09/04/2013 01:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Three Influencing Factors for Personal Hyper-Growth


You have hyper-growth when the time and cost for you to make meaningful contributions keeps dropping at a healthy rate.

Here are three influencing factors that help you push towards hyper-growth

1. Fundamental AND Relevant Skills Upgrade

You and I know that real schooling begins when you finish your academic schooling and get into the real world. The rule in the real world is simple -- you exchange value for money. If that exchange is healthy, you increase your capacity to create even more value and the cycle continues. However, if you stop investing heavily in foundational knowledge AND in skills that are relevant to the current (and near future) times, the cycle breaks and leads to frustration.

Personally for me, the foundational skills have been knowledge areas such as linguistic philosophy, stoic philosophy, storytelling and behavioral psychology. Examples of relevant skills for now are in the areas of brand building, sales enablement and creative marketing. This means I am consciously investing in the above areas almost every week. That approach has served me well over the years.

You have to identify for yourself what those skills are for you and relentlessly invest in becoming good at them.

2. Worthy Pursuits

Your growth is directly influenced by the nature and scale of the projects that you are pursuing. Why? Worthy pursuits will demand more from you than you will typically demand from yourself. When your projects stretch you, you automatically start growing in the right direction.

When I talk about this, the general complaint that I get is that they are "stuck" in a job and there is not much control they have about choosing their pursuits.

Think about it for a minute and you will agree with me that it's a lame excuse.

There is no one in your organization that will stop you to take on a worthy pursuit especially if you are walking the extra mile. If that's not the case, it may be time to bail out. And, if your circumstances won't allow you to bail out, you can always pursue something worthwhile outside of your organization.

Just remember that the collective choice of projects will determine your personal destiny and legacy.

3. Enriching Conversations

One of my favorite authors, Susan Scott says, "While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a business, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation can." If you reflect back in your own life, the genesis of some of your major decisions in life was a single conversation.

An enriching conversation may change the way you look at a situation or it might help you uncover a blind spot or it might show you an alternate but compelling path towards your own goal and so on.

Why is it that you are not already having enriching conversations on a daily basis, then?

Short answer: Lack of access to people with whom you can have those conversations.

Long answer: Those that can have enriching conversations are not many. Either you are an opportunity for them or you are an opportunity cost. You need to pay the price to become someone who will make it worthwhile for these people to engage with you. You need to earn the right to have such conversations and there are no shortcuts to get there.

Your Focus has to be on All Three Factors

If you are just focused on Skill Upgrade and Worth Pursuits, you generally lack leverage that comes with bringing other smart people to the mix.

If you are just focused on Skill Upgrade and Enriching Conversations, you are building future potential. There is no guarantee that it will result in something worthwhile unless you start pursuing some worthwhile projects.

If you are just focused on "worthy pursuits" and "enriching conversations," you may be losing out on tapping the biggest reservoir of capacity -- YOU!

If you focus on all three, you will make meaningful contributions along the way resulting in personal hyper-growth for yourself.