12 Phases of Entrepreneurship

From dreaming to doing, the phases of entrepreneurship highlight the highs and lows of startups.  From exhilaration to self-doubt, and panic to elation, there is never a dull moment in the entrepreneur's life.  Sarah Vermunt, from Careergasm.com, outlines the 12 Phases of Entrepreneurship.

I Wish.  This is where you admit you want to be an entrepreneur. . . in public.  Many of us secretly want to become an entrepreneur, but this desire never comes out.  By talking to people about it, it reinforces the belief that starting a business is what is wanted.

I Will. This is the first “doing” stage, where you actually decide you are going to start something.  Take classes, join a network, understand what being an entrepreneur is all about.

Plan, plan, plan. This is the start of the real work: the actual business planning.  Work through your idea, use the business model canvas to prepare yourself for any obvious issues.  But get going, and get to a point where you know enough to jump in.

Ta-Da! It’s on!  You have created something, like bringing a new life into the world. Enjoy, but keep going

Crickets. Post-launch, things may go a bit quiet.  Do not panic.  Keep going.  Look for the the gaps. Revise your business model if necessary.  Listen to feedback, and keep going.

Imposter syndrome. This is where you think you will be found out.  As someone who doesn’t know it all, as someone who is stupid or unworthy.  Don’t worry, it happens to all entrepreneurs at some point.  Keep learning, keep going.

Sponge. Like a sponge, soak up all available information to help you keep going.  But focus on what will help your business at this stage. 

Everything is awesome! You’re doing everything you wanted to, and it’s working out.  Enjoy the moments, and keep going.

Panic!  This is where the fear takes hold; you think that the business will collapse and you’ll wind up homeless eating out of a bin. Fear and panic are not your friends.  Deep breath, it will be okay.  Keep going.

Buddy up.  As one person or a small team, you have realized that you don’t have the time or energy to do it all.  Focus on what you do best, and find others to help. 

Switcheroo.  Insert pivot here, as necessary.  As the business develops, so will your idea about where it is going and where it should go.  Change is a necessary part of entrepreneurship.  Adapt, and keep going.

Business as usual.  Everything is ticking along, but not without it’s ups and downs.  You have learned a lot, and are still going.  Congrats, you’re an entrepreneur!