Inspired by Randy Gerber’s first book, The Integrated Entrepreneur: Achieving Happiness in Relationships, Business & Life, we are highlighting the five stages of business success first-generation entrepreneurs go through, with a blog series designed to help you thrive in all your business adventures.
In this fifth part of the series, we highlight the final stage of business success: the Sustainable Stage.
What is the Sustainable Stage?
Can you believe you did it?
Navigating the five steps of business success is tough, and few businesses manage to do it, but transitioning from the Acceleration Stage to the Sustainable Stage gives you the sense that you’ve finally made it. The success you’ve envisioned is becoming a reality and you are reaping the financial rewards of your hard work.
However, the business is never completely foolproof, so it’s important that you do not let your new-found confidence turn into arrogance or complacency. Entrepreneurs need to keep the same intensity and focus that has gotten them this far, simply channeling the passion differently.
What can I expect in the Sustainable Stage?
Now is the time to lay a foundation for permanence and longevity, put evergreen solutions in place, and make plans for a sustained and profitable business.
In order for a business to grow and continue to succeed, entrepreneurs in this final stage must transition from employer owner to investor owner. You must serve as bonafide leaders or visionaries in your business, no longer in the trenches performing the day-to-day responsibilities. Most importantly, entrepreneurs in this stage must think about the business from three important lenses:
- Improving shareholder value
- Improving the employee-employer relationship
- Improving the customer experience.
Focusing on these three things will help keep your business thriving for years to come.
How can I continue to succeed as a leader?
The irony of going through these five stages of business success is that you are never really done. Entrepreneurs experience some or all of the stages again and again as their business grows and changes. But each time will be a bit easier, because you’ve been there before.
Additionally, many entrepreneurs realize that while their business is successful, they’ve failed to prioritize the most important things in life, such as family and friends. Opportunities may have been missed along the way, and attention and energy has been focused on the business instead of making it home for dinner with the family, watching the kids’ sporting events and maintaining lifelong friends.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember it’s never too late to start new habits and redefine priorities. It will require deliberate action and resetting priorities, but it can be done.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to redefine your priorities and deal with failure during these five stages, I invite you to pre-order my book, The Integrated Entrepreneur. In it, I give examples of how successful entrepreneurs thrive. I also share some of my own personal trials, and how I have found a way to integrate all the facets of my life.
To all the entrepreneurs out there, no matter what stage, congratulations. You’re doing what many are afraid to do, and the lessons you learn along the way will be irreplaceable. Don’t give up!