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Scaling Up for New Beginnings

  • Brent Ayles
- Posted: January 30, 2019
Learning what to let go of and what to keep — it’s a part of life. But it’s necessary if we expect continuous improvement in life and work.

About this time of year, the growth plans are well under way. Whiteboards are mapped out. Notebooks are full of notes. Our minds are full of ideas. Everyone is making a list of their top 10-12 things they want to accomplish (whether it’s personal or business). Whether it's paying off personal debt, establishing new eating habits, hiring your next key employee, expanding your business or buying equipment, you must be clear on your purpose and reason for each endeavor with an intentional desired outcome. Sometimes fewer goals are more realistic, and the desired outcome of each weighs in on which will get most of our attention.

Prioritize your time
We all have one thing in common: time. On what and how you spend it will determine your success for the future. Professional, emotional, financial and mental growth does not always mean the same to your team as it does to the leaders in your organization.

History provides so many examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary things simply because they planned, prepared and had better leadership and purpose of mission to give them strength. Verne Harnish wrote a book called Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It … and Why the Rest Don’t. Scaling up can become many things to many people. The main point is that scaling up is a pre-existing state to grow, whether it’s number of wins, employees, vehicles, profit, etc. Whatever measurement you use, the goal is to move forward in a positive upward direction.

Keep your goals achievable
Here are a few suggestions on setting a path toward growth:

  1. Highlight your 2018 accomplishments as a team. Identify and celebrate these wins. Identify 3-4 key initiatives for 2019.
  2. Map out areas where you want to grow. Perhaps it’s developing an internal teaching program, adding GPS or time tracking or new equipment. The key to being successful is to have a champion for each area of growth — one person who is accountable to prepare, plan and measure each initiative.
  3. As a leader, you must be self-aware and focus on your personal growth to keep steady in the storm. Write a personal improvement plan focused on your well-being, whether it’s physical, mental, spiritual, financial, etc.
  4. Be prepared for change. Expecting to win comes with much effort and change. But the question remains: Are you willing to change? Change starts with the person in the mirror.

Spend time on yourself
When you look after yourself and the people closest to you, you will be able to give your goals the focus and attention they require. Those who have your back will look out for your best interests, often more than their own. Use them as a moral compass and someone outside the lead team to bounce ideas off. All the best to making 2019 the best yet. Be the change you want to see in others — learn to love them, care for them, and teach them and see your future meet its potential — one day, week, month and year at a time.

Brent Ayles is president of Ayles Natural Landscaping in Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada. Email him at
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