A Mantra For Growth: Lessons from Riding a Motorbike


Growing an agency is a bit like riding a motorbike, I thought to myself earlier today as I opened the throttle a bit too enthusiastically on a greasy wet road.

Slip and slide went the rear tyre, flashy flash went the traction control and stability warning lights on the TFT screen (it’s quite a fancy bike).

Thing is — I wasn’t scared or panicked, I even perhaps kind of subconsciously expected it. Years of riding has ingrained in me that excess power applied + slippery surface = loss of traction.

So what did I do for the rest of the ride? Simple. I was a bit more circumspect about the use of my right wrist, and I completed my journeys without mishap.

Later the same day, activities involved discussions with my business partner, talking to clients and reaching out on LinkedIn to prospective candidates for roles we are hiring for.

At the moment, we are close to being overwhelmed. We’ve built a great reputation, we do great work for our clients and we are dedicated, conscientious, focussed on their success (that’s one of our core values’, and we strive to be better, every day.

As a result of these factors (we hope), we’re getting good leads and winning business.

We also want to scale, so we’re in that lovely position of needing more staff to service more work.

And this is where the slip’n’slide comes into effect. How much do we open the throttle on our business? At what point do we start to slip on the road, and what does that actually mean; is it that we take on too much work and can’t find the right people to bring on board, so we either work to burnout or fail to deliver to the standards we set for our clients? Or is it that we hire people without having the leads confirmed as business, and start burning through our runway of cash while the next project or retainer clicks in.

Either way — we risk losing traction.

The lesson from riding the bike, I remind myself; is not to panic, not to fear the process.

Rather than fancy electronics keeping us on track, we have a leadership duo with nearly 40 years of experience in our field, running client-side ops, building businesses from scratch, creating and growing agencies and brands from the ground up.

We are our own safety net. If we trust ourselves, trust the processes we’ve built and trust in our ability to keep delivering growth for our clients, and trust our judgement in balancing the right hires, with the right new businesses to partner with, we’ve got this.

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