Successful entrepreneurs recognize that business has its own speed and rhythm. Knowing which phase you are in your business growth, and when it’s appropriate to ebb and flow versus creating a focused change, is a practiced skill. Understanding the evolution of a business will help you be more resourceful when dealing with your own work flow and processes.
Read through these 7 phases and access yourself – what phase are you in today?
- Desire for change. Aware of unhappiness or uncomfortableness.
- Idea. Intuitive thoughts about what you want to do. Ideas percolate.
- Decision made on area of focus and what comes next. When starting a new business it may be the decision to become a copywriter, coach, massage therapist, etc.). Existing business this is the up-level decision and may include adding new services, expanding into new horizons, focus on change.
- Study “how” to move into this exciting new venture. Learn about processes. Read books. Take courses. Develop an intellectual understanding of what you will create. Understand key industry terms, may know industry leaders and success stories. Awareness of success stories and “I can do it belief” develops.
- Action. Start moving. Do what you can – might build business up to high five figures for new businesses. A time of adrenaline rush and high focus.
- Time to breathe and reflect. What worked and what didn’t? Take a break and reflect on what worked and what didn’t.
- Stuck feeling. Entrepreneurs will feel restless. Growth not as rapid. Frustration builds – confidence may sag.
Where you are and how long have you been there is an important question to ask yourself. There are specific areas where many of us tend to stagnate simply because of fear, busy-ness or not knowing what steps to take to move forward on our path.
Signs to know it’s time to move forward with force rather than flow:
- You are getting bored
- You feel stuck
- Your income is stagnant or dropping (sometimes there is a dramatic change)
- Your self-talk says things like “I need more training in ___” or “I didn’t get the results I want because I’m not doing what she did”.
What to watch out for
It can be dangerous and fearful for people moving from step 4 to step 5 and people frequently stay in step 4 and never move forward. As a coach I see this as a dangerous place to stay too long. You are never going to be completely “ready” to start your business – you just have to start moving and be OK making mistakes. If your legs feel like they weigh 500 pounds and you don’t know what to do first reach out for help — hire a coach.
The other place you have to watch is skipping step six. Step six a pivotal place to reach out for personal coaching and have someone point out to you exactly where you need to shift. Often at this point in your business there are a few minor shifts you can make that will have a huge impact on your revenues. It also may be the time for you to completely step up to that next phase of your growth and up-level to your next phase of business: a higher paying level of client, additional services, that book that’s been dying to get out of you….
Which takes you back to level one.
My point today is for you to take the time to honestly evaluate what part of the entrepreneurial path you are on and then to take the physical action steps (which might be picking up the phone, hiring a coach and not over thinking it) before your business starts to die. Because your business is either growing or dying – there is no in between. You can’t stand still.
Where are you and how fast do you want to move on?