Jun 10, 2022 | Your Business

Catherine A. Wood

The Startup Phase of Business

Have you ever heard the saying that a goal without a plan is just a wish?

It’s a very apt concept, yet I find that many folks newly in business for themselves are often scared to make decisive plans around their goals because of the perceived meaning they attach to their results or lack thereof.

I don’t want to declare by when I’ll reach multiple six-figures because what if I don’t make it…
I’m scared to reinvent my work schedule into my ideal schedule because of how impossible it feels…
I’m not ready to declare by when I’ll be fully self-employed because I’m just so far from that…

On a call this week, my mentor was speaking about the arc of doing business. The practices and business generation activities I immersed myself in during the initial phase of starting my business are vastly different from the practices I am focusing now on after 8 years in business.

I can’t imagine working 12-hour days at this point just like I can’t imagine asking every person I speak with who they know that I should connect with.

It certainly made a big difference for me back in 2014, but I am in a much different stage of my business at this point.

One thing I notice is that we often resist the phase of business we are in, because we want to be somewhere other than where we are right now.

Don’t think for a second this only applies to business owners who are just starting out. While these fears I’ve mentioned above are common ones of those just starting out in business, there are unique ones at each level along the business arc.

I have had many a conversation with well-established business owners who are doing the same thing, mismanaging their time or still controlling the crap out of every aspect of their business versus hiring a team and offloading their day-to-day operations so they can step into their creative zone of genius.

The arc of doing business requires us to master our own unique levels of resistance at each level of business.

While there are many levels along the business arc, there are three principal phases that I’ve noticed.

For this week, here’s what the Startup Phase of business looks like for many:

Phase 1

This is you if you are still ideating about your business idea, in the first or 2nd year of business, or have yet to generate stable recurring revenue. You are working on leaning into the edge of your comfort zone and learning to get more comfortable with risk taking and discovering that you literally won’t die from doing something you’re currently afraid of.

You’re also potentially hot and cold in business, whereas you’re often on fire and working around the clock on your passion project… until you’re burning the candle at both ends and find yourself in a wellbeing breakdown.

A couple reflection questions to ask yourself are:

– What is the next action to take?
– What if I didn’t have to do this all alone?
– How can I take care of myself now so that I don’t pay for it later?

Hit reply and let me know if this relates! Or if you already feel like you know all about the other phases of business, I’d love to hear all about your business arc.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post on the startup phase of business, catch phase 2 and 3 over the next couple of weeks. If you’re looking to uplevel your mindset for success, reach out to schedule a complimentary session with one of our executive coaches or learn more about our upcoming UNBOUNDED Mastermind below.




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Catherine is a Master Certified Coach and bestselling author of Belonging: Overcome Your Inner Critic and Reclaim Your Joy.

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