Have you Mastered the Four Stages of S?3 min read

In business, there are actually four stages of S that we need to master, grow and graduate from to the next step to create the business that actually works for us.

The first step is always Survival. The first year of any business is always the hardest. Especially for smaller and sole practitioner businesses. Statistics point out that twenty percent of businesses don’t even make it past the first year. The first year is essentially about getting your feet planted firmly on the ground. It’s about getting clients through the door, creating cash flow, and eventually hitting your break even as so you can begin to breathe a little easier.

If you are one of the eighty percent to graduate from Survival you now enter the Stability stage. Stability is where you are at or above the break-even standpoint. This is where you begin to create the structure to build a business that works for you. You are now creating your dream team, you have incorporated systems to smooth out the ride, your culture and brand are more identifiable. It’s where your marketing becomes more consistent to bring in those ideal customers over and over again. This is actually where the original vision of your company actually begins to get much clearer.

The next step is Success of which you can now celebrate that you’ve actually made it. Everything is humming. Your team is running the company for you. Your systematization has the company running like a well-oiled machine. Your marketing is in full tilt consistently delivering results. You have consistent cash flow. You are now managing the company more from outside than the inside. You are creating more time for you and your family. You are beginning to take some of that earned income and investing it in other areas to create passive income for later years. You have systematically created a company that finally works for you opposed to you working for it!

I do want to share a warning. There is something which is called the Success Syndrome. Sometimes when someone gets really successful the ego gets ahold of him or her. When success comes, be sure to be grateful and stay humble or you will be knocked back down a notch if you’re not careful.

When you graduate from success, the final step is Significance. Significance is all about your legacy. How are you giving back? You have achieved success. How can you take what you learned, what you earned, what you’ve built and give it back to your team and your community? Maybe you can volunteer some of your time to an organization, a non-profit or a charity. How do you want to be remembered?

Annalise the four S’s, observe where you are in the cycle, identify what needs to be applied and/or what shifts you need to make to get you to the next step. Remember most importantly that we are all actually here to serve. Wealth creating is a by-product of getting everyone else what they want. Take a hard look at who you need to be and what you need to do to reach the Significance level in your business and life. Because ultimately that is how you are going to be remembered anyway.