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Lesson 1, Topic 3
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Learning the Business Lifecycle

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Operating a business that Motivates you, brings you Satisfaction on deep psychological levels, where you are working out of a sense of ‘purpose’ creates Resilience. I believe resilience is one of the most required skills in business, especially small, micro and even medium businesses, with limited resources, (time, money and people) but lots on the line.

Having worked with over 500 small business leaders over the last ten years, there’s one thing in, a common thing we have noticed about the journey of the leaders behind the business experience.  Creating, operating, leading, growing and even closing businesses a business is one of the biggest psychological challenges or growth journeys you’ll go on. I believe it’s right up there with having a child.

Purpose Builds Business Resilience

Having worked with over 500 small business leaders over the last ten years, there’s one thing in, a common thing we have noticed about the journey of the leaders behind the business experience.  Creating, operating, leading, growing and even closing businesses a business is one of the biggest psychological challenges or growth journeys you’ll go on. I believe it’s right up there with having a child. 

Creating, designing, building and growing businesses are one of the most challenging yet most rewarding things you can do in our current world. Like raising a child, a business will challenge you in ways you’ve never thought, it will frustrate and infuriate you. But it will also bring the wonders of the world, directly in front of you. 

If you are not prepared, not skilled, don’t have the right mental resources and alignment, the impact a business can have on you, can be very challenging. Creating and running a business with a sense of purpose, gives you more resilience to keep going in more challenging times to learn what you need to, to find the relevant resources and discover ways to make it happen..

Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

By becoming a leader in business, you are taking on the challenge of becoming a Lifelong Learner.

Much of who we are or who we become as a person, is determined by what we have learned. As everything we know is formulated from what we have learnt. Primarily we learn from experience!

Experience is the gateway to learning.

Without new experiences, there can be no real learning. We only recombine and reiterate what we already know. The way we remember our experiences (or learn from them) is very different from the active process of experiencing them. 

Neuroscience confirms how we think about an experience directly impacts the memory we create from that experience. Which means… How much we value an experience and what meaning we associate with it will determine how effective the learning is.

 

The Learning Curve of Business

Being aware of what can happen on our journey can help us to understand each phase better. To truly learn the business and get good at it we need to experience it. But if we aren’t careful, our experience and how we think about it along our business journey can cause us to give up, get over it, or even self-sabotage it.

To truly learn the business and get good at it we need to experience it. But if we aren’t careful, our experience and how we think about it along our business journey can cause us to give up, get over it, or even self-sabotage it. and be more in control of our responses.

The following diagram illustrates the business and learning lifecycle. 

Each of the business phases within this lifecycle applies to most businesses and equally learning something new. A business and or person can spend years or months in each phase, depending on the business model, leadership style, resources and market. There is no right or wrong regarding how long you spend in each phase, the key is to understand which phase you’re in and use this knowledge to navigate the challenges you will have within the phase.

    When on this journey, resilience is needed throughout the entire lifecycle of business. There are certain phases where you need it even more. The start-up phase is one of those.

    Just like Mr langley, if your business isn’t derived from a motivator that is more than finance, this is often where your resilience will fail and you’ll give up, which is what equates to many of the start-up failures. People don’t work at it long enough to make it work. They don’t find resilience.

    The Start-up Phase

    This phase is one of the most exciting yet scary phases of all. A phase full of challenges, being that you start with lots of excitement and energy “yeey” the further you get in…. The shock comes when you realise how much you don’t know. And how much work you potentially have ahead of you… 

    The end of this phase is where many people let their thinking go to… ‘This is too hard’ and allows them to give up. If you can move past the limitations and learn from your experiences and innovate your ideas, you can start to design a feasible business!

    The start-up phase is the phase that you are in right now, it’s all about developing your product and service ideas, the ideas around the business and conducting your market research, prototyping and testing to refine and improve your ideas to the point where you come up with a feasible business model.

    Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

    The start-up phase is the phase that you are in right now, it’s all about developing your product and service ideas, the ideas around the business and conducting your market research, prototyping and testing to refine and improve your ideas to the point where you come up with a feasible business model.

    This phase can take up a lot of your time and resources, costing money with little returns. If you spend much time in this phase, it’s easy to get disheartened. However, with persistence, innovation and hard work, it is probable you’ll move out of this phase into growth.

    The Growth Phase

    The growth phase is one of the most exciting phases in business, it is when you start to see your ideas turn into a tangible reality, sales start coming into the business and you often start making money. There is a lot of energy in the business during the time of growth and confidence in the business starts to build.

    Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

    The Maturity Phase

    The maturity phase is when the business starts to level out, it’s been operating consistently for a while and the sales, procedures and customers become predictable and repetitive during the same business climates or seasons. For example in a mature retail business, the business leader would be able to predict the average sales per month, the types of products that would likely be sold and the marketing initiatives and actions that need to be actioned. 

    The maturity phase is one of the most dangerous as the business leaders are often confident and can start to relax into the business operations. It is easy to overlook market changes, not see trends and or competitors enter the market. A savvy business leader at the point of maturity will be looking at ways that the business can move into the second stage of business growth.

    Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

    The maturity phase is one of the most dangerous as the business leaders are often confident and can start to relax into the business operations. It is easy to overlook market changes, not see trends and or competitors enter the market. A savvy business leader at the point of maturity will be looking at ways that the business can move into the second stage of business growth.

    The Second Stage of Growth 

    The second stage of business growth is when the business pivots into a new phase of expansion by bringing in additional services or products, innovating the way they do things, expanding their locations or all of the above. The second stage of growth enables the business to cycle back through the business phases all over again.

    If you don’t pivot and expand into new ideas and learning, in this phase your business could be at risk of decline. This is often where a business owner will shut up a business, sell a business or go bust. 

    Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

    Innovation and learning can be the key to ensuring you hit that second stage of growth in your own personal development and the development of the business.

    Click on to explore a model to help you clarify and refine your ideas ensuring they align with your life goals.