I have a friend from Japan who was a professional samurai sword sharpener. It was his art. People from all over the world would come to him, often with swords that were hundreds of years old. His style was distinct and recognized throughout that community. People paid a premium for his talent and work.
I remember visiting him and having him show me his projects. He had several hundred thousand, if not millions of dollars worth of swords in his home. They were incredible. Masterpieces.
My friend mentioned that he was very picky about the projects he took on. He would only work on something where he felt he could add true value.
His skill and reputation grew. Demand for his work increased rapidly. Then he reached a point where he deliberately decided to stopped growing.
He could have stretched himself a little more and continued to grow. Perhaps he could have outsourced his work and relied on his personal brand. He potentially left a ton of money on the table.
His goal wasn’t to increase profits anymore — he had made enough. It wasn’t exponential growth — he had grown enough. It wasn’t even about getting one more sale — he had sold enough.
His goal was uncompromising quality at the price of further scale.