Financial Data
Updated 29 Sep 2020

Your business will only grow as much as you grow

Who would you need to be in order to run a business ten times your size?

Allon Raiz, Entrepreneur, 01 September 2015  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

From the get-go, many entrepreneurs dream of growing their businesses and building larger, more successful ones that generate substantial profits and are household names.

Related: 7 Ways to go from a boss to a leader

The unspoken rule (sometimes erroneous) of all businesses is that we must grow year-on-year, even if it’s just to compensate for inflation. When I started my business, I believed it would automatically grow annually.

What I didn’t know back then, was that I myself would also need to grow on a personal and a psychological level if I wanted my business to expand.

Who do you need to be?

“Who would you need to be in order to run a business ten times your size?” my mentor asked me when I started out. And when my business achieved ten times its size, he asked me this question again.

The process of him continually asking me this same question forced me into a state of self-reflection and personal gap analysis that drove my personal development agenda, ensuring that my business would grow as far as I would grow.

I don’t have any heroes; and yet, if you walk into my office you’ll see a framed magazine mounted on the wall with Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery, on the cover.

My high regard for him is not only based on what he has achieved, but more specifically on who he has become in order to achieve what he has. He took an idea and turned it into a listed multinational business with a market cap of R67,4 billion.

Gore clearly had the ability and commitment to grow into someone who could lead a multinational business, from the day that he started Discovery.

All about your mindset

“Do you have the personal characteristics of someone who is running a business your size, or those of a person running a business ten times your size?” my mentor would ask.

A very valuable lesson I learnt was that the person that you need to be to run a small business is not the same as the person that you need to be to run a medium-sized business, or the person that you need to be to run a large business.

If you are small minded then your business will remain small; if you are large minded then your business will have to catch up to you.

It’s less about the size of the business and more about who you are at a point in time. It takes constant work, personal development, struggle, and commitment to being a better leader and business person than you were the year before.

I recently had to make a tough business decision that was right for my business and its future. Had I been faced with the identical set of circumstances five years ago, I know I would have made a different decision, because in the past my decisions were based on things that would keep staff happy and make them like me.

Related: Leadership lessons learnt from the amazing women in my life

Over the last five years, I’ve worked on myself and learnt that my decisions must be based on the right things for the business and its future, even if they leave staff feeling momentarily upset.

It’s a constant journey

Practice self-reflection and embark on a personal journey that will help you discover who you have to be. If you don’t do this, you will be the largest impediment to your business’s growth.

*Market cap value on 8 January 2015,

Your shift questions

The secret to shifting your mindset and therefore your business, is asking yourself the following questions, and answering them honestly:

  1. Who would I need to be in order to run a business ten times my size?
  2. Do I have the commitment to do the personal development work to run a business ten times my size.

Entrepreneur Mag Logo

Copyright is owned by Entrepreneur Media SA and/or Entrepreneur Media Inc.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our editorial disclaimer.

Rate It12345rating

About the author

Allon Raiz, Entrepreneur

Allon Raiz is the CEO of Raizcorp, the only privately-owned small business ‘prosperator’ in Allon Raiz is the CEO of Raizcorp. In 2008, Raiz was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and in 2011 he was appointed for the first time as a member of the Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship. Following a series of entrepreneurship master classes delivered at Oxford University in April 2014, Raiz has been recognised as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Follow Allon on Twitter.

Introducing the cash solutions for a growing business

Are your cash solutions supporting your growing business? Leigh Livanos, Head of Payments, Collections & Cash for Business & Commercial Banking explains how your cash solutions needs will evolve as your business expands.

Login to comment