When Your Business Outgrows Its Pot

In Chronicles of a CEO by Rebecca Liston

Ask any successful business owner what things they want as they work towards their business goals and inevitably they will say, “Growth.”

And odds are, when you ask them about that further, they’ll get all glassy-eyed with wonder as they talk about more clients, more money, bigger offices, a larger team, or whatever it is that Growth means to them.

Ask any successful business owner what the one thing is that they fear most as they work towards their business goals and inevitably they will NOT say, “Growth.”

And odds are, when you ask them about that further, they still wouldn’t cop to it.

But I would.

Right now, in this moment, I would confess it.

Because right now, in this moment, home “sick” from work, doing whatever I can to heal (remedies, comfort foods, vitamins, and the like), I know that deep down, I am processing my terror of Growth.

Who, you ask, would be terrified of Growth? What is this woman’s problem, you ask yourself as you read.

So here’s what this is all about: I LIKE WHERE I AM.

I LIKE my business.

I LIKE what I do.

I LIKE my office.

I LIKE my team.



It’s all changing.

And in this precise moment, I hate it.

(Oh yes, I know I will come out the other side of this, happy as a freakin’ lark. I always do. I always survive these types of changes. It’s just What I Do. And I never regret them. It’s just that in THIS moment, I feel sick about it…and I am laying it all out on the table as part of my process of getting to the Other Side…and you, dear reader, are part of my process (and I thank you for it).)

You see, sometimes your business will outgrow its pot.

And that means you have to move it to a new pot.

Because, like a plant, your business needs room to grow so it doesn’t end up with a mashed up mess of impossible-for-nutrients-to-penetrate roots, which would, inevitably, lead to its demise.

What kind of new pot, you ask?

Sometimes it means you have to create new ways to serve your clients, to breathe new life into your programs and offerings, and make them feel fresh and alive again.

Sometimes it means you have to re-evaluate your marketing plan: Like REALLY re-evaluate it. Is it even working?!? Or are you just doing what you thought was the right thing based on that webinar you watched 3 years ago?

Sometimes it means you need a new team member. Sometimes our team members simply don’t have the skill set or personality needed to see us through to our next level of growth.

Sometimes it means you have to move office — out of the house, back to your house, perhaps to a new suite in the same building.

And sometimes it means reinventing your business to better match Who You’ve Become. Perhaps you shift specialties, or create space in your work time to begin your Legacy Project, or simply focus in an talk only about the One Thing that fires you up more than anything else as you cultivate new working relationships.

And sometimes — sometimes — it means building an entirely new pot into which you will transplant your business even though you have no real idea what that pot will look like or be like or become. (Someone please pass me the barf bag…)

In 15 years of being self-employed, I have done ALL of these things. Sometimes all at once. (Yeah, that was a trip!) 

And while I would like to tell you that it makes it so much easier to do it again, well, that wouldn’t be the Whole Truth.

The Whole Truth is that it does make it easier to know that I will survive this Move To The Bigger Pot that is upon me now because I have done these things before and always survived and never regretted my choices. So history shows me that this, too, will be the case this time.


The Whole Truth is also that I kinda hate it still.

The good news is that I have done this enough that the “hating it” moments don’t last nearly as long as they used to. Remember The Great Change of 2012-2013 when I pretty much gave up my career? Yeah…the “hating it” moments over those 9 months almost did me in.  But this time, the “hating it” moments are fleeting…really “minutes” vs “months”…although no-less miserable when I am in them.

Like today. When I feel sick to my stomach with worry and Fear of Growth and “what the hell am I doing” thoughts.

SO today I did what I have learned from my past experiences will actually help me.

I opened all the windows.

I am sitting in the sun.

In between bouts of nausea I am writing.

And I am being quiet.

And still.

And I am Noticing.

Noticing my Feet On The Ground.

Noticing The Sun Shining In The Windows.

Noticing The Way The Cat Yawns (so cute)!

Noticing All The Sensations and Thoughts that are racing through my body and mind as the Universe gently unfurls my roots from my Old Pot and lifts me up and into the Abyss Between The Pots.

It’s the damn Abyss that always makes me want to vomit most.

But yet I know my New Pot is waiting. I know the feelings that await me there — room to breathe, to stretch, and to grow, inevitably, again.

Fully completely,

Did you enjoy this post? You can have articles like this, insights, and opportunities sent directly to your inbox each week. Click here to stay connected.


Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.