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9 Stages Every Successful Entrepreneur Goes Through [Small Business Trends]

Entrepreneurship — like life — is broken down into stages. And while some people experience more hardship than others, the truth of the matter is that every successful entrepreneur goes through a variation of the following stages. For those just starting out, it can be helpful to peek ahead for context, while those established in their careers may enjoy reviewing where they’ve been and where they’re going.

Let’s check out the nine entrepreneurial stages (virtually) all entrepreneurs go through at one point or another.

  1. Working for “The Man” – Every now and then you’ll hear about child entrepreneurs and college dropouts who build million-dollar businesses, but these are exceptions to the rule. In 99 percent of situations, entrepreneurs start their careers working for someone else before launching their own businesses.
  2. Developing a Skill Set – As you work for other companies and begin climbing the corporate latter – or at least earning the occasional promotion – you’ll begin to specialize…Aside from sounding much more important, new titles like these indicate that you’re narrowing your focus and becoming really good at one thing. While it may seem like it’s better to have a broad knowledge of a lot of different things, the reality is that entrepreneurs should strive to become really good at one thing.
  3. Recognizing a Need – As you begin to specialize and really take control of a single aspect of your job, you’ll likely enter an entrepreneurial stage where you recognize a need or pain point in your industry.
  4. Pivoting – When you recognize a need, pain point, solution, or idea, you find yourself at a curious fork in the road. You can either continue moving along the path you’re on and earn comfortable promotions, or you can branch out and start your own business using the skills you’ve acquired. This is known as the pivot stage.
  5. Launching
  6. Growing – If you look at the launch of your first business like the birth of a newborn, the next stage involves the baby growing into a child, teenager, and ultimately, an adult. Depending on how successful your business is, this growth stage could take one year, five years, or multiple decades.
  7. Moving On – While many entrepreneurs are happy building a single business and operating it until they retire, other entrepreneurs enjoy the thrill of ideation and growth. These serial entrepreneurs eventually reach a stage where they move on. This comes in the form of selling the business.
  8. Starting Fresh – This entrepreneurial stage may seem familiar in many respects — and that’s because it is. Whether your previous business flopped or your sold it to an investor, now comes the time where you start fresh.
  9. Mentoring Others – Late in your career — once you’ve experienced financial success — you’ll realize that there’s more to entrepreneurship than simply growing a business and making money. You’ll come to the conclusion that helping others achieve their dreams is equally powerful (and, let’s be honest, it can be lucrative in its own right).

Curated from 9 Stages Every Successful Entrepreneur Goes Through [Small Business Trends]

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Startup Founders: Hold Onto Your Innocence [Huffington Post] – Recently I’ve been thinking about startups on their journey from idea to funding to hopefully scale. And how all the buzzwords, rituals, and competition (or perceived competition among startups as a sector) all contribute to the loss of innocence for any startup.

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