I don’t know about you, but one of my big fears in business is say losing it all and having to go back to bloody work in the Corporate Life. In a way (to a point), I think it’s a very good fear to have in that it keeps us honest and really focused on the ball.
For this article, I would like to dedicate it to my Client / Supplier turned friend over time Phillip Raish from Wild FX. He used to be a guy with a Small Printshop and now he is a guy with a bigger Promotional, Signage and Printing Company! He is hiring more staff and is a great example of what is possible.
When I was working with him today, I was reflecting back to our older times. We started business roughly about the same time ago (3 – 4 years) and now our hard work has paid off and we are enjoying our lives and out of “Survival Stage”. We are both dealing with the positive challenges of up-scaling (which is another discussion for another time) and reflecting on the past.
One thing I remember seeing well expressed in one of the 4Networking Manuals (4Networking is this business community we are all part of) is the 4 phases of business growth. I am running off my rusty memory of 8+ months and my own interpretation of each so here goes:
– Survival: Making it month to month in one piece.
– Acceptance: Knowing you don’t have to go back to work and getting used to the new life.
– Growing & Contributing: Achieving your business goals and helping others.
– Actualization: Making it and satisfaction from your achievements!
I think I am in between Acceptance and Growing stage right now as per my friend Phillip. In our reflection on past times in having no money, not being able to afford what we want, upset family members and stress all around – I thought back on the Survival stage and how horrible it was for me, Phillip and many people I work with.
In particular the emotions suck and for me involved:
– Feeling completely worthless.
– Being fearful at the Supermarket before swiping my card for food.
– Having a partner (understandably) upset with me all the time.
– Waking up in the middle of the night in near terror.
– Addictions (in my case food), running rampant!
I don’t want to ever do this again and the thing that I gain from this experience on Survival and what I would say to people doing it like I did includes:
– Work hard but go easy on yourself.
– Watch your addictions, and
– Accept that it’s extremely hard but each day it get’s slightly easier!
To me that’s it, start-up sucks but each day it gets a bit easier! And of course, the challenge although is hard, it is so damn rewarding and fulfilling!
So if survival is your challenge, you aren’t alone! Whether we have met or not, I just wanted to say I feel for you and hang in there! Work hard, but don’t be hard on yourself! Thanks for reading this and very appreciated!