By year 3 – you’re coming up for air – you no longer feel like you’re drowning, but rather like you’re swimming in an ocean of possibilities. At this point, you’ve likely reached product/market fit, where your audience is positively responding to your product or service, and you’re feeling confident to scale.
Typically in this phase, you are gaining momentum – customers are coming to you, opportunities are landing in your Inbox, and you’re no longer focusing on the day to day, or month to month, and start imagining and planning in years. You’re in control, making bold moves, and watching your future unfold.
Actively manage your energy – You got into entrepreneurship so you could leave your 9-5, so don’t feel like you have to work 9-5! Understand when you are most productive and design your schedule around that – complete your critical tasks when you are at your peak performance, and your admin at the times you’re feeling less energized. Notice any energy drains (could be tasks, people, or places) and take action to remove these from your days.
Work ON, rather than IN your business – a good rule of thumb by this phase is that as a Founder, you shouldn’t do anything that someone else in your organization can do. Invest in training your team and empower them to lead in their own areas (we know, so much easier said than done to relinquish that control!). But by this point, your time is best spent thinking, strategizing, and predicting the future world your business will be operating in and elevating yourself out of the day to day tasks.
Step up to CEO – your business will only grow as fast as you do, and so now is the time to evolve from entrepreneur to CEO – to become the leader your business needs you to be. CEO’s stop doing ‘all the things’ and focus on how to deliver value, learning to delegate, and empowering their teams to drive their shared vision.
Know, trust & never devalue your worth – By this stage, you will have a track record for your business, with customers who value and have bought your products or services. What’s important here is to embrace this value – own the incredible transformation that both your idea and YOU have been through.
Channel this into the confidence of the value not just of your business, but of your own self-worth, and never compromise on this.
By this point, you will have customers and collaborators approaching you, and the luxury of choice – to choose the projects you want, the clients you like to work with and to say ‘NO’ to anyone who does not fully understand your worth.
And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. – Mark Anthony