Starting up a business is often exciting and is viewed as an adventure. It is as enjoyable as trekking a mountain or kayaking in rough waters. Amid all of this, one must have a vision in mind, the place where they want to be one day. Like trekking expedition to the Himalayas, one just does not go to the Himalayas and stroll around in the base camp and return; serious people go with genuine intentions to reach the highest peak of the mountain and see the world from a place where very rare few are fortunate to see. Similarly, when someone starts a business they see certain black and white objectives in mind, that is the vision of their venture. In another way we can say, vision is the destination and adventure is the journey, both are important aspects of starting up a business.

We have often come across many stories of a millionaire barber, billionaire oil refiner or any successful person from any walk of life who have come from different background, out of which some have never seen a school, some have dropped out and some are highly qualified, but they all have reached or are at least close to their vision. These people knowingly or unknowingly go through at least four common phases in their business life. Some translate each of these phases to a mission and some just do not name it.

  1. Survive: The first and basic stage is survival. Some people are already aware of how to survive through education or experience and some do it in the harder way, either way, are fine as long as one enjoys what’s happening to them and their venture. Often this stage makes good stories in the future. Sometimes survival is also mistaken as creating a backup or a secondary front. E.g. If an entrepreneur is building a product X, and having services Y as a secondary business, then X should generate income to cover its expenses but not Y funding it. Once this is achieved, the result of survival should sustain throughout. Which means this is the new rock bottom.
  2. Strive: This is a phase of grooming or the training phase, which means gaining full command as a master or becoming an expert on what is being pursued. Striving is not one time job, it’s a continuous process where one does not stop learning, innovating or improving. Justice can be done to this phase by being realistic of situations and taking appropriate actions. E.g. If a product X is already surviving by the patronage of early adopters, it’s time to reward them with superior quality. Although X may have a low customer base but should have the best or superior product with superior command over the domain.
  3. Thrive: Since survival is achieved and as a business, one has strived with greater command in the domain. A great milestone is already crossed, it’s time to grow big and sustain. Some recognize this phase as scaling. No lateral entrant in this phase would match the competence and spirit of the business which has learned to survive and strive. E.g. Product X is competing with product Y. X has seen the ground realities by passing though survival and striving phase but Y is lateral entrant which is focused on growth. They will have a huge difference in their working DNA and sustenance will play the role.
  4. Drive: If one successfully passes through the phase of thriving, no doubt it is a position of a leader. It’s the beginning of big things and equally big responsibilities, one must behave as a leader and drive as a leader, show direction to the industry and the world altogether.

Note: The phases are not absolute and may vary from business to business.

Written by admin

February 16, 2020

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