During a recent masterminding session I attended via web conference with fellow online solopreneurs, we discussed the topic of 'Growing Successfully'. We were asked to come up with the analogy of what our business would look like if it were a tree. I immediately envisioned the maple tree in my backyard and its transition over the past dozen or so years in relation to the ongoing stages of growth in my business. Little did I know that I would ever be drawing a comparison between the two.

I clearly remember the skinny maple tree in my backyard that wasn’t much more than a stick coming out of the ground with several low branches. One day I got to thinking that in order to encourage this tree to grow bigger and make room for us to be able to walk or sit under it at some point in the future, I would have to cut off the low hanging branches.

So in response to the question in the web conference room that day I commented that my business has been growing 'out' and it looks like a tree that has too many low hanging branches (like my maple once had). I'm reworking things in my business (like the time I carefully pruned several of my maple's low hanging branches) to grow my business 'up' to its full potential (like the majestic maple tree in my yard today).

How about you? Does your business need some pruning? Do you need to remove any low hanging branches to encourage upward growth?

Reaching for the low hanging branches (also known as low hanging fruit) in your business provides you with short term success.

For example, the low hanging branches would be:
-the easiest tasks
-within easy reach
-easier to pick
-easily achievable targets

Removing some low hanging branches forces you to shoot higher and stretch for the bigger goals in your business, providing you with growth and success.

For example, stretching for the higher branches requires:
-effort and skill
-hard work
-more effort and can be more rewarding
-plans to be in place to achieve the targeted results

More effort and time spent pruning and managing the growth your business will result in a much better payoff if you avoid the easiest options. Sometimes we get comfortable with the status quo but like the saying goes “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

What have you been putting up with because you've become comfortable with the status quo and satisfied with short term success? What's getting in the way that can be removed in order to shoot for growth and success?

If it’s clients who drain you; let go of them so you can have more energy.

If it’s your discounted or hourly rates; package your services so you can get paid for the value you provide.

If it’s the admin, tech-y and non-income generating tasks; outsource this 'busy work' so you can get paid for what you do best.

Are you pruning all the dead wood in your business or is it stunting your growth? Like my majestic maple tree that now provides my family and I with considerable enjoyment all four seasons of the year, your business can provide abundantly for you too.

Author's Bio: 

As a Business Support Specialist to small business owners, Jennifer Hazlett provides technical and administrative assistance specializing in planning, implementing and managing various internet marketing strategies. Jennifer combines her current work experience with her extensive corporate background to create programs and services that help the small business owner get their business going, growing or back on track. Sign up at Jennifer's website, Alternate Admin http://www.altadmin.ca/ for your complimentary report "101 Ways to Boost Business with a Virtual Assistant" and receive her free monthly ezine "Home Sweet Home Office" full of practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for the small business owner.