Guest Post: 7 Stages of Entrepreneurship

chart It was the scariest day of my life. I quit my full-time job with benefits to chase a dream. I was falling into the romance becoming an entrepreneur. I read all the entrepreneur magazines, knew my field in and out, knew my business plan better than I knew my mom, but still, inevitably, my journey did not go as planned. Sure, it worked out in the end. I’m working from the comfort of my living room, with a steady flow of cash and a service helping thousands of people, hopefully millions. But that did not come easily.

After talking to dozens of entrepreneurs about what they did, how they did it, and how they felt, I decided that, much like the 7 stages of grief, there are 7 stages of entrepreneurship.

1. Exhilaration

You’re on top of the world. Nothing can stop you. You’re your own boss, you make your own schedule, and you own your own success. This is the greatest feeling of all. Nothing is going to get in your way. Hopefully, this feeling lasts for awhile. Because, ultimately, next you’ll experience…

2. Fear

What the heck have you done? You had a stable job, benefits, was doing something you liked. But now you think you have to borrow instant payday loans to survive. Why didn’t you pursue something more stable? Lawyers, doctors, real estate agents seem to be doing just fine. You wish you were one.

3. Focus

Fear has been eye-opening, but more than that, it’s been motivating. Everything seems so much clearer now. You know what you have to do. You make a plan on how you’re going to get it done. You write out your revised plan, contact your revised contacts and proceed forward.

4. Doubt

Are you doing this right? My plan, by now, should have succeeded. Maybe you can’t do this. Maybe you weren’t cut out for this.

5. Reflection

This is the stage where it all turns around. You either sip tea or pound bourbon. You think of everything in a calm manner. You’re still not as successful yet as you thought you’d be, but it’s not upsetting. You’re pursuing your dream. You’re calm about it, and not over-confident anymore. Your mind is much clearer now. You know how to proceed.

6. No-sleep

Reflection was calming, and it helped sparked something. A bulb in your mind lit up, and you now know with 100% certainty what you’re supposed be doing. So you do it. You do whatever it takes. You pull all-nighters, or at least come close to it. You’re running around everywhere, either physically or in your mind.

7. Success

Finally, you made it. You can breathe, relax and look at what you’ve created. That is, until your next venture.