The Phases of Business
One of my FAVORITE things about this time of year is that it’s my peak time for coaching. I get to see and teach my fellow studio owners throughout the next few weeks, over 9 days of live events for More Than Just Great Dancing® plus a 12-day speaking tour. The busy travel season is upon me—and I love every minute of it!
No matter where I speak, where I travel, or who I meet, the challenges of growing a business are ALL familiar. Entrepreneurs have so much in common, no matter what type of business we’re in. And something I’ve learned through my own experiences is that building (or buying) a business is a LOT like deciding to have and raise a child.
Whether or not you are a parent to a human child, everyone can relate to the phases we go through in life. And the way a business evolves easily parallels those stages of growth.
Like in the early years, the business is an INFANT. Even if your business was established when you attained it, it will still be an infant to YOU. And infants require constant care and always-on attention. They cry a lot, they need to be fed all the time, they’re often up at night, they wet and poo themselves … and so do new businesses.
It’s physically exhausting.
Then, a business might grow and become like a CHILD. It enters the years of seemingly-endless busy-ness. There’s lots of exploration, curiosity, and trial-and-error. For the entrepreneur, this starts to look like more to-dos, more emails, more clients, more taxes … more everything except time in the day.
It’s mentally exhausting.
A business that continues to grow enters its TEEN years next. It begins to operate more independently, allowing the business owner to experience more freedom with their time. But it also tests boundaries and sometimes makes mistakes. If you’re not careful and you let it run wild, it will run YOU instead.
It’s emotionally exhausting.
Businesses that continue to thrive beyond the teen years then become more like an ADULT. And like grown children, they begin to function more freely, only needing your guidance from the side. As the owner, you start to look at redesigning what your role in the business looks like.
Owning a business, much like parenting, is a HUGE commitment. It is an investment of everything you have to offer of yourself … time, money, energy, love. And like parenting, there are JOYS and TRIALS at every stage. There are peaks to stand on and cheer, valleys to climb out of, and silver linings to see no matter what view you have.
The goal is to keep moving through each phase, to keep building and growing and reaching so that one day you can look back and be proud of what you built and raised.
Whether your entrepreneurial journey has just been born or is standing on its own two feet, I hope you feel encouraged that each season is a worthwhile experience—an adventure to be had as you establish your legacy in this world.
And if we get to see each other on the road soon, I hope you’ll share with me which phase YOUR business is in now, and what you are learning along the way! <3