I’m extremely excited to share this guest post with you all from Dragos Roua who blogs at eDragonu.ro. Not only have I enjoyed his business perspectives, but he is undertaking a very unique guest posting approach, which I admire the creativity of.
The 7 Ages of Business, is a 7 part guest post series, in partnership with this blog and 6 others – and they are all being published at the exact same time!
Enjoy the business wisdom from Dragos, and be sure to check out the other 6 parts of the series – links below.
This article is part of a series about the 7 ages of a business, an entrepreneurs perspective, initially published at eDragonu.ro. The remaining articles are published as guest posts on other 6 fine personal development and business blogs. You will find links to them at the end of this article.
Seeing The Real Picture
The naivety age is the second age of your business. It comes after the initial enthusiasm and exhilaration and it marks the beginning of your real activities as an entrepreneur. But as the name says, the naivety phase will be also a time for trying and failing, a time for learning and growing.
The biggest challenge during this age will be to see the real picture around you. After you clarified your vision and started to move the things around during the enthusiasm age of your business, it’s time to start looking around and see what’s really happening. During this period there will be an intense desire to “walk into the shoes” of a real entrepreneur, but it will mainly be mostly a mimicking approach, not one based on a clear understanding of what’s happening.
I remember I made hundreds of business cards during that period and also I remember I hunted for business cards obsessively. 10 years ago,& when I started my internet business, social networking wasn’t so advanced, so the only way to get in touch with a potential partner or client was by meeting him in person. During my naivety business period I also acquired most of my shirts and starting to wear a suit,& strongly believing that if I dress like a business man I will somehow become one.
What To Avoid
It’s pretty easy to get caught in a bigger wave that you can swim during this period so here are a few things to keep an eye on.
Speaking Over Doing
Your desire of making yourself and your ideas known can make you speak more than you actually do. While this is great for your speaking abilities, it won’t help the real business much. Avoiding excessive speech in favor of more grounding activities, like organizing and planning, would be a solid approach at this stage. Continuing to write in the journal you already started in the first stage would be a good idea.
Being so exposed in search for clients or partners will make you extremely vulnerable. There is a real danger of believing everything around you. This belief is fueled by your hope that everything will turn out well, a sense of positivity that would be fantastic, if backed up with the proper assessment. During this age you can fall for “get rich quick” scams or you can get involved with rather slippery people.
This is a particular case of the problem described above. You will observe a lot of opportunities for partnerships – mostly because you get out much more often than before – but most of them are not appropriate for this moment. As a rule of thumb, you should enter partnerships only when you can offer an approximate equal value, which, at this stage, is rather unlikely to happen. Learning to say “no” is one of the lessons of this stage
What To Do
But being so exposed can also have some positive consequences. Here are some of the things you should insist on in order to make your path a little bit more enjoyable.
Increase Your Network
Your continuous hunt for partners and clients should end with a big rolodex. Even if you don’t start something together, even if you don’t close a sale, this period could leverage a big asset: a network. Networking is more often than not better than advertising, a secret that not many entrepreneurs will be happy to reveal. And networking can be started at any level. Since you’re already going out a lot, why not starting it now?
Work Your Presentation Skills
Being in the position to speak a lot, you will be somehow forced to speak better. This is a great time to start improving your presentation capabilities. You don’t really have something to lose at this stage, so any mistake will have minor consequences. But the advantages of becoming a skilled speaker will last even if you’re not making to the next stages.
Control Your Cash-Flow
I’ve seen a lot of businesses failing because of a faulty cash-flow in the first stages. Up to the next age of your business, attention you should pay extra care to your budget. You may or may not have an initial funding, but regardless of the physical availability of money, you should take extra care now to any money commitment, because it’s really easy to make mistakes. Use this period to try and assess errors as much as you can.
From Naivety To Attention
The next age of your business will be marked by attention. It’s stage in which you will start to really do things. My initial naivety period lasted a few months. I consider it closed when I finally decided it’s time not to wear my suit at the office, but put a tee-shirt and start some real coding. Your mileage may vary.
As always, there is no quality measurement of a stage, I think all are necessary and all are able to give you the tools to reach your goals. The most important thing I remember from my naivety period is the belief that everything is possible. Despite the failures and broken projects, I still have this feeling till the present day. And it’s a wonderful feeling.
Want to Read the Rest of the Series?
You can find the remaining 6 ages of your business on these fine personal development and business blogs:
Attraction Mind Map – 1st Age: Enthusiasm
Advanced Life Skills – 3rd Age: Attention
Steven Aitchison – 4th Age: Maturity
Rat Race Trap – 5th Age: Expansion
My Wife Quit Her Job – 6th Age: Leadership
Learn This – 7th Age: Exhaustion
For exclusive Small Biz Bee content and offers, sign up for our free newsletter: