about your objectives. What are you trying to accomplish, and what KPIs will be most useful to you? If you’re trying to get more external coverage, then the number of press hits will be most useful to you. But the number of press hits alone probably isn’t very useful, is it? You will likely also want to track how many pitches you sent out, and then track the percentage of people who responded with a press hit. Similarly, if you are trying to improve your social engagement, don’t just track the number of likes and comments. You’re going to want to track your engagement rate, which is:
(number of likes and comments)(current number of followers)100
This gives you a percentage relative to your current number of followers. The pitch example is a percentage relative to the number of pitches you sent out. These relative KPIs are, in my experience, the most useful measure of your progress. The sky is truly the limit here in terms of what you track, as long as you’re consistent about what you’re tracking. To master a growth mindset, you’ve got to master the data mindset. This doesn’t mean you have to be a data analyst—I’m certainly not. But it does mean you have to want to obsessively get better, so listen to the numbers. They don’t lie.
5. Creative strategy.
When you couple your curiosity with solid KPIs, you find that there are now problems to solve. There just isn’t a blanket strategy that will work for everyone. Not every type of post works for every type of audience. Growth is all experimentation. When you approach problems unafraid of failing, your creative brain can help you cultivate a new strategy. Maybe this will be the strategy that works for this client. But if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just creates a new opportunity for you to grow. Train your brain to approach problems fearlessly and think outside of the box when you’re trying to grow. This creative strategy will come in handy over and over again.
Once you’ve adopted this growth mindset, you’re going to find that the world looks different. You’re going to find that you now believe everything can be improved. You can always grow and change. You no longer are afraid of failing because there is no failure in experimentation—only data. And best of all, you’re going to find that growth, in any form, is limitless. The only limit is your imagination.
(And your data. But mostly your imagination.)