In my opinion, becoming a fully fledged entrepreneur means going through a number of stages – four to be exact. Trust me, no one suddenly emerges as a great business person, that’s a status which must be earned. The four stages of entrepreneurship a person confronts helps achieve the level of a “complete entrepreneur”. Identifying which stage you are at will enable you to supercharge getting to the next level.
Stage one – the start-up entrepreneur
Typically the start-up entrepreneur will be brimming with new ideas. He or she reads something and thinks, “this is the greatest idea!”. The next day they comes across something different, then abandons the first idea without a second thought and begins to pursue the next idea…then the next, then the next…
The beginner entrepreneur constantly searches for gold, carving up the “opportunity landscape” with a bunch of small holes. No hole is very deep because there’s not much thought behind it. So no gold, they’re off to the next opportunity to dig. Before you know it, the entire field is littered with abandoned holes. Chances are, there was gold in some of those holes, but the start-up became quickly distracted by the next exciting possibility.
You are the biggest (and most likely, only!) leverage point at this stage – so it’s all up to you to find and focus on something that works. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad to think about a lot of different methods. In fact, one of the well known internet marketers, Jeff Johnson, says you should throw as much against the wall as possible to see what sticks. However, once you found what sticks, stop and work on that solidly…then move into the second stage of entrepreneurship.
Stage two – the proven entrepreneur
At stage two, the entrepreneur has found one or two ideas to work hard at. He or she finds something which they believes will bring success.At this stage it’s important to gather proof of your product or service’s worth. Gather testimonials from people who have engaged your services or used your product – and show the world how others think it improves their lives significantly. Also document studies and include as many examples as possible to add to the value of the product you’re offering.
Stage three – the systematic entrepreneur
This is a pretty decent jump; it’s not easy to move from stage two to stage three. This is because in the first two levels of entrepreneurship you had to do everything – the weight of the entire operation rested on your shoulders. But in stage three, you need to work at building a business which operates without you. The very skills which got you through the first two stages are not the skills you need to successfully conquer stage three.
In this stage, you want to start to systematize your processes so your employees take up the bulk of the work. That way you don’t need to continually roll up your sleeves and be involved in everything. What you do need is clear systems which your assistants can implement – with or without your direct input. Let your team come in behind you to take over the reigns – and be sure to place your confidence in them. The biggest lesson here…you have got to learn to let go in order to grow.
Level four – the complete entrepreneur
The complete entrepreneur sees business as a series of sub-systems all operating like clock-work. At this stage, you’re able to spot business opportunities (because you have the time, thanks to stage 3!) and can sell those ideas to other people. A complete entrepreneur is able to acquire a business, spot the inefficiencies and install the appropriate systems -then the business can then be on-sold at a profit.
Becoming the complete entrepreneur
These are the four stages of entrepreneurship. So what stage are you at? Do you know what you need to do to move to the next? Remember, shifting through these four stages requires time and effort. However, meeting the challenges of each of these stages is invigorating, even exciting, and the rewards are great. Trust me, it’ll be well worth all the time and effort you give. Did you want the chance to chat about how you can achieve the next level for your own business? If so, make sure to contact me for a consulting or coaching session. My slots are often booked up, so make sure to reach out today! Click here.