The 4 Stages of Success – Part 3

Reaching Stage 3 in your business is a HUGE milestone, because you can finally let go of everything else you’re doing to make ends meet and focus fully on growing your business. That’s a pretty cool position to be in, right?  Well, hold up – we’re not quite there yet.

It’s great when you’re making some money with your business because it proves that you can make money with it, but no matter how excited you are about your business, working long hours and doing extra jobs just to scrape by gets old after a while.

Paperwork Blues

In our Success Stage 2 article we talked about how you know your business is in Stage 2  because you’re making just about half the money you need – definitely not enough to run out and ‘quit your day job’.   So let’s take a look at what Stage 3 looks like.

How Do I Know if My Business is in Stage 3?

Here are some of the – shall we say ‘symptoms’ – of a Stage 3 business:

  • You’re (finally) making barely enough money to pay bills and eat
  • You feel like you’re working all the time
  • You feel like you’re losing business to others in your field
  • You’re worried that people can’t afford your services / products
  • You’re overwhelmed with everything that has to be done
  • You’re frustrated with your marketing efforts
  • You’re stressed – verging on burnout
  • You can’t afford a vacation, a new car, or even any pampering services to help you chill out
  • You feel stuck – it’s the ‘glass ceiling’ syndrome

The interesting thing about Stage 3 is that it proves your business can work because it’s providing almost enough money for everything you need.  The frustrating thing about Stage 2 is that it proves your business can work because it’s providing almost enough money for everything you need.

It’s like a catch 22 – every time you think you’ve broken your financial ‘sound barrier,’ something else happens that leaves you feeling like you’re hanging on a ledge by your fingernails (again!).


Frustrated business owner

If your business is “stuck” in Stage 3 you may be having one or more of these reactions:

  •  You’re afraid of what’s going to happen when you can’t work any more – how are you going to ‘retire’?
  • You’re thinking that maybe it might be easier to get a full-time job with ‘benefits’.
  • You’re feeling despondent and are at real risk of burning out and/or getting sick.

So what do we do?  How do we get out of this ‘stuck in Stage 3’ syndrome.  On thing’s for sure: It’s too late to quit now – you just have too much time, effort and energy invested.  Somehow you HAVE to move your business out of Stage 3 and into the holy grail of the business world – Success Stage 4.

Success Stage 4 is where you’re always earning more than you need to spend, your savings accounts are growing steadily, and you’re able to live your ideal lifestyle – complete with all the things you’ve been dreaming of for so long.

Here’s one of our Success Memos that applies to Stage 3 businesses:

“So what’s the biggest secret to getting unstuck? Realizing that if you’re struggling to get to the next stage in your business you haven’t fully completed the steps in the PREVIOUS stage.”

Okay – so let’s look at some strategies for how you can make this final quantum leap in your business.

  • Beef up your ‘expert status’ by speaking and/or doing workshops around your topic of expertise
  • Analyze what specific actions have been instrumental in getting you this far.
  • Do more of those actions.  The more you focus on what works and do just those actions, the faster you’ll be on the home stretch.
  • Let go of things you’ve gotten in the habit of doing ‘just because’.
  • Now is a good time to review and fine-tune your lead-generation strategies
  • Study the top leaders in your market and see what they are doing and saying to generate interest in their products and services.  Do what you can to emulate them in your own way and within your marketing budget.
  • Upgrade your marketing strategies by learning how to advertize using Facebook, Google Adwords, etc.
  • Blog regularly around your chosen field – find your ‘voice’ or hire a writer
  • Review/increase your pricing strategies and packages
  • Hire an assistant / team to help you with the things you don’t need to be doing – accounting, admin, taxes, website, social media marketing, etc.
  • Continue to expand your network of connections, always.
  • Make sure you have people in your life that you can share your ‘ups and downs’ with.  A partner, a relative, a friend, a coach, a mentor, or all of the above – the more the merrier!

 Here’s another Success Memo that applies to Stage 3 businesses:

“You’ve got to delegate to elevate.”

And above all, as we’ve said before, never feel guilty for asking for help – it’s what successful people do.

Hugs, Mandy & Wayne

P.S. If you’re having trouble with moving your business forward, or you feel ‘stuck’, why not set up a time to speak to us about working together to help you make your dream come true?  You can set up a complimentary call right HERE.

photo credit 1: joshuahoffmanphoto via photopin cc

photo credit 2: Evil Erin via photopin