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Learn to trust the process in order to grow your business

Operations & Management

Joshua Davidson wrote this article


As a Philadelphia 76ers fan (unfortunately), I’m well too familiar with the concept of trusting the process. It’s become such a slogan to this rebuilding team over the years, that our star (and again injured) player has coined the nickname, Joel “The Process” Embiid for himself.

In essence, though, us entrepreneurs and business leaders can learn a thing or two from the Philadelphia 76ers, and what they’ve gone through. In particular, we can find out how to adopt similar strategies to our businesses, to turn our operations from just good to great.

To help provide context for those unfamiliar with the Philadelphia 76ers, or basketball in general, the franchise has for years been a middling-average-run-of-the-mill team. They have not been great enough to contend for championships since the early 2000s, nor poor enough to receive top drafting rights for the most top promising young players entering the league. The team fell into the trap of mediocrity; not good enough to compete, not bad enough to grow. Basketball’s version of purgatory.

For a lot of you reading this that run your own business, you too are in your version of purgatory. You’re more than likely in a circumstance where you have customers coming in daily; but, that number hasn’t grown much. You’re afraid to change anything, as at the very least, you’re getting some wins. You don’t want to end up back at square one after all of the hard work, effort, sweat and tears you’ve put in to get yourself to this point.

At the same time, you’re not satisfied. You know there is more out there for your company, that you’re not at your potential. You’re not complacent for the sake of being complacent, but you’re stuck in the trap of mediocrity. You’re not good enough to be the effective, impacting machine you know you can be; but you’re also not bad enough that you’re considering bankruptcy.

Both the scenarios I’ve described for the Philadelphia 76ers and many of your own businesses seem similar, do they not?

For my own company, Chop Dawg, we were in the same situation ourselves. We spent years growing to the point that we were finally comfortable, having a name for ourselves; but we were still not reaching our full potential. Same as the 76ers, we had to ask the question, do we want to stay here forever or get ourselves to the next level?

Just like the 76ers, we decided the latter.

The Philadelphia 76ers realized, to take themselves to that next level, they needed to take a calculated risk. They needed to take a huge step backward, to take fifty steps forward. That means purposely putting out a losing product; to receive high draft picks with generational talent, to take them to that next level. That is what they did.

In three years, they ended up bringing in the potential of two superstars; Joel “The Process” Embiid and Ben Simmons. The former has finally appeared on the court this year, catching the league by storm. The latter, yet to play, being compared to the all-time greats. The Philadelphia 76ers have already made it back to where they were in years past; but with much more promise, hope, optimism, and expectation to keep going forward.

The same for us. We decided, we needed to take a step back. We didn’t have to do something as drastic as the Philadelphia 76ers in a sense, but we did take a risk. We decided to allocate our revenue all back into the company where we felt the investment would be worth it. We’ve hired in the past year a Chief of Staff who has installed incredible processes into our operations to make us more efficient. We’ve brought on a Marketing Director with a focus on analytics and messaging to help us reach our audience better. We’re investing this very moment in a brand new website. I’m writing my first book to be released this summer on emotional intelligence for entrepreneurs. We’ve brought on several talented developers and designers. We’ve gone all in ourselves, with a real risk. The risk being, we aren’t generating the profit right now we would have liked; but instead, investing in ourselves, to help scale ourselves, our output and our reach. Similar to that of the Philadelphia 76ers, we can get ourselves back to where we were, but be positioned to go well beyond where we were in the past.

You too can do the same for your business or company. Odds are, most of you reading this have faced or are currently facing the same situations. You’re asking yourself is this good enough, or am I complacent because of fear of the unknown? It’s perfectly understandable. We’ve all been there.

You need to instead, trust the process as the Philadelphia 76ers, ourselves and countless other companies have done before. Invest in yourself, come up with a game plan that truly does make sense, implement, continue executing, and most importantly, be patient for that result. If you have an idea that makes perfect sense, such as what the 76ers set up and what we did; you know it will work. You need just to stay focused, and not let the bigger picture in the short-term eat you up. You need to trust the process.

Business is tough. It requires us to always put ourselves as leaders, executives, managers, and entrepreneurs into positions of fear, uncertainty and unknown. That’s okay. Realize, though; you will, and probably will often, need to make decisions that require taking short-term backward steps to take much bigger steps down the road. If you’re able to admit this to yourself and have the patience to focus on the bigger picture, you too, can trust the process, and see the dividends from your work to do what most would never even attempt to do.


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