the spiral of businesses

The Business Spiral, part 1

Progress in your business isn’t linear.

It’s a spiral, in which the same challenges and motifs and yippee-skippy moments and frustrations tend to reappear, each time at a higher and more sophisticated level.

If you think of progress as linear, you tend to feel pissed off, stressed and inadequate when déjà vu shows up. But… but… I did this already! It should be solved! Did I not do it right?

When you think of progress as spiral, that goes away. It’s more, Oh look, here’s this again. I’ve stayed in the game long enough to be back here again. Neat.

The second one is a much nicer feeling. (You’re doing it right, remember.)

But what does the spiral look like? Here’s my theory.

Care of the lovely Ashley, here is it in graphic form.

the spiral of businesses

These are the major stages every business (and business owner!) goes through over and over again. Let’s get acquainted with the first two.

The Foundations Stage

Welcome to Uncertaintyville, population you. This is the stage where the business is invented (and reinvented), where the foundations are set and the great question “So, what’s your business about?” is answered. This stage is both exciting and overwhelming, with the Curse of Potential biting at your toes.

Here you decide on the shape of your Why, What, Who and How. These answers always morph over time, but the essence is decided here.

What this stage is marked by:

  • Frustration
  • High levels of uncertainty
  • Continual change as you refine your ideas
  • Indecisiveness
  • Alternating waves of manic joy and crippling despair

Challenges to manage while you’re going through this stage:

  • Not settling too soon
  • Dancing with uncertainty
  • Bringing your ideas into cohesion
  • How to edit instead of mutilate
  • Not driving everyone you love insane

Opportunities to exploit while you’re in this stage:

  • Anything is possible!
  • No, seriously, anything!
  • Integrating ideas in new and amazing ways
  • Creating the thing you want to exist
  • Stepping up into beautiful authority
  • Madly experimenting

Resources to help you through this stage

I’m collecting resources to help you choose the right foundations, and build them strong. Many of the resources are mine, because this has been my thang for quite awhile.

The Planning Stage

Once you’ve built the foundations, and can accurately describe your Why, What, Who and How, then it’s time to figure out the specifics of your business. (To Facebook or not to Facebook, that is the question.) This stage is much calmer, with most of the parameters laid out, but you can still go completely bonkers here.

What this stage is marked by:

  • Too many ideas
  • Mental vapourlock
  • Explaining to the dog
  • Sheet after sheet of notes and mindmaps
  • Violent iteration

Challenges to manage while you’re going through this stage:

  • Opportunity overwhelm
  • Envy and comparisons
  • The urge to tone it down
  • Obsessively filling the toolbox
  • Self-sabotage
  • Analysis paralysis

Opportunities to exploit while you’re in this stage:

  • Breaking the “rules”
  • Synthesising information into your own solution
  • The beginner’s mind
  • Blazing your own trail
  • Connecting through energy and enthusiasm

Resources to help you through this stage

I’m collecting resources to help you create an amazing business and marketing plan. The list as I’m writing is small but kick-ass, and it will keep growing as I find and check over more amazingpants possibilities.

That’s enough to chew on for now, I think!

We’ll come back next time and keep exploring the spiral. (Part 2 can be found hyah.)

In the meantime, there are so many things I want to tell you! But I shall be ruthless. (Sorry, Ruth.)

I’ve opened admissions early for my absolutely favouritest course, The Pilot Light. If you’re in the Foundations/Planning Stages, this course will help you build the most soul-nourishing, flow-tastic and profitable business that you could dare to dream about.

There’s only 12 spots available. If you’re ready to create a truly blazing business, then go have a look and maybe apply. (The application isn’t tricky, although you do have to tell me a joke.)

Rock on,

P.S. If you’re interested in all the new changes, you can learn more about them here.

3 thoughts on “The Business Spiral, part 1

  1. Catherine,

    I think in the 4th paragraph you meant to say “as a spiral”.

    And yes. Deja vu does not need to be all arghh (&#)#^

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