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THE SECOND STAGE OF BUSINESS SUCCESS: THE TRAPPED STAGE

 
Inspired by Randy Gerber's first book, The Integrated Entrepreneur: Achieving Happiness in Relationships, Business & Life, we are highlighting the five stages of business success first-generation entrepreneurs go through, with a five-part blog series designed to help you thrive in all your adventures.
 
In this second blog, we feature the second stage of business success: the Trapped Stage.
 
WHAT IS THE TRAPPED STAGE?
 
Like most entrepreneurs, you probably left a stable, well-paying job to pursue your dreams of running your own business. The reality of the instability in your financial and personal future can be stunning.
 
In the Trapped Stage, entrepreneurs experience how difficult success can be.
  • Your business earns revenue at a predictable and reliable enough rate that it is solvent for the immediate future
  • You've hired staff to address the mundane, yet important, administrative tasks associate with keeping a business running
  • You are "all in" from an emotional, intellectual, and financial perspective, but the enthusiasm from Stage One is fading
 
Though surviving this stage is not for the faint of heart, with a bit of advice and keen investments in your business (and yourself!), you can emerge triumphant from this trial of will and skill.
 
TIPS FOR THRIVING THROUGH THE TRAPPED STAGE:
 
  1. Set a limit on how much of your own money to invest. - It's important to stay solvent during this time. Investing too much of your money can make the Trapped Stage even more stressful. Try to avoid signing a lease personally, and, if you have to invest your money in the business, do so in a way that does not do irreparable harm to your personal balance sheet.
  2. Communicate deliberately with your team. - Make sure your employees don't travel with you through the fire. Communicating with them daily about progress keeps them engaged and informed, but you should consider keeping them unaware of the personal anxiety that you are facing. Tell them what they need to feel taken care of, and find other outlets for your anxieties about the future.
  3. Focus on the product. - Skybus, a Columbus-based airline established in 2007, was a huge source of pride to many local investors, state development officials and prominent companies. Its success was short-lived, however, as mismanagement resulted in lousy food, late planes and customers stranded on Christmas due to mechanical mishaps. If Skybus would've focused on providing quality products from the start, they may have survived.
  4. Exercise, exercise, exercise! - Lack of time, mental fatigue and physical exhaustion are easy and convenient excuses for not working out. Exercise actually helps entrepreneurs with business. It stimulates the release of hormones that boosts mood, jumpstarts energy and increases stamina. Schedule exercise several times each week, early in the morning if possible. If conflicts arise, reschedule and protect this precious time.
  5. Consult the experts! - Meeting with a lawyer or business-consulting firm (like Gerber) that understands high growth businesses during this time can be incredible helpful. They can advise on how to structure your business and manage staff to minimize stress. You may also benefit from talking with a business coach or therapist to help manage your many priorities.
 
For entrepreneurs, getting through the Trapped Stage is a rite of passage. It's part of the deal, and as stressful and impossible as it may seem at the time, you need to stick with it, put in the effort, and get through it. You'll save the business, and you'll learn what you are made of.
 
Stay tuned for our third installment of our five-part series on achieving business success - the Light at the End of the Tunnel Stage.
 
How have you experienced the Trapped Stage? Share with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!


INDEX
  • THE FIFTH STAGE OF BUSINESS SUCCESS: THE SUSTAINABLE STAGE
  • STAGE FOUR: THE ACCELERATION STAGE
  • THE THIRD STAGE OF BUSINESS SUCCESS: THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL STAGE
  • THE SECOND STAGE OF BUSINESS SUCCESS: THE TRAPPED STAGE
  • THE FIRST STAGE OF BUSINESS SUCCESS: THE INTOXICATING STAGE
  • WHAT FREEDOM MEANS TO THE ENTREPRENEUR
  • GROWTH WITH PURPOSE DURING COVID-19: DON'T GROW FOR GROWTH'S SAKE
  • COVID-19 RESOURCE GUIDE
  • WHAT WE KNOW: RESTAURANT & BAR UPDATE
  • CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK
  • 3 SCARY TRUTHS ABOUT BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR
  • Gerber Spotlight: How to Handle Naysayers in Your Business
  • SELF-CARE RESULTS IN TAKING BETTER CARE OF YOUR BUSINESS. HERE'S HOW.
  • NAVIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR TO BECOME A BETTER LEADER
  • A day in the life of Randy Gerber
  • HOW TO PROPERLY GUAGE EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE
  • MUST-HAVE APPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
  • THE HAPPINESS FACTOR & WHY IT MATTERS TO EVERY ENTREPRENEUR
  • PEER TO PEER GROUPS, MENTORS, ADVISORS: HOW DO THEY RELATE?
  • WHY YOU SHOULD ''DATE'' YOUR PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS (LAWYER, ACCOUNTANT, ETC.) BEFORE COMMITTING
  • GERBER'S TOP FOUR FAVORITE BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
  • IMPROVED COMMUNICATION FROM PERSONALITY TESTS [AS SEEN ON INC.COM]
  • 5 THINGS EVERY ENTREPRENEUR NEEDS TO DO TO KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR ON A GOOD FOOT
  • GIFT GIVING FOR THE ENTREPRENEUR-THE ULTIMATE TOUGH PUTT
  • SHOULD I TREAT MY LEADERSHIP TEAM DIFFERENTLY FROM A COMPENSATION PERSPECTIVE?
  • RECAP: NAWBO CANDID CONVERSATION ''5 TIPS FOR BUILDING A BETTER BUSINESS''
  • ONCE YOU'VE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE... HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR NEXT ENTREPRENEURIAL INSPIRATION?
  • THE MYTH OF CORPORATE CULTURE DEBUNKED
  • Gerber, LLC Featured in Columbus CEO | Let's Talk Succession
  • Catered Communication Practices [as seen on Inc.com]
  • REFRESH WITH V POWER YOGA
  • COFFEE TALK WITH TOM
  • ROLLIN' WITH FUSIAN
  • DIVING INTO BUSINESS WITH A PARTNER, OR TWO
  • IS IT TOO EARLY FOR AN ADVISORY BOARD? THREE STEPS TO BUILDING THE BEST NETWORK OF BUSINESS MENTORS
  • SUCCESS STARTS WITH A PLAN | GET IT ON PAPER
  • WATCH OUT FOR THE REVENUE TRAP! BUSINESS GROWTH & QUALITY REVENUE
  • BEHIND BESA WITH MATT GOLDSTEIN
  • BESA ON 'GIVING BACK' AS A BUSY BUSINESS OWNER
  • GOAL SETTING AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
  • FIRST GENERATION ENTREPRENEURS & WHAT MATTERS MOST
  • THE ROADMAP TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • WHY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE: A CAUTIONARY TALE
  • AND THE WINNER IS...
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q2 2016
  • BREXIT | WHAT DOES GERBER THINK?
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q1 2016
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q4 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q3 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q2 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q1 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q4 2014
  • Gerber Hosts OppenheimerFunds Chief Economist
  • Gerber, LLC to Host Entrepreneur-Relationship Expert, Trisha Harp
  • 'Twitter for Dummies' Co-Author Shares Marketing Advice at Gerber
  • Nationally-Circulated REP. Magazine Coins Gerber, LLC ''Not Your Momma's Financial Advisor''
  • Gerber Featured in 'The Metropreneur Columbus'
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