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Fast Growth Causes Far Too Many Problems

7 min read

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Published March 12, 2017

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Picture of Jenn LeVine

Jenn LeVine
a Digital Rockstar at Rhythm Systems

This is exactly why Rhythm was created! Fast growth causes far too many problems.

I was reading the news on my lunch break today, and I was shocked to find out that Nasty Gal, formerly a vintage store on eBay transformed into a multi-million dollar online retailer, was bankrupt! WHAT?? What could have happened? I was intrigued because the founder, Sophia Amoruso, was a Spotlight Speaker at HubSpot’s Inbound15 that I attended. At the time, she was the fastest growing online retailer in the country! Her whole story is just so interesting. She came from nothing. She had a creative vision and built a brand that was popular with millennials. She caught the attention of Silicon Valley, Forbes named her “Fashion’s New Phenom,” and she even wrote a book, #GIRLBOSS.

It turns out, they grew so fast and just could not handle it. I am truly sad for her, and all her employees. This is why Patrick says you have to “slow down to go faster.” If you follow Rhythm's Think Plan Do Methodology, you can avoid this happening to your company.


A Strategic Think Rhythm will allow you to create a focus for the future of your business. You need to set aside time to think about your competitive, economic, and political landscape. You need to analyze opportunities and threats; brainstorm and test new revenue generating ideas.

You should be concentrating on:

  • Core Purpose - Your Core Purpose will keep you on-track as you make strategic moves, ensuring your team is aligned to a common reason for being.
  • Core Values - Core Values are the handful of guiding principles by which a company navigates.
  • Core Competencies - Core Competencies are unique systems and processes that make you operationally different and superior to your competition.
  • BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) - Your BHAG is a 10-25 year goal that stretches 
     your company to achieve greatness.
  • Brand Promise - Your Brand Promise is the promise you're making to your customers that both really matters to them and makes you different from your competitors.
  • Winning Moves - Winning Moves are strategic decisions and actions that enable you to double your business within 3-5 years.
  • 3-5 Year Plan - Your 3-5 Year Plan can be viewed as a base camp on the way to the summit that is your BHAG.
  • SWOT - SWOT analysis is a planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or business venture.

Next, you need a Plan Rhythm. Execution Planning will help teams and individuals understand what they are supposed to do. Figure out the company priorities that will drive your strategy forward. Every team member should be aligned to those priorities. Create a vision that energizes your team to achieve a goal every year and every quarter. Back up this vision with metrics and tracking tools. This allows for adjustments along the way.

You should be concentrating on:

  • Annual Planning - The right Annual Focus and Plan is vital to ensure you have a successful year of growth in the business.
  • KPIs - KPIs are Key Performance Indicators for your business. They are the handful of metrics that are most important to your business's health and success.
  • Quarterly Planning - Plan to execute a 13-Week Race every quarter to get you one step closer to achieving your annual goals.
  • Cascade Execution Plans - Cascading your Plan Rhythm to your departments will help you better grow with purpose.
  • Engaged Employees - The best vision in the world without the right people to execute it will not get you very far.

Finally, you need a strong Do Rhythm - the process of getting the work done by executing your plan. By having your team be accountable to your execution plan, you can discover which critical adjustments need to be made and brainstorm options and opportunities. This allows for a proactive environment to ensure goals will be met.

You should be concentrating on:

  • Collaboration To Get The Work Done - Collaborating on priorities can accelerate your decision making and progress to achieve your goals and plans.
  • Daily Huddles - The Daily Huddle is a simple and effective way to keep your entire company focused and aligned.
  • Weekly Meeting Prep - Weekly Meeting Prep is part of your Do Rhythm. We call this time a "Weekly Meeting with Yourself."
  • Weekly Meetings - These meetings help you maintain team Focus, Alignment, and Accountability to achieve your quarterly plan.
  • Monthly Meetings - A well structured one-day monthly management meeting drives alignment and engagement.
  • Other Meetings - You can use the Rhythm software to record Meeting Notes and Action Items from any meeting in your business.
  • KPIs - Every week, track and discuss the KPIs you identified during planning. Use a Dashboard to visually display progress toward important goals.
  • Action Items - Action Items, or Who, What, Whens, are where the details of your execution plan come together.

I really would not like to see other young companies growing at such a fast pace get derailed like Nasty Gal did. I have been at Rhythm for 5 years now, and I have seen how this methodology helps get more initiatives done, successfully. If you want to succeed, I suggest you follow this proven method. I realize there is a ton of information here so I suggest you start by getting Rhythm Certified to understand the basic Rhythm Methodology, its key components, and why each matters. Learn the differences and connections between Strategic Thinking, Execution Planning and Doing the Work, the common language and habits necessary to succeed week after week, quarter after quarter, and year after year.

We want to change the world one entrepreneur at a time, let's start with you!

Learn more about the Rhythm Methodology by taking the FREE Rhythm Fan Certification course