The 7 Sucky Stages of Entrepreneurship + What You Need to Get Out Of It

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is not knowing what stage they are in business before making major decisions.

You see this all the time with website designs. Someone is super excited about starting a business and drops 6k on a website TOO EARLY and the branding becomes useless in a matter of months.

A newbie invests in a 30k mastermind only to find that they don’t actually want to do ANY of the stuff they are currently learning how to do.

This isn’t to say you don’t learn a lot even when you buy or invest in something in the wrong stage. Many people can only pass through each of these stages with help and investing at different levels. They need that push.

This scale is just to help you get clarity on where you are and what type of investments you should be making (but no worries if you go beyond this).

Make no mistake, some people tend to skip through some of these steps but the average business owner gets to experience each of these at some point. FUN. NOT.

The “Okay, this seems cool” phase

This is when you are just hanging out with the idea of entrepreneurship. It’s not something you are actively pursuing yet. You’ve subscribed to a few blogs. You’ve bought a product or two -- just out of curiosity. At this point you haven’t really even decided it’s something you definitely WANT TO DO. It’s just kind of there in the background and kind of fun to think about.

What to buy: This is a TRICKY one. A lot of people need to really pull the trigger before they get out of this phase. Other people just need to read and podcast listen themselves out of it. That’s why this is by far the HARDEST stage to get out of. I suggest products and services on productivity, freedom, mindset and career coaching

The “okay, this seems cool and I’m tired of this BULLSHIT” phase

This is when you are getting tired of the bullshit of your life. Maybe it’s the boss who is a misogynist pig and you can’t do anything about it. Perhaps it’s your wanderlust that’s really calling you in a way that it never has before. You are buying a little more, listening a little more and trying to get idea of what you might WANT to do. You are still not completely devoted to the idea yet.

What to buy: business mindset books, life coaching, overall “get your head around making the jump” type training, productivity

(Bonus!) The “okay, this seems cool and I’m tired of the BULLSHIT FOR REAL

This is when you are finally ready to start taking this business thing seriously -- or at least start really investing. Your current life isn’t working and you want OUT. In fact, you might be a little impatient about it. This is when people tend to buy things the most.

What to buy: products and services about getting clarity on your purpose and path

The “I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m freaked out about it” phase

You’ve decided -- a business is in your future but WTF are you going to do? WTF are you going to sell? How are you going to help people? I suggest the 100 People Project for this, by the way. This is the WORST time to buy unless you are focusing on products that are designed specifically to help you get clear on what you should be doing. Most people get stuck in this phase for YEARS. I’ve written a lot about how easy it is to “get off” on the feeling of not knowing what the hell you are doing. Starting a business is a new and BIG thing and it’s gonna be hard.

What to buy: Products designed to get you figuring out what you want to do -- like 100 People Project -- products about money and general business building

The “I don’t know what I’m doing but I don’t care” phase

This is the phase everyone should be trying their best to get to because once you are here, the rest is super easy. This is the stage in every aspiring business owner’’s life where they just accept the cold and hard truth that you are going to have to move forward EVEN when you don’t know what the hell is going on. You will have to step into the unknown and be a-ok with that process.

What to buy: Business development courses, product design and branding offerings

The “ok, I know what I want to do but how do I get people to buy it” phase

You have a kind of clear vision of what you are doing. You’ve worked with some coaches and made some big investments but you struggle with the sales part. This is another huge “buying” stage for people.

What to buy: BRANDING products and services (hello Brand Bomb!). People tend to buy a lot of marketing and list building products but it’s never what they need.

The “wait, maybe I don’t know what I am doing” phase

When people aren’t buying it’s usually because the business owner isn’t as clear as they need to be on what they are doing. This tends to result in a huge breakdown and then a final march to actually knowing what your business is actually about.

What to buy: More branding stuff, a good time to invest in 1-on-1 business development, life coaching, therapy (This tends to be a stressful time)

The “ooooooh, I get it” phase

You know what you are doing, you know who you want to do it for -- it’s just all about testing, fine-tuning and growing. This is when you’ll get into six figure range and beyond. Once you’ve mastered what you are doing and who for, the next stage is making your work IRRESISTIBLE for those people and reaching as many people as possible.

What to buy: This is when MOST of the business investment SHOULD happen because you can effectively use all of the stuff you are buying. Great time to invest in learning marketing strategist, list growth and overall business awesomeness.

Those are the stages of entrepreneurship for the newbie. Notice how a lot of the stages repeat themselves? That’s because you will go in circles trying to make your business work and that is OKAY. It’s just good to know where you are at and what is going to actually help get you to that next stage. Do you also notice how a lot of the big tempting type of products with huge promises are at the end? That’s for a reason too. It takes a WHILE for business strategies to actually work on you. A lot of clarity needs to happen.

The work I do is best for the beginning and the middle of this journey.

The Idea To Income Stream challenge is good for people who are at the beginnings and middle and are just trying to figure out what the hell they are doing.

The Brand Bomb is excellent for people who are stuck in the “I know what I want to do but no one buys it” stage. It’s also great for the “oh, I get it” people.

The 100 People Project is great for any stage but is especially good for beginners.

What do you think? Where are you on this scale?

Kaitlyn Kessler