Getting By — Stage 3 in the Entrepreneur’s Journey

6-Stages-Entrepreneur-Journey

 

Stage 3 of the Entrepreneur’s Journey is when we finally get to say “Whew, I’m so glad this worked!”

We’ve come a long way — we’ve likely pivoted a few times already.  Our strategy may have changed.  Our products and services may have changed.  We may have decided to temporarily or permanently back-burner some initial ideas.

We’re starting to see the benefits from our dedication, blood, sweat and tears.   Our day to day lives are getting a bit more predictable.

We Can Say to Ourselves “We Are Getting By”

Yes, our business is working!   We have customers.  We are paying our bills.  We are taking an income.  We are paying back our shareholder loan and business debt.  We are investing in our business and our own education and we are feeling relief and excitement because things aren’t quite as hard as they were in the beginning.

For me, this moment came in one big cheque.  After a rather rocky start with one of my vendors, I recommended them to a client.  This resulted in the sale of a very large, single purchase of an incentive program to an agency of record for a major automotive company.  It was a great sale because the cheque enabled me to pay off the second mortgage and all the credit cards.  It also enabled me to hire my first employee, which meant I was able to work more on my business than in my business.  It felt like the lid had been removed from the pressure cooker!

Getting By Puts Us At A Cross-Roads… Or In A Roundabout!

Roundabout_400We achieved what many other entrepreneurs didn’t.  We congratulate ourselves for making it this far.   We may even ask ourselves if we should maintain the status quo and keep our business at this stage or is we should continue on our Entrepreneur Journey?

For many entrepreneurs the answer is a resounding “no” we cannot stay here.  We must continue on the journey.

We know that we have a purpose, a vision, a higher purpose and passions which are far beyond this stage in the journey.   We know we have to keep going, keep scaling and leveraging what we’ve built so that we can leave our legacy and have a great and positive impact.  We’re on a mission and we’re not going to stop now!

For Many People, Getting By Is Enough  

Their end game was to get to the point where they could support themselves financially.  They are often — but not always — solopreneurs, coaches, consultants, outsourcers / freelancers, mom and pop shops, small town professionals or internet marketers.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with having this as your end game and being satisfied with the results, there is a risk.  The risk is that trends change, markets change, disruptors come out of seemingly nowhere and you end up back in the Sink or Swim stage unless you have a plan.

If you choose this option, you stay in the roundabout.  However, your plan needs to contemplate the fast changing expectations of the market, investors, employees, vendors, partners and your customers.  One misstep and you can find yourself trying to get out of the roundabout while everyone else is zooming past you (Chevy Chase driving in the roundabout in London in the movie European Vacation pops into my mind as I type this!)

I was at this cross-roads myself.  I had built a business which had more than replaced my employment income and which allowed me the flexibility to be with my girls when they needed me.  I was able to go to the parent tea and the concerts at their school.  I drove the children on field trips.  I was home to cook dinner, share stories and tuck them into bed each night.

I had created the perfect situation for me, in my multiple roles of wife, Mom, entrepreneur and military wife but I wasn’t finished yet.  I had more to do, more to give, more to accomplish.  I also wanted to have freedom and flexibility to live my ideal lifestyle.  To me, the answer to the question below was easy…

Do We Stay in the Roundabout or Do We Continue On Our Journey?

I knew I had to keep going…

As Enlightened Capitalists™ we’re at a great place when we reach this stage.  We’re able to continue on our journey through the next stages so that we can leave our legacy and live our higher purpose.  We have already positively impacted our family life and now we can and are starting to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Ripple-Graphic-8-01We’re not confined to a roundabout though.  Our ripples are starting to gather momentum.

However, to have the biggest impact, we need to stop trading our time for money.

We need to review our framework,  our Impactful Performance Measures, the accountability of employees, our product, service and experience line-up, the make-up of our customer list, where the market, economy, sentiment, competitors and expectations are heading and we need to ensure that our trusted advisors are capable of helping us get to the next stages.

Although the Entrepreneur’s Journey isn’t always stage 1 – 6 in chronological order (sometimes we slide back one or more stages), the desire to continue to have the most impact endures in those who are Enlightened Capitalists™.

We may stumble along the way (most likely we will).  We may have set-backs (we most likely will).  We will be faced with obstacles we hadn’t considered and we will still doubt ourselves from time to time.

However, with a strong framework, support system and trusted advisors we can beat the odds.

Our Role Is To Guide You On Your Journey

My personal purpose is that I’ve been Chosen to Reinvent Lives Globally.

The purpose and higher purpose of my brands is to Reinvent Business to Transform Lives.

My vision includes changing the dialogue about how business is conducted.  As the leader, I am passionate about bringing humanity back to business by tapping into the desires and potential of people so that they willingly support the purpose, vision, core values, strategy and goals of the business.  With engaged people profit increases and it’s that profit (or a percentage of it) which transforms lives.

I’m leading a movement to bring Enlightened Capitalist™ concepts to the mainstream.  Our planet, our economy, our communities and we, personally, need this to happen sooner rather than later.   Join us…

Continue Reading the Fourth Stage of the Entrepreneur’s Journey 

About the Author

Carol Wain is the founder and leader of many brands which help leaders to create more profitable businesses that transform lives and positively impact our planet. She is an author, speaker, trusted advisor and mentor who won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.

Carol is passionate about reinventing business to become a force for good — positive businesses which respect, appreciate, encourage and support the right employees who voluntarily use their discretionary effort to bring the vision, purpose, platform, personality, passion and core values to life; businesses which create useful, meaningful and valuable products, services and experiences which improve the lives of people; and businesses which support communities, take a stand and have a higher purpose.

For more information visit CarolWain.com, EnlightenedCapitalist.org, and WorldIncentiveNetwork.com