You can’t skip the hard parts in business
Starting a business is really exciting. It is essential as you start your business journey to understand that businesses go through phases.
Three Phases of Business
Speaking very generally there are three phases of business. People use a lot of different names for the phases, but the concepts are the same. Understanding these phases can give you self awareness, and acceptance. With this knowledge you can understand how to make the most of the phase you are in right now, and how to get to where you want to go.
Whenever you feel stuck or at a plateau, the knowledge of these phases will make you more self-aware, and help you realize that it is just a necessary point on your journey, and it’s the starting place for everywhere you want to go.
Phase 1. Emergence
‘Emergence’ is the honeymoon phase of starting a business. In this phase there is very little or no income coming in, but that is okay because the possibilities feel completely endless and expansive. You are feeling totally excited and in love with your idea and your business, and you feel like you can do anything.
In this dreamy phase you feel like you are on fire. The genius ideas come rapid-fire and you go a mile a minute. Every day, every hour, there’s a new idea about what your business could become.
The downside of this is that people can become stuck in this place of excitement for a really long time and they don’t capitalize on the energy of the emergence phase to carry them to the next phase.
Here is the key to working with your business during the emergence phase. Start taking action on something! In order to progress on to the next phase and start making money, you need to apply this surplus of enthusiasm and energy that you’re feeling, toward linear action steps to move you forward.
Phase 2. Expansion
In the expansion phase you are starting to make some money but it is very inconsistent. You’ll see months where you’re making a couple hundred dollars, and you’ll see months where you’re making a couple thousand dollars. In general the range is $0-5000 a month, but can be a big swing from month to month. On a really good month you’re going to be making closer to that 5K, other months you won’t have much money come in. You might not be landing any new clients, and you don’t necessarily have any passive or recurring income coming in either, so it can be a really low number.
In the expansion phase you start taking action on your dream only to realize that a few to-do’s turn into more to-do’s, and things can get out of hand. Your business, your income, and your mindset feel unsteady and unpredictable. You will often ask yourself;
- Will it always be like this?
- Will it always be this inconsistent?
- Will it always be this unpredictable?
- Will I always feel this unsteady and this uncertain?
The answer is NO! It won’t always feel like that. You are just in the emergence phase, which is an important and necessary phase on your business journey. What is important to work on in this phase is to not let shiny objects distract you. For a lot of people it is really helpful to connect with other people in the same situation. It is really easy in the emergence phase to question yourself and your business, because it seems like there is no pattern to what is working yet. A group of other entrepreneurs can help you to see that this is a part of building a business.
In the emergence phase you are always wondering if something else would be more successful faster. So it’s really helpful when you are connected to people who can help you to remember that what you are going through in your business is a phase and you can work through it. When you associate with like-minded people who get-you and what you’re trying to build, they can remind you that business is tough sometimes, and give you the moral support that you need to get through this challenging phase.
Phase 3. Momentum
The ‘momentum’ phase is the dream for a lot of business owners. In the momentum phase you are making over 5K a month of reliable income. You have found your flow, your signature offer is selling well and your money, mood, and mindset are more stable.
In the momentum phase you are acting like the business owner and CEO that you are. You aren’t acting like a newbie anymore — you are investing back into your business with things like an assistant, and maybe advertising, or even a coach. You are ready to grow.
The only problem with the momentum phase is that people try to get there too soon. People start a new business and instantly they want to be in that place where they are making the money and doing all-the-things and they’re scaling and earning passive income.
You have to believe that the momentum phase is possible, but if you are in the first year of your business momentum isn’t the thing that you need to be reaching for. You have to get through all the stuff of the expansion phase and get your business really solid so that you can naturally uplevel into the momentum phase.
You Can’t Skip Ahead in Business
Starting a business is a very exciting time. There is so much potential, and so much to do! But you can’t just skip ahead to the end when you are starting a business from scratch. You have to put in the work until you progress to the more comfortable stage.
But even when you make it to the momentum phase, you can’t relax. You have to keep your business products competitive and continue to evolve your business or you can find yourself back down in the expansion phase again.
If you stick to a solid plan, and keep working on your business I believe you can achieve anything!