Once again bear in mind that entrepreneurship is a process not an event. You don’t just arrive – you evolve.
Also please note that this series on entrepreneurship deals specifically with the start-up phase. I would be surprised if the best entrepreneurs experienced this phase any differently. I would suspect that only the time that they spent in this phase may differ.
So here is a virtual certainty.
You will experience the initial phase of your business as being willing to do anything for anybody at any price. Know this! It’s part of the process.
I call this the whoring stage.
Grubby as it sounds the description is most appropriate – you will sell yourself to anybody at any price under any conditions just to prove that your business is working.
And don’t hate yourself for it – it’s part of the process.
Hopefully it does not last long. But its duration is entirely in your hands. Because once you find that comfort spot where your business begins to fit you like a snug piece of clothing, things will undergo a dramatic change.
This is referred as ‘reaching critical mass’.
But do not be disappointed if the critical mass element becomes more and more elusive. Sometimes it’s like a slippery bean – just when you think you have it, it pops away, leaving you bewildered and confused.
Critical mass is that stage when your business catches fire and burns on it’s own. In the service industry this might look like a full diary and a persistently ringing phone. In other businesses it might be reaching maximum production capabilities or break-even.
But there is one thing about this – you will know when you’ve hit it.
You will begin to feel comfortable to be in your business and you will feel more in charge of your destiny.
It is subtle but profound.
How long can expect to be in the whoring stage?
It could be as long as 3 years.
Prepare for this and you will remain strong.