Should Your Business be Focused on Growth or Optimization

business growth lean out Jan 24, 2023

Are you in a period of growth or optimization right now in your business?

And should it be one OR the other, or both?

In episode 108 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast, I share the importance of both when scaling your business and how to approach it so you are not so singularly focused on one that you create a desperate need for the other, putting yourself on a rollercoaster that has unintentional impact on your results.

Tune into EP108 or keep reading below.

What most people talk about publicly is growth.  Because growth seems sexy.  

But growth can give you a false sense of confidence that your business is more successful than it is.  

Because with growth also comes:

  • Increased expenses.
  • More team, and sometimes not the right team.  
  • Loads of complexity and little time. 
  • Broken or non-existent systems. 
  • Just to name a few…

Sometimes we grow very strategically and with a lot of intention.  And while it can be amazing when all of our efforts turn out the way we planned… it can also be very draining.

But oftentimes we grow ‘accidentally’ and rapidly and as exhilarating as it can be at first, it is hard to keep up with all the moving parts.

The reality is that any kind of growth is completely unsustainable without simplification and optimization.

Your business needs both.

Optimization may not sound sexy.  But those results you want?

  • Increased profit, not just increased revenue.
  • Increased impact, without working more and more. 
  • Things that run smoothly, without it all being dependent on you.

That all comes from optimization.  And that’s pretty damn sexy.

To address both growth and optimization, you have 2 choices.  

1. Do what I see so many businesses do and put yourself on the up and down rollercoaster cycle of growth → optimization → growth → optimization…


This is caused when you are singularly focused.  

You’re so focused on growth and front-end activities that you end up with a hot mess that drives a NEED to focus on optimization.

Then you put so much focus on optimization and back-end activities that your business stops growing at the pace it needs to.

So you shift your focus back to growth and repeat the cycle again…

What most don’t realize is that this keeps your business stuck, sometimes for years.

If you feel like no matter what you do, you can’t break through to your next big business milestone and successfully scale, you are often caught in a growth → optimization loop. 

So what do you do instead?

2. You implement a system that balances front-end growth with back-end optimization. 

This is what my proprietary lean business scaling system™ does and what we guide our clients through inside our Simplify to Scale program.  

It is comprised of 9 engines that address both the front-end and back-end of your business: 

  1. Fulfillment Engine (Your Rich Fulfilled Life Blueprint)
  2. Achievement Engine (Your Strategic Planning Framework)
  3. Sustainability Engine (Your Lean Dream Team)
  4. Simplicity Engine (Your Business Systems & Operations)
  5. Visibility Engine (Your Leveraged Marketing System)
  6. Conversion Engine (Your Elevated Offer Suite)
  7. Delivery Engine (Your Luxe Client Experience)
  8. Improvement Engine (Your Amplified Results)
  9. Productivity Engine (Your Multiplied Time)

Together, they provide you with everything you need to have a steady stream of high-quality clients and the systems and structure to deliver exceptional client experiences and results, run your business, and lead your team.

It is designed with intention to be a choose-your-own-adventure pull-based framework.

I don’t believe in cookie-cutter or prescriptive models.  I believe every framework you implement into your business should be adaptive to your unique business needs and context.  

So that’s how we structure our Simplify to Scale program and the way you implement the 9 engines.

If generating new clients and growing your business is your most critical need right now, you start with the engines that drive those results.

If you just experienced a period of growth and desperately need to put systems and structure in place or expand and uplevel your team, then your initial focus is on the engines that drive operational excellence. 

Instead of putting yourself on the growth → optimization loop, you implement all 9 engines into your business so you are consistently simplifying and optimizing as you grow.

It is the only way to sustainably scale without the non-stop hustle or feast and famine cycle.


Want to know more about Simplify to Scale?  Click here to join us.

We kick off our next cohort on February 7th and are currently welcoming a small number of business owners and their right-hand person into the program.

Because although your business needs all 9 engines to scale sustainably, you don’t need to implement them all yourself.  

Inside Simplify to Scale, we include 2 tracks when you join us, mentorship and scaling support for you as the CEO and Visionary Leader of your business, and training and support for your team to implement all 9 engines.  

  You’ll find details here.


by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast


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