The Role of Curiosity in Scaling Your Business

HomeBlogThe Role of Curiosity in Scaling Your Business

In the fast-paced world of business, growth and scalability are more than just buzzwords—they’re essential for staying ahead. But here’s something I often see when beginning my work with clients: a mindset that’s stuck on “what I’ve been through and invested to get here,” rather than leaning into a more curious approach by asking, “what do I need to know and do to get to where I want to be?” This shift in thinking is crucial because the strategies that delivered your current success might not be enough to take you to the next level.

Changing Your Perspective: From Looking Back to Looking Forward

At first, many new clients are focused on their past ways of doing things, as well as their achievements and what they have sacrificed to get to where they are. While it’s important to acknowledge what got you here, clinging too tightly to the past WILL hold you back. Think of it like driving a car while only looking in the rear-view mirror—you completely miss the obstacles and opportunities ahead.

The Comfort Zone Trap

It’s easy to rely on what has always worked; however, comfort zones are just that … comfortable. But, simply put, no real growth happens there. Imagine a successful retail business that relies solely on its physical stores. Without adapting to the rise of online shopping, it risks losing out to more agile competitors. To grow, you need to venture into new territory and embrace the unknown.

Clarifying Your North Star and Road Map

Before you can approach growth effectively, you need to define your North Star— what is your next destination or ultimate goal — and how are you going to get there — what is your Road Map? What does success look like for your business? Is it expanding into new markets, launching innovative products or perhaps doubling your revenue? Also, how do you want to continue to align with your current core values and mission?  What are you willing to let go and give up, and what is non-negotiable? What kind of culture and team(s) will be necessary to get you there? What are your time frames and what smaller goals do you need to work on to get you to your larger ones? How are you going to keep yourself and others accountable to the plan? Are you willing to take into account and work through how growth changes will affect your leadership from a mental, emotional and physical standpoint? Clarifying and defining these things is critical because it sets the direction for all of your decisions and efforts moving forward.

The Power of Curiosity

A curiosity mindset is all about constantly seeking new knowledge, understanding changes and needs, and being open to fresh ideas. This way of thinking and being doesn’t just tolerate change—it thrives on it. Curious leaders aren’t content with what worked yesterday; they’re excited to discover what’s necessary for tomorrow.

Take, for example, a mid-sized tech company that’s done well with niche software solutions. To scale up, they might need to dive into new technologies like AI or blockchain. This means stepping out of their comfort zone and investing in learning. By embracing and staying curious, they can spot opportunities and develop products that their clients will need in the future.

Asking the Right Questions

Moving to a growth-oriented approach to scale your business means asking different questions. Instead of dwelling on past practices, try being more curious about what you DON’T know than what you do:

  • What are the latest market trends, and how can we use them to our advantage?
  • What new skills or technologies should we learn?
  • How can we tweak our business model to scale up?
  • What will our customers need down the line, and how can we provide it?
  • What support and expertise of others might we need to identify and overcome our blind spots and help us through our challenges?

These questions encourage a proactive approach, helping you anticipate changes rather than just reacting to them.

Letting Go to Grow

Curiosity about the unknown often requires letting go of what we know and how we’ve always done things. This can be challenging but necessary for scale. Holding onto familiar methods and habits can prevent you from seeing new possibilities and embracing innovative solutions. Instead, be open to receiving the information, opportunities and lessons that will help you reach your new goals and future vision. In coaching for over a decade, I’ve found having a coach helps my clients discover new perspectives, strategies and tools to help with this process and to hold them accountable to continual growth and learning.

Practical Steps to Foster Curiosity

  1. Keep Learning: Encourage, support and offer opportunities for your team and yourself to stay on top of industry trends through courses, trainings and conferences.
  1. Embrace Change: Be open to trying and investing in new technologies, methods and expert advice that can boost efficiency and expand your market reach.
  1. Seek Feedback: Regularly get input from customers, employees and industry experts to understand new needs and potential improvements.
  1. Experiment: Explore and tweak new ideas, tools and methodologies without the pressure of immediate returns. Focus on incremental growth and chart and celebrate each step forward.

If we are being completely honest, growth is a journey, not a destination. Moving, intentionally, from where you are to where you want to be requires curiosity and a willingness to approach everything from a place of experimentation and a desire to get and be better. By shifting your focus from past achievements to future possibilities, you can unlock new levels of growth and scalability. Remember, many of the strategies that got you here will not be the same ones that will get you there. Don’t forget to clearly define what your next destination looks like, and be ready to let go of old ways to embrace the new opportunities that will help you sustain your growth. And finally, embrace the unknown, ask the right questions, seek support and keep that curiosity alive—it’s the surest path to lasting learning, growth and success.