The 5 stages of entrepreneurship
Stage One: Drive
What most people lack, and the reason we’re divided as a society between go getters and settlers, is drive.
When you are driven, you suddenly have time.
Why? Because you somehow make that time.
When you are driven, you suddenly can .
Why? Because you jump in.
When you are driven, you suddenly find that you’re doing it.
Why? Because you actually do it.
However, drive is like a drug, one we get used to, and we require more and more of it each day, just to make the initial growth into happening.
The farther up that false growth curve you go, the more drive you require to keep climbing the steep way ahead. The minute you slow down, you feel like you’re missing out, like your time is passing, like you are wasting your moment, like you fall back.
Unfortunately, at any point in time, for any person on Earth, drive will dry out. It’s the effect of the more you know the less you know.
As the fast initial progress reaches the plateau phase, people quit because they basically don’t believe there is a top to that mountain. So that is wave one quitters.
Quitters are awesome because at least they started.
Stage Two: Persistence
From the driven starters, some insist that there must be a top of the mountain they climb, and they start to hustle.
They run out of drive, but somehow find inside them the other rarest of things among human personalities: persistence.
Persistence is painful because it is a sobering up process from the high drive caused.
The persistent ones keep plowing at it, with no drive in their veins, but a bitter combination of pride and ambition, sweetened only by vague hope.
The persistent people are awesome because they suffer those last miles.
Stage Three: Quitting
Right after persistence wears out, one finds itself at the top!
But behold, no breathtaking scenery, no peak to stick your flag into, no selfie to take from the top of the world. Not even above the clouds. Just an endless field of boredom stretching on and on into the horizon.
This is the walk of quitting. It is like a walk of shame, only that you throw tomatoes at yourself:
“What was I thinking?”
The walk of quitting is so long and boring, that most people simply stop there and camp out for the rest of their lives. Then they come up with personal development theories that teach success is not everything in life. Bullshit.
Those who keep going, at some point, fall into the dip.
The dip is the final test of the quit zone.
The dip is when the boredom of nothing happening pushes you over the cliff with bad news, when the cloud fails your user database, when your partner quits, when your market gets a behemoth player, when it’s not enough that no weight went away for four months in a row, now you got gastritis and must eat more often.
Those who stand the quitting zone are so awesome for having strength of character.
Stage Four: Vision
The quitting zone is followed by the vision zone, when the true growth starts.
The problem is that the vision zone comes right after the dip.
People are beat up, tired, bored, with zero faith, and suddenly they must climb again. Only the few talented, free and/or lucky, have the vision of what is happening.
Most will see the climb after the dip as another dip, only some see it as the inflection point.
They know they are back on the way up.
Only those, therefore, have the vision, which in fact they had from the very beginning, which in fact to them was their drive in the first place, instead of desire or curiosity.
You could see as a fine observer right at the beginning who has vision powered drive and who simply burns calories and ideas (and dollars). That’s what makes a good early investor.
People with vision are awesome because they are the ones who prove that “anything is possible”.
Stage Five: Mission
The mission zone is when those who had the vision of their growth understand the unique opportunity to actually put meaning into the world.
A true mission has exponential potential.
Those who find their mission are the rare people that take it upon themselves to change something, or make something last.
They become personally invested, not in short term objectives or shallow whims, but large, long term, deep and meaningful promises, which they make, openly or not, to the world itself.
Most people stop at having vision.
Vision and growth bring a lot of comfort. Money flows, wealth builds, success is present, there is very little incentive to assume a mission. A mission can take a serious hit at the “winning” that vision brings.
Missions are the things which bring sudden deaths to promising mavericks, who fall from the sky, like shot down ducks.
However, a successful mission is the true exponential growth ingredient. Nothing booms like a supersonic engine without a mission powering it.
So, are you an entrepreneur? What stage are you in?