You've established a global services company. You've acquired a couple of high-profile clients, ran projects with your operational smarts and sheer will. You've graduated from growing pains to steady state, and are already making a decent profit at a stable growth rate.

But much as everything works well right now, there's some trouble bothering you. And that trouble is almost invisible. But it's slowly showing itself in your numbers.

Growth seems to be decelerating. You aren't acquiring as many new clients as you used to. You're not convinced it's just the natural stabilization of an already settled portfolio. You may not say it, but you feel your operations could be sexier.

But above all you can feel the trouble in your gut and your sides. You're not as polished as you want to be. You're not taking it "to the next level."

What used to work in getting your first few logos are no longer making a dent. And everyone else in your space seems to be getting slick. You must admit, slicker than you sometimes.

The brute force that got you by--that was your lifeblood to getting things done in the early days--now appears laughably clunky. Your pitches don't hit the mark as smoothly as they used to, if at all. What used to be occasional, forgivable faux pas are getting embarrassing. And more than mildly annoying.

You believe you should be "stepping up your game." You feel you need to be more "dynamic." You're no longer the upstart who's stealing business from the big guys. You're now the grownup who has yet to roll with the "big boys."


THERE IS NOT one answer, for sure. But you know you need to feel young again. You need a jolt of caffeine. A worthwhile struggle to fight for. A day-to-day reminder of the gap between Johnny English and Jason Bourne, and immediate action to close that gap today. Someone who will polish things right now, one at a time, in steady increments, day after freaking day of client-exposed interactions. Something to make your company the cool guy once again.

Good luck getting that from a fancy shmancy agency or a pressed-suit management consultancy.

But it is possible. You can start it.