The 4 Most Difficult Stages of Becoming an Entrepreneur
First, every commitment you make toward your future feels like a sacrifice...
As you go through the process of starting your own business and training yourself to adapt to the new (often intimidating) commitments you've signed yourself up for, it's important to be aware of the mental journey you're going to be traveling along, in addition to the physical one of making your company come to life.
There will be ups and there will most certainly be downs along the way. If you're careful to learn from your mistakes and minimize the negative outcomes as much as possible, you'll stand a very real chance for succeeding in business.
Making the definitive decision to start your own business and create the lifestyle you want to live, is worth any amount of hard work; mental and physical.
In my experience starting businesses, these are the 4 most difficult mental stages of the arduous journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Stage #1: The Sacrifice.
This is by far the most mentally trying stage of the journey. At first, everything you do (and achieve) will feel like an immense sacrifice. When your friends are all hanging out together on a Friday night, you're at home working on your app, doing freelance work, or putting the finishing touches on your prototypes.
You're likely to frequently question yourself, doubt the work you're doing, and seek outside approval to help you justify all of the time and hard work you're putting into your fledgling business.
However, the reality is, you only have a limited amount of time outside of the hours you already commit to your day job, so if you want to become successful with your new business, there's no other choice than to utilize the time you do have.
Stage #2: The Grind.
Now that you've become comfortable with the discomfort that is starting a business, learning new skills, and sharing your ideas with the world, you start to get into a rhythm. You'll move into a routine that helps you maximize your productivity, so that you're spending as much time as possible on your new business.
During this stage, you'll start picking up momentum and experiencing bigger wins with more frequency than when you were just getting started. You've eliminated the regular feelings of self-doubt, and can focus on growing your business idea into a valuable solution for your customers.
Stage #3: The Life.
Your new business is generating revenue. You know who your customers are and how to reach them. You've attained a good amount of traction and you're extremely confident in your ability to serve those customers better than your competitors can.
If you've been launching this business while keeping your day job, this is likely the phase in which you'll finally meet your minimum income criteria for quitting your day job to focus on growing the business full-time. It's exhilarating to be working on your passion project with all of your time & energy.
Stage #4: The Freedom.
After all of your hard work, you have a lot to be proud of. The journey by no means gets easy once you've started to "make it" in the world of business, and your ambition is likely to fuel your adventure into new areas of business.
However, once your business has achieved product/market fit, you're able to scale your operations much more quickly now that you have the time, energy, and mental clarity to focus on your longterm vision.
You're able to step away from the business at times and trust the systems and people you've put in place to help keep things on track, while you enjoy the lifestyle benefits of running your own business.
True entrepreneurs never stop challenging themselves, pushing the boundaries, and operating with discomfort. It's how we grow.