Just like a kid, your business will grow and change over time. What stage is your “baby” in? Is it a Squalling Infant, an Unruly Toddler, a Little Leaguer, a Surly Teen? Or perhaps you are one of the lucky few with a Mature Adult? Any of this sound familiar?
- Squalling Infant – Your business is brand new and exciting but sometimes you wonder what you got yourself into. It’s keeping you up at night. You’re not sure how to interpret the things that happen around you or how to overcome obstacles. How can you get all this work done and still get a shower today?
- Unruly Toddler – This is a fun and exciting stage but the waters are treacherous. Dangers abound. And it’s a loud stage – there are times your business will be screaming for attention while you’re trying to get the housework done. You’ll need to learn to manage your time to accomplish the little tasks while still spending quality time with your kid.
- Little Leaguer – These are the learning years. Your business will grow and develop in so many ways! Yet sometimes, you’ll clearly be expecting performance that’s beyond what your business can do. How do you bring in the expertise you need? How do you recognize and use the skills and talents that are already there?
- Surly Teen – These can be trying years. Puberty is a confusing time characterized by inconsistency, erratic behavior, and struggle to establish an identity. The business just may not know what it is from day to day! This is a time to assess – and decide what you want to be when you grow up.
- Mature Adult – Congratulations! Your business is stable and profitable. You’re able to take time off because you have a team of high-caliber employees supporting you. You have a clear exit strategy in place and understand its timeline. Just make sure your “mature adult” doesn’t move back in – you don’t want to revert to the teen years!
Like raising a family, running a business can bring you both unbridled joy and absolute agony, depending on the day. The key is to think long-term, and focus on those things that take you closer to where you want your “child” to be.
Comment on the stage your business is in, or send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them I’ll feature your business.