This is the step that takes most people out. A few rock star entrepreneurs start a business and it goes straight to the top but typically a business is not an instant success. You have to work at it. Not only do you have to work on the business you have to become better at communicating, leading and taking action in every other area of your life too. This new territory creates struggles.
You’ll be working everyday to prove your business model and keep profits growing – or changing the business until you find what works. You will also have to constantly communicate with your spouse, significant other, family and friends, reassuring them that you are still connected and still care. Yet you’ll be spending less time with them because you have to devote a significant amount of time to making sure the business is a success. Regardless of how much you communicate with loves ones at some point somebody is still probably going to complain that you don’t care and that you work too much. In addition to taking care of others you’ll have to be more aware of taking care of yourself.
As you work through the ‘struggle’ phase, solve problems from the root. For example, as your business grows you should be able to delegate work to others so you’re not working as many hours. If you can’t do that it may be because you haven’t created processes and systems that make it simple to train someone else to take over certain projects and tasks. Or, in your personal life, you can leave work early to spend time with a loved one who is complaining but if you’re in a critical phase of business where too many short days could cause your business to fall short or fail then perhaps it’s time to have a conversation where you really are seeking to understand the other person’s needs and finding a way to help them understand yours. Finding this common ground and agreeing to what will work for both of you will give you the space to grow your business without feeling burdened by complaints and guilt.
In this phase, some of the ‘struggle’ is based on your learning curve and some based on circumstances over which you have no control. Dealing head-on with what you can control will keep you moving forward.