It's about finding the right balance and incorporating both into your professional development journey.



Sep 24, 20233 min read


It's about finding the right balance and incorporating both into your professional development journey.

The concept of "Before Growth" is a crucial one for founders and entrepreneurs to understand. Before focusing on growth and scaling their product or service, they need to first figure out what they're doing and why. This involves building a product that some users really love. In fact, the initial metric for success should be whether users love the product so much that they spontaneously tell others to use it.

This initial phase is essential because startups that don't first figure out a product that users love often lack the sense of mission that the best companies have. Without a strong foundation of loyal users and a deep understanding of the product's value, attempts at growth can often be futile.

Now, let's shift our focus to professional development in the nonprofit sector. Beth Kanter introduces us to a new approach called micro-learning. Micro-learning is all about consuming resources that can be quickly read, viewed, or consumed in ten minutes or less. It's a way to learn in bite-sized chunks that can be easily applied immediately.

Micro-learning online courses typically include a video, an info-graphic, or a list of tips, along with a set of instructional or assessment questions. These resources help us think differently about a topic and provide us with something tangible to apply in our work.

However, it's important to note that learning at work shouldn't be limited to just toggling between longer-form learning and micro-learning. It's about finding the right balance between the two approaches and incorporating them into our professional development journey. Both have their merits and can complement each other effectively.

So, how can we make the most of these approaches to enhance our professional growth? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Prioritize building a product or service that users love: Just as founders need to focus on building a product that users love before pursuing growth, professionals should prioritize developing skills and expertise that are highly valued in their field. By becoming exceptional at what you do, you'll naturally attract opportunities for growth and advancement.
  • 2. Embrace micro-learning as a supplement to longer-form learning: Micro-learning can provide quick wins and immediate applications. Incorporate it into your professional development routine by setting aside dedicated time each day or week to consume these resources. Use them as a way to reinforce and expand upon the knowledge gained from longer-form learning experiences.
  • 3. Seek out opportunities for mission-driven work: Just as startups that develop a sense of mission tend to thrive, professionals who align themselves with organizations and causes they are passionate about often experience greater job satisfaction and fulfillment. Look for opportunities to contribute your skills and expertise to organizations that share your values and are making a positive impact in the world.

In conclusion, the path to growth, both for startups and professionals, begins with a strong foundation. Start by building a product or developing skills that users or employers truly love. Incorporate micro-learning into your professional development journey as a way to enhance and apply your knowledge. And finally, seek out opportunities that align with your mission and values. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to achieving meaningful growth and success.


  1. "Before Growth", (Glasp)
  2. "A New Approach for Nonprofit Professional Development: Micro-Learning | Beth Kanter", (Glasp)

Want to hatch new ideas?

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)