Challenges, Boredom, and What’s Next…

Our business is experiencing unprecedented growth right now. We’ve taken on more than forty new clients since the start of January, which is a rapid rate of increase that we’ve never before seen.

I suspect that part of what’s driving this growth is that we’ve opened some new channels of exposure through online means: Google, writing guest blogs for folks in partnering industries, and of course, our monthly newsletter.

Since we have never focused on advertising before, I’m learning a lot about how it all works. But I love the challenge of finding new and interesting aspects of the business to try and unlock. We are also doing more tracking than we have ever done before, so for the past couple of years, we can look at our growth numbers and know, for instance, that in the summertime we’re less busy, but then in the fall our numbers tend to spike again.

This probably follows a natural human cadence. From our time in school, summer might feel like time off, a period of rest and play, which is followed by fall, a settling-in time, reaping harvests or going back to school, preparing for winter.

Growth Chart

We also see business through referrals, which was the main way we attracted business early on: word of mouth. I never did any marketing until last year, and when we decided to, I think I was mostly attracted to the challenge of learning a new facet of the business.

I am always drawn to new challenges, ever since my time in school. The moment something feels easy or accessible is the moment I start to get bored and look around for something new to do.

When I first started the business, I had been working in the finance department at a hospital, and I knew I didn’t want to work there for the rest of my life. By the time I’d been there three years, I’d already done stints in a variety of different departments, and I knew the job inside and out so that it no longer was a challenge.

Success word graphic

When I left a job, it would always be for a better or more challenging job.

Leaving the job in order to start my own business was the ultimate challenge, because the only constant is change. Things grow, things shift, there are new opportunities and obstacles, new technologies to tackle, new clients and personnel to manage. It’s not like you can go clock in from 9 to 5 and then set it down and be done for the day. There’s always something needing to be fixed, reassessed, or changed, or a routine that needs to be shaken up.

I’ve always liked the idea that if you push hard on something, you can excel at it.

I was more into English classes than math classes, as a child. This probably surprises a lot of people, given what I do now, but I loved to read and didn’t excel at math until late in my school career, when I had an accounting teacher who turned it all around for me.

In fact, I thought I wasn’t very good at math, until I took that accounting class.

What I loved about the class was that there was no coloring around to find a close enough answer. It’s black or it’s white — you either get it right or you don’t — and getting to that aha! moment where it all clicks became almost game-like for me. Understanding the process, really getting the underlying concepts, these challenges were welcome precisely because they were difficult, and yet, they were also definite.

As a teenager I stopped liking English so much because there was too much coloring around the lines for my liking.


The teacher who turned my math-hatred into the sort of interesting challenge I could get behind had a very analytical mind. He was a numbers-oriented person just like I was, so when he explained concepts, I could understand what he meant.

And he wasn’t a jerk. He wasn’t one of those horrible teachers who would ever make you feel stupid for not knowing something. If you didn’t get it, you could repeat your question and he would never put you down or make you feel bad for not getting it.

Today, when my business encounters challenges, even positive challenges like too much growth too fast, I think back on my early days as a student in accounting class, and I find I can breathe through any challenge that comes our way. After all, running a business gives me the ultimate thrill I’m always looking for in everything I undertake, whether I’ve been doing it for two years or twenty: the thrill of working hard at a new challenge and finding that right answer.