When To Sustain and When To Scale Your Business

nicole christie blog

I’m a no-growth, order-taking solopreneur.

And proud of it.

But in a business world that tells us success arrives when we lean in, work ON the business not IN it, and scale rather than sustain, “no-growth” and “order-taking” are shame-inducing entrepreneurial dirty words.

So what if we reframe this a bit? What if we expand what it means to be a business owner, with success defined by our passion, work style, and desired lifestyle? For example, I’m a writer who loves to work alone and has never wanted to be anyone’s boss or business partner. I just want to write – from anywhere in the world. For me, success looks like hunkering over my laptop in my home office, a cafe, or the deck of a beachfront cottage.

And what if we give solopreneurs permission to lean back and reap the rewards of blood, sweat, and business development? I spent the first seven years of my solopreneurial decade drumming up business and refining my craft. Those efforts resulted in lasting relationships with clients who call on my expertise when they need it. It might look like order-taking, but to me, it’s my business running itself – allowing me to focus on doing the work and living my life.

There’s nothing wrong with growing your business. There’s nothing wrong with selling, scaling, hiring, and outsourcing. That’s the right strategy for some businesses and some business owners. But there’s also nothing wrong with working hard to build your business, and then working hard to sustain it – especially if you’re a creative who’s passionate about what you’re making. So if you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a nice little pod of repeat customers and you’re living a life you love, feel free to stop the growth and start taking orders.

You’ve earned it.


Nicole Christie is a writer, storyteller, and the principal and creative director of NICO, Inc. – a one-woman firm specializing in fresh, honest, engaging employee and marketing communications for Fortune 500 corporations, leading-edge creative firms, and rapidly growing new technology companies. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and at nicolechristie.com.