I know I said it before, but I was all over the place when I started my company. $1K days and 5,000 followers? In theory, that sounded awesome. But in practice, it just led to more stress and frustration. I began to realize that I was following others that were in a different place in their business, and copying what they were doing was helping me but hurting me.
The allure of doing things fast and having them done yesterday is strong. We all want to make a full-time income in 30 days or less. There are a lot of great training and programs around how to get to where you want to be, but the problem I have found is that we want to start there; we don’t consider what we need to focus on in the beginning and end up spending a lot of time spinning our wheels.
It was only after I began to focus on one thing, where I was at in my business, did things start to click.
Where you are matters.
The place you are gives you a place to start and a direction to grow in. This is a more positive way to look at your business. While some people may thrive having it all now, I know that isn’t sustainable and can burn you out in the long run.
Start at the beginning.
Think of your business as a good book. You wouldn’t open it up in the middle and skip to the end. If you did that, you wouldn’t understand the story or the characters or enjoy it. For some reason, we think it’s okay for our business to hop around all over the place. You may have a plan, but the road you are taking won’t necessarily get you there.
So, my advice, start at the beginning. I have put together a Stages comparison chart that you can download here. With this chart, you can see where you are and what you need to accomplish to get to the next stage.
The Startup Stage encompasses business levels 0-1. This is where you build a solid foundation for your business and establish how you will grow to level 1. Level 1 is all about growing your list. We often start with Social Media Marketing and Ads, but growing your list gives you a couple of things…
- A list of prospects that you own and are happy to hear from you
- Validation that your business idea is something people want
The Growth Stage, levels 2-3, is about earning money and launching your product and service. We often start here, but it’s important not to skip the first stage. You can get to this point quickly if you fine-tune your message and spend time identifying your audience.
The Scale Stage, levels 4-5, is the stage we hear more experts talk about the most. As online business owners, we gravitate towards what is working well for someone else. It’s smart, but the snag here is that we may be trying to implement a strategy that we are not quite ready for.
So why are the stages and paths important? These things help us see where we are at and what we need to do to get to the next level. It is a map to build and grow your business.
Where do I go from here?
It’s ok if you have met some milestones and not others. Start at your lowest point and build up from there. For example, you already have already earned $1,000 or more in your business, but you have less than 100 people on your list. This was me. I had so much referral business that I didn’t need a list. What I found, though, is that once I wanted to expand my services, I hadn’t cultivated my audience. If this is you, then start growing your list. The Milestones are just checkpoints, and the levels give you a place to grow.
Stages are just a guideline, but they can also explain why you feel like you are spinning your wheels if you are a Level 1 business (no shame… just a marker) and are working on automated selling. There is personal growth and audience understanding that happens when you move through the stages.
I hope this makes sense! It was helpful to me when I was spinning my wheels; I got the traction that I needed to move to the next level. Plus, I know what I need to do to continue growing my business.