When you take a step back and look at entrepreneurship, it becomes apparent that there is no single formula or process for success. In fact, if you try to follow another individual’s game plan, you’ll quickly discover that what works for them likely doesn’t work for you. That’s just the nature of entrepreneurship.
However, in the midst of your own unique process, you can find comfort in the fact that all successful entrepreneurs share similar experiences.
If we look at the launch of a first business like the birth of a newborn, the next phase involves the baby growing into a child, teenager, and ultimately, an adult. Depending on how successful your business is, this growth phase could take one year, five years, or multiple decades. As Bill Carmody (Founder and CEO, Trepoint) says, “Survival is the name of the game at this stage.” While this is certainly true early on, there comes a point where growing also involves a healthy amount of adventure and confidence.
You’ll experience a wide array of emotions during this phase, so be prepared for anything. As you may also be stopped in your tracks in the face of challenges posed by regulations, advances in technology or the overall economy. But a successful entrepreneur is someone who, regardless of the challenge, keeps moving though not always forward.
In this article we will discuss about the growing stage after business launch – and I deemed it to budge in three phases.
Moving on: While many entrepreneurs are happy building a single business and operating it until they retire, other entrepreneurs enjoy the thrill of ideation and growth. These serial entrepreneurs eventually reach a stage where they move on. This comes in the form of selling the business.
Selling your first business can be very emotional, stressful, and scary. It’s like sending a child off to college for the first time. You know that child is still going to be there — and you can visit any time you’d like — but you’re relinquishing control and parting ways.
While this is the ideal scenario, it’s also possible that your business might fail. In this case, you’re forced to move on and don’t have the luxury of a large check to fall back on. This is much more stressful, but requires similar strength to move on.
Losing your business is painful, but it isn’t the end of the world. Give yourself the time and space to grieve your failure but don’t forget that there is still a lot of fight left in you. Bounce back because the world moves on and so must you.
Starting fresh: This entrepreneurial stage may seem familiar in many respects — and that’s because it is. Whether your previous business flopped or you sold it to an investor, now comes the time where you start fresh.
While this will resemble the launch phase you experienced years ago, it will also come with a fresh perspective. You’ve now been on both sides of the business world — working for the man and being the man — and have a better idea of what you’re doing.
When starting fresh, the key is to leverage past experiences while avoiding the mistakes that tripped you up. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, your second, third, or fourth business idea will actually be much more successful than the first.
Mentoring others: Late in your career — once you’ve experienced financial success — you’ll realize that there’s more to entrepreneurship than simply growing a business and making money. You’ll come to the conclusion that helping others achieve their dreams is equally powerful (and, let’s be honest, it can be lucrative in its own right).
At this stage, you’ll begin mentoring others and helping those around you to achieve the skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs themselves. This may look like one-on-one mentoring, speaking, writing books, or even teaching classes. It’ll look different for everyone.
In fact there is no standard formula for what life looks like as an entrepreneur, it’s clear that many enjoy the same experiences and similar paths.
If you’re in the game long enough, it’s quite likely that you’ll go through each of the above entrepreneurial phases at one point or another.
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