How to Have Intentional Growth in Your Business with Ryan Tansom

When you first started your business, the end is probably the last thing on your mind. It’s the beginning of a new journey, and you’ll soon have to make decisions and take action as an entrepreneur. However, when you don’t know where you want to go, or the end you want to reach, it’s easy to get lost on the way. It’s harder to grow the value of your business and gain the freedom you want without this clarity and direction.

As Ryan Tansom says in this episode, start with the end in mind. He joins us on the Seek Go Create Podcast for a conversation about intentional growth and how it plays a part in maximizing the value of your work. We talk about difficult topics like exiting the business and more. Ryan also dives into the Intentional Growth Framework and the five principles that guide it. Learn to be intentional in your journey and growth as an entrepreneur.

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s a little bit lost on your journey and wants to have intentional growth in your business, then listen to this episode.

3 Reasons to Listen:

  1. Discover how your experiences play a role in wisdom and clarity.
  2. Learn the definition of intentional growth and apply it to your journey as an entrepreneur.
  3. Find out what the five principles of intentional growth are and how they can help you.


About Ryan

Ryan Tansom founded Arkona in 2019 to help entrepreneurs get clarity and grow the value of their life’s work. He started his entrepreneurial career at his family business as an Executive VP responsible for the strategic, operation, and financial strategy. His experiences helped him build his own company and create the Intentional Growth Framework.

Ryan hosts the Intentional Growth Podcast, where they talk about how entrepreneurs can grow value and make an impact. He is also a keynote speaker and educator.

Learn more about Ryan and his work at Arkona through their website. You can also connect with him through LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

[02:43] The Start of Ryan’s Journey

  • Using education and fractional CFO resources, Ryan helps entrepreneurs be able to choose and have the freedom they want.
  • Like here at Seek Go Create, Ryan’s journey is about helping people redefine success. He wants to help them find their goal with intentional growth.
  • For years, Ryan worked in the family business led by his dad. In 2009, they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and had to figure out what they wanted to do and why.
  • In the end, they sold it for the highest offer. They struggled with this decision and its effects because they didn’t define success and had no criteria for it.
  • Throughout their whole entrepreneurial journey, they weren’t in control. Without clarifying their goal, Ryan and his father couldn’t make the best choices to stay on track.
[08:39] “I just realized that through the Superbowl of our entrepreneurial career, we weren't in control of our own destiny because we hadn't clarified what is the goal.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[09:42] Experience Begets Clarity

  • Tim theorizes that it’s through difficult situations like Ryan’s that a person can get clarity.
  • Ryan believes that relativity helps people understand who they are. By going through experiences, you can change yourself.
  • Wisdom is learning from other people’s experiences and applying these lessons in your life.
  • However, sometimes you need to hit the bottom to get back up.

[11:21] Designing Your Journey

  • Success is a journey. The whole point of life is the journey to learn more about yourself through different experiences.
  • Ryan’s podcast was called Life After Business before being renamed Intentional Growth. It was about what entrepreneurs can do after selling their businesses.
  • Most of them weren’t happy after making the sale. They often wished they had realized what the business really meant in their lives.
  • It’s important to learn from your good and bad experiences. This way, you can intentionally design more experiences that you want in your life. 
  • Have the freedom to be yourself without having to sacrifice what you’ve built.
[13:51] “The whole point of life is the journey. We actually learn more about ourselves through our experiences in life.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[14:33] Experiences in Perspective

  • Tim recently went to the Grand Canyon. There, he thought about how the first people to discover the place probably didn’t see it for its magnificence. Instead, they saw the problem it posed.
  • Like them, going through a new experience can seem bad when you’re in the midst of it. However, without the past, you wouldn’t be who you are today.
  • Ryan was a copier sales representative who got a D in Accounting. Ironically, he now teaches finance to entrepreneurs and all sorts of people.
  • He built the business that he wished existed when they were struggling. It was because he saw this gap and went through it firsthand that he realized that there was a need.
  • When you put things into perspective, you might see that the problem was actually something amazing.

[18:20] Working in a Family Business

  • As a child, Ryan wasn’t a good student. His father was the same. He barely graduated high school and didn’t do well in college. 
  • However, his father taught Ryan that all you need is to be good to people and bring value to be able to do what you want.
  • Family businesses are faced with their own challenges. People often hold their family members to different standards than just regular employees.
  • Ryan and his father had a close relationship. Fortunately, ending their business went well, and they were able to redefine who they were and what their relationship was.
  • Many family businesses have a lot of tension, emotion, and conflict. Selling it can be more practical than ending up severing the family’s relationships with one another.

[26:55] Time to Make an Exit

  • When you’re building a good company, the exit comes naturally. However, some people may never want to do so.
  • Many people talk to Ryan because they want an out. Ryan challenges them and questions what exactly is it they want to get out of.
  • You need to clarify what you want to exit. It can be a leadership role, your job, your asset, or maybe all of these things.
  • Only then can you start planning what you want to do.

[30:59] Defining Intentional Growth

  • Intentional growth is taking purposeful action toward a clearly defined outcome. This way you’ll know how your decisions today impact what you want in the future.
  • Originally, his 5 principles were called the Growth and Exit Planning Principles. However, he realized that almost everyone hated the word “exit.”
  • Most people don’t know a lot of things when it comes to making their exit. However, once they start educating and exploring their options, other people tend to freak out.
  • Start with the end in mind. He wanted people to realize that you must build value on the way to the exit to have the choices you want.
  • The combination of intentional and growth got this point across. It’s all about putting the present and long-term growth into one phrase.
[31:47] “Intentional growth is taking purposeful action towards a clearly defined outcome. So we know how our decisions today are impacting what we clearly want in the future.“ - Click Here To Tweet This

[36:43] Not an Exit, But Intentional Growth

  • The word “exit” is like the word “death.” People don’t want to talk about it because it’s taboo. On the other hand, the word “intentional” is more positive.
  • If you’re applying intentional growth in running your business, you have to view it like a financial asset. To do this you need to clarify three things.
  • First, know who you are, what you want from your business, and why. Second, clarify your target equity valuation. Lastly, clarify how you want your leadership role to evolve.
  • Intentional growth eradicates the word “exit.” If you can view your business as a valuable asset, then you can monetize it in a way you can best benefit from.

[39:14] Defining Growth

  • Everyone has their own definitions of growth and intentional. For Ryan, growth alone is empty. It’s within intentionality that it starts making sense.
  • Most people’s goals aren’t solid. They don’t take you to a destination.
  • Growth is pushing your limits. It’s pursuing your fullest potential. When you’re not doing this, you might feel resentment, depression, and anxiety.
  • When you know where you want your life to go, your business can help you get there.
  • Growth means that there’s alignment in what Ryan considers to be important. When you’re in sync, you can intentionally navigate your Grand Canyon experiences.
[43:50] “Growth means that all of the things that are important for me are synced up and aiming towards something that I want. It’s knowing that there are going to be Grand Canyons on the way...” - Click Here To Tweet This

[44:56] The Five Principles of Intentional Growth

  • The five principles of intentional growth are a framework for making decisions based on what you want. It should go in order for it to work.
  • The first principle is vision. determine what it is you want from your business. Without it, you can’t plan your way forward.
  • Second is having three financial targets. These targets measure and monitor your business and view your business as an asset.
  • The first financial target is your target annual income. Second is your outside net worth. The third target is your target equity valuation.
  • Tune in to the full episode to discover the last three principles. You’ll also be able to learn more about how they can help stay on track with your journey.
[45:29] “The decisions that we have every single day getting thrown at us, the goal is to be able to synthesize those into a framework.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[51:38] Challenges in the Framework

  • For Tim, the first principle is the hardest to apply. Many people find it the most challenging. However, it’s crucial to start from there.
  • Ryan’s experiences in Arkona, their educational business, people often struggled with principle # 4.
  • Ryan wants to be able to educate people first about their finances so they can make their own decisions. 
  • Unfortunately, most people don’t manage their finances well. Ryan isn’t able to help them without knowing their numbers.
  • A CFO can help you. Ryan launched a financial dashboard offering where they support you by helping you plan. You’re in control of making it happen.

[01:02:58] Seeking: Ryan’s Four Personal Principles

  • Ryan chooses the word “seek.”
  • He loves to learn.
  • His four personal principles in order are to learn, create, teach, then finally lead.

Enjoy the Podcast?

Seek Go Create is for anyone seeking excellence, moving towards success, or creating something new. We share topics, stories, and conversations that allow us to rethink how we live, work, and lead.

Success in business isn’t always about making the most amount of money. When you gain clarity on your vision and start taking purposeful action toward it, you’ll find your business’s value growing. Start having intentional growth in your journey as an entrepreneur.

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About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefining Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.