Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of courage. When you started your business, the odds are high that you had never run your own business in the past. Anytime we do anything new, it is typically outside of our comfort zone. The challenge that startup business owners have is that they are not yet making enough money to support themselves and their businesses and they are not making consistent sales. The Startup Phase can be one of the most challenging because many times, they don’t know what they don’t know and spend a lot of time trying things that do not work. Startup is the fear and doubt phase and this is where courage comes in.

Courage is what you do every day when you don’t yet have confidence. Courage is what gets you up in the morning and helps you to focus on your goals to help you to be successful. The very best way to move through the Startup Phase is to understand who your ideal client is, what their pain points are (buy triggers) and have a clear solution for those pain points (this is your niche). Then you can effectively message and determine where the best places are to find your ideal client. One of the key strategies to ensure your success is to know how many people you need to talk to before one person buys your services, this is your close rate, and talk to enough people to meet your goals.

The difference between a successful startup business owner and one who flounders is the commitment to do things that are uncomfortable, to make a plan and stick to it and to have the courage every day to do what it takes to help as many people as you can with your offerings.

Once you start making consistent sales you are in the Base Phase. You are still not making enough money to support you and your business but you are seeing regular success and will soon move through this Phase if you stay the course. The courage in this Phase is to focus and continue to practice your sales skills. Many times business owners will start seeing shiny objects, things they could add to their businesses in this Phase but they soon find that they’ve taken their eye off the goal and experience a decline. Again, this is where courage comes in, the courage to be laser focused on your goals, without allowing distractions to throw you off course.

As you move out of the Base Phase, you move into the Expansion Phase. You now have confidence that you have offerings that will sell (proof of concept) and you are well on your way. The challenge in this Phase is you are overwhelmed. You have numerous clients you are serving and if not careful, you spend all your time in client fulfillment and look up and realize that you have no new clients coming in. Again, this is where courage comes in. In order for you to continue to grow you have to determine what you can let go of, have someone else do so that you can stay in your genius zone, your areas of expertise and passion, to continue to grow. Letting go can be incredibly difficult because this is your baby. Unless you dig deep and get the help you need and put systems in place, you will not move from this Phase. When I talk to business owners who have unintentionally built a business that runs them and that they’ve come to hate, it is because they didn’t have the courage to move through this Phase.

Once you have a people and systems in place so you can do your best work, you are in the Thrive Phase. This Phase is when most of your business is coming in through referrals and word of mouth and you are able to stay in your genius zone most of the time. These business owners have balance in their lives, are serving the world with their gifts, are supporting themselves and their businesses and are creating the lifestyle they want.

So, if you want to be successful, dig deep and find your courage. Courage always comes before confidence. So, let’s all be courageous!