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Expansion Vs. Growth

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

What does it mean to expand vs grow? By all accounts, they are quite similar in meaning, but there are some subtle differences.


become or make larger or more extensive.


(of a living thing) undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically; progress to maturity.

The former is simply about increasing in size while the latter is about organic change.

Duh, right?

It may seem like a pretty straight forward concept, but it gets murky when applied to business ventures. Which direction does one choose? The unspoken rule of business is to get bigger, better, and generating more revenue. That’s the measure of success.

Is it though?

There is a fantastic book about just this struggle called Small Giants: Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham that is a fascinating exploration of what does it mean to be successful if money isn’t your only guiding force. The process of making something more than it was is a difficult one and there are many (many maaaaaaany) choices that need to be made along the way. If money isn’t the most important thing, what is? How does one follow their ideals, but still keep the lights on?

There is no substitute for passion.

That is the secret sauce that keeps efforts pushing ahead when things are hard. It’s what keeps the eyes on the prize, whatever that may be. Well, that’s just peachy, Anna. Thanks for the pro-tip, but it’s sometimes a finite resource due to stress and other factors. How do you keep the passion on the up and up in a situation where you are relying hard on your own grit?

Ya know, my answer might make you laugh.

Treat it like a relationship and follow the guidelines of keeping it fresh. After all, chasing a dream means you and your passion have to work together. That takes care.

So here we go with my patented (not really) Keep Your Passion Going List™

Delegate. You can’t do it all. Find people you can trust who are invested and for the love of cows, give them things to do. Don’t micro-manage. Trust and let go.

Don’t Hold Grudges. Things will -not- always go right. Be flexible enough to see where improvements can happen, but don’t come down hard on yourself when you don’t hit the mark.

Adjust Expectations. Sure you might want to rule the world or become a household name. That’s fine. Just be real about how long that might take or what kind of effort it requires. Plan. Work. Profit (emotionally).

Make a Bucket List. Ok, so right there where I said be realistic? Yes. Do that. BUT! Keep dreaming. Have your guilty pleasure world domination plan in a drawer and look at it, but don’t make it your playbook.

Keep Communication Open. What? With myself? Damn straight. Talk to YOU. Keep a finger on the pulse of your energy level, direction, assets (people and otherwise). Don’t go silent on talking to the inner you who drives all of this.

Blah, blah, blah..swords what?

Yeah, yeah, I am getting there.

AHWG had to make some choices about how to proceed and what was the aim for the organization in the long run. It’s extremely exciting to be moving into a HEMA dedicated space and moving ahead with the vision of the school. Mark your calendars! October 2nd will be a Move In Party! Doesn’t that sound fun? Sweating and hauling stuff? Of course, it does! All of the hard work will pay off pretty much immediately with the kick off of the new schedule staple of Italian Night on October 3rd! No, we don’t mean Anthony hand gesturing and saying pasta names. It will be an evening of exploring Italian technique with Philip Canzano across various weapons. This will be a set part of the new schedule, so keep an eye out for more details!

No matter if you are a student, school owner, or park sword facilitator, this all applies. How do you expand vs grow in your pursuit of HEMA?

What are your goals? Do you want to dig in and just go for glory or are you trying to grow something? It’s related to culture building. ( I know, I will always circle back to that) Sometimes the culture you’re building is with yourself rather than an entity at large.

So get out there, fellow HEMA-ers! Find your passion then keep it going. More passion is more HEMA is more better for the entire world! Think about that one.

HEMA on, Wayne.

HEMA on, Garth.

- The Fearless Nymph

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