Before you started your business, you were probably trading your time for money. Now you don't have any time left to trade! This is not everyone's story, but most small business owners go through a period of time where it is their story, and they ask themselves the ultimate question, "Is it all worth it?"
I can tell you, as a fellow business owner, and someone who has built several companies from the ground up, lost some, and sold some, and am going through launching another startup as you read this, I know how you feel. Don't worry, it is always worth it, but stop putting your gratification to some future date, "When this happens, I will..." This will keep you unhappy and frustrated for way longer than you need to be. Why not let someone who knows the natural business cycle help you through it. Professional athletes have coaches, why not you? After all, you are a professional business owner.
Here is what I refer to as the "Natural" business cycle. This is what most business owners go through on their way up. If you see yourself somewhere on this timeline, and want a way to move through it faster, and with less stress, then you might want to work with me. Check it out:
Phase one - You have been trading your time for money all your life. You have heard that the only way to make a name for yourself is to start your own company. Maybe some of your clients encourage you in hopes that you will continue to work with them, and they may even land a significant discount for your already proven services. So you take the leap, and you go out on your own. Phase one complete.
Phase two - You are now a creator, you have created a new value adding business plan that will provide a service that will either increase your clients satisfaction, or reduce their pain. And you hope they are willing to pay for your service, product or gizmo. Phase two complete.
Phase three - You are now an explorer, you are adjusting and figuring out what is the right combination of ideas, products, and or services, and how much is your market willing to pay for them. Most business owners get stuck here, and eventually they run out of money and quit. Those who make it through, still have some work to do. Phase three complete.
Phase four - You are now a hunter, you are out for blood. You have found the right combination of products/services or both and you are on a mission to sell it to anyone you see. You are always on the prowl, wether in a social gathering, at a football game, or at the neighborhood barbecue. It doesn't matter, you are ready to deliver your elevator speech at a moments notice. You are constantly adding to your email list, your prospect list, and your database. You are serving more clients than ever before and you are on a mission to serve everyone. Engagement/enrollments are at an all time high, and you are delivering your product/service to more people than ever before. Phase four complete.
Phase five - Now, you are done with the grueling task of hunting and you are switching into promotion mode. You no longer hunt for single targets, but you look for large herds and collect them in a public meeting space to deliver your pitch in bulk. You promote your business on social media, through your following, and on stage. You may even have a podcast, a PR campaign, and if you did it right, a team of killer affiliates. Phase five is now complete.
Phase six - You are now officially the plumber. "The What?" You know, the plumber. You are now starting to delegate, finally, you realized that you don't have to do everything yourself. You have built a team around you that you trust, and you are taking full advantage of them, and they love it! Now you are working on automating as much of as you can of your business. You can now see the entire lifecycle of your clients, you can see what is needed when, and who needs to be where. This is where you can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope that this business will offer you the financial and time freedom you hoped it would when you started it. Now, you finally have a business. Until now, you were an employee of the company with your name on it. You are really starting to feel good about yourself. Phase six is now complete.
Phase seven - Welcome to your new business life, you are now the conductor. You show up and make sure the big decisions are being made every once in a while. You have a lot of business meetings that are on the golf course, the tennis court, or at the football game. You spend a lot of time with your family and at youth sporting events. The whole time the other parents are wondering what you do for a living that you have some much free time, and you are always on vacation with your family. Your business is now a finely tuned orchestra, and you only get up and lead it when it is game time. No need for you to show up to all the rehearsals anymore. Phase seven is now complete.
Phase eight - You are now the farmer. Before you say, "wait, this feels like a step backward" let me explain. The farmer has capital and plants it all over the place in other peoples ideas. You plant capital seeds in small businesses and ideas that you believe will succeed, and you watch it grow. Often times you are on an undisclosed island in the middle of nowhere when you get the notification that another one of your seeds has sprouted. Your money is now making you more money year over year than your finely tuned business is. Phase eight is now complete.
Phase nine - My favorite, and the last stage of your business. Now you have more money than you or your family can spend in a lifetime. You have created a legacy for your family and your name. You have watched your investment crop grow all over the world. Now you are ready to give back. You feel this internal drive to share what you know. You have learned how to succeed, you have succeeded and now you want to share your secret formula with the world. This is where you might write a book, start an online course, produce a TV show, or teach once a month at the local University in the business department. Then, you run into someone who absolutely is the spitting image of yourself when you were getting started on this journey, and you get him/her started. You hold their hand, become their mentor, and single handedly change their life for the better. Phase nine is now complete.
Get on my calendar as soon as you can, let's figure out where you are on this path, and help you get down it faster and with more confidence. You can do this, I know you can, and I can help.