Jordan Ogren

May 13, 2021

Don't be like Rick Guerin—Avoid growth by any means.

How would you define success regarding business and marketing?

Is growing to X state part of that definition?

For me, success has always been about growth. Growth by any means.

That's changed. While I'm not against growth, I am against focusing on rapid growth.

Marketing typically revolves around growing something (Ex. podcast listeners, website visitors, or newsletter subscribers).

But why do you need 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2021? 

And what actions will you take to achieve that?

Before I share why I think aspiring for rapid growth is the fastest way to lose, let me share a story from Morgan Housel's blog making this point clear:

"Everyone knows the investing duo of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. But 40 years ago there was a third member, Rick Guerin. The three made investments together. 

Then Rick kind of disappeared while Warren and Charlie became the most famous investors of all time. A few years ago, hedge fund manager Mohnish Pabrai asked Buffett what happened. 

Rick, Buffett explained, was highly leveraged and got hit with margin calls in the 1970s bear market. Buffett told Pabrai: Charlie and I always knew that we would become incredibly wealthy. We were not in a hurry to get wealthy; we knew it would happen. 

Rick was just as smart as us, but he was in a hurry."

Having competence and expertise is not enough. You also need patience.

That's why I'm against growth by any means. It's rooted in a lack of patience.

And many times, when things grow too fast, they fall apart. Imagine if you grew to 6 feet tall before you were 12 and 8 feet before 21.

That would not be good.

We think high-growth is the place where we need to be. So we make marketing and business decisions that shortcut long-term growth.

Because we lack patience.

Great marketing is rooted in patience.

Do you have patience? Or do you think growth is the only way you will be "successful?"

🧠 // JO