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The 5 Primary Stages of Business Every Entrepreneur Goes Throug

Phase 1: I'm trying to get “there.” The first one to three years of business are usually dedicated to trying to get there. You want more followers, more clients, more sales, more recognition—the hustle is very real and most often fueled by an optimistic desperation. What I learned in my own journey and what I tell my young entrepreneurs is to add more love into the hustle. It’s great to work hard, but make sure you are having fun along the way. If you are resenting your work because it isn’t bringing in the results you want, your business can’t flourish. Instead of trying to get there, recognize you’ve already arrived. You are already your own boss, and it takes time to build trust and get momentum. Don’t give up—just keep plugging away with joy and more love.

Phase 2: I got “there,” and I am worried it will go away. The next phase we all experience is that fleeting sense of euphoric “OMG, I made it!” Whether you landed the sweet contract, the giant book deal, or the national TV segment, you think, “I did it. I’ve arrived! I got where I have been trying for so long to get to.” Then almost immediately fear sets in and we worry “Will it go away?” Things seem to good to be true. You wonder if people will take you seriously, or will it all go away? This is a fear-based reaction to living life at a new level. You aren't use to the success, so naturally it could feel a little uncomfortable at first. The best thing to do is prepare yourself for this stage by owning your worth and valuing yourself sooner. When you believe in your work and what you have to offer, this stage is minimal.

Phase 3: I got “there,” but it's not what I expected. You get to that elusive place. You may surpass your mentors or coaches with sales, followers, or even industry recognition. Industry leaders may seek you out for advice now. You’re no longer stressed about how to get there because you are there. You no longer worry about income because it flows in steadily. This is what you've worked so hard for, but you can't help but wonder why living your dreams feels so different than what you expected. The key word is expected. Our expectations are what doom us in business. Expectations rob us from feeling good in the moment. It's good to have goals, but having expectations looks like phase one or two thinking: “When I have 'X' amount of clients I will be happy,” or “When I am on national TV I will be making tons of money,” or “When I release my book, I will be an instant best seller,” etc. When these expectations don’t happen we feel let down. Even when and if they do happen, it usually feels different than what we hoped for. Instead, focus on all of the good things that have happened and release your expectations.

Phase 4: I am proud of how far I've come. The next phase is a glorious time when you recognize how far you have come. You’ve worked really hard and have made a great difference for your clients, customers, or team members. You may take a vacation and decide not to work the entire time; you might celebrate by scheduling more playtimes with family and friends. This is a happy time in your life and something you’ve worked very hard for. But you don’t have to wait until your business is self-sufficient and you are “successful” to be proud of yourself. No matter what phase you are in, be proud of yourself each day you show up and do the best you can. That in itself is enough.

Phase 5: Relax and enjoy The fifth stage all entrepreneurs work toward is the “I did it” phase. This is the time you can relax and truly enjoy what you’ve created. But this phase doesn’t last long, because as entrepreneurs we are always thinking about our next launch, idea, or best practice to stay relevant to our core customers. So take some time to relax, enjoy your beautiful business, but roll up your sleeves and get back to work. After all, the journey is the reward.

5 Steps to Starting Your Business

Whether you own an existing brick and mortar business or you're building an ecommerce brand, properly establishing your internet presence is one of the most significant responsibilities you'll ever be tasked with. Unfortunately, many business owners either don't know what they're doing or fail to follow best practices.

In this article, we're going to take a look at a handful of the basic steps you need to take in order to put your business in a position to be successful. Without further ado, here are five specific things you should focus on:

  • Choose the Right Website Host For businesses that are just getting started online, the process of developing a website is often confusing, but it's really not a difficult concept. Simply put, you'll need two partners to develop a site: a website host and a content management system (CMS).
  • As the name suggests, the host is the company that provides the technologies and services needed to store and display your website for the world to see. The CMS platform--which will be discussed in the next section--is used to actually develop and design the site.
  • Finding the right website host (e.g. HostGator) is all about determining which service provider meets your needs. There are three basic types--individual plans, dedicated servers, and reseller accounts--and you should research the details of each to find out which will work best in your situation.
  • Find a CMS Platform Next comes the CMS platform. While there are a number of ways to build websites, a CMS platform makes it easier on those who don't want to deal with all of the coding and technical aspects. You can research as many CMS solutions as you want, but the following three are the most popular:
  • WordPress. By far the most popular and easiest to use for beginners, WordPress is perfect for small and medium sized businesses. Not only are there thousands of gorgeous templates available, but finding a WordPress designer is easy. Joomla. If you're running an ecommerce site and want something other than WordPress, Joomla is a great solution. It does require more coding knowledge, but this shouldn't be a problem, assuming you're hiring a freelance designer/developer to handle the site. Drupal. Finally, there's Drupal. This is by far the most technical CMS, but it's also extremely powerful. If you plan on building a large website and can find a developer with Drupal knowledge, you may want to consider this option. If you want a side-by-side comparison of these CMS solutions, then check out this handy infographic. As you'll see, each comes with its own pros and cons.

Design Your Website Think of your website host and CMS solution as the foundation of a house. You can't build a strong home without a foundation, but the foundation itself doesn't make the structure a house. You also need walls, windows, doors, siding, and thousands of other elements to create a visually pleasing home. This is where design comes into play. Start by deciding the purpose of your website. Will it be a static website with the main goal of providing a reputable front for your business, or will you actually use it to sell products? You can always pivot in the future, but deciding the purpose of the website up front will help you choose a design. Once the purpose is established, you'll either need to find a pre-designed template or hire a web designer to create the site from scratch. Both options are suitable and your choice will likely depend on cost and experience. Develop an SEO Strategy With your website built, it's time to start driving traffic to the site. Since most customers aren't going to type your website URL directly into their browser--at least in the early days--you need to put your site in front of them. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in this. "Search Marketing is vital for any business trying to succeed online," says expert Chris Alley. "Potential customers are looking every day on Search Engines like Google and Bing for the products and services that you offer. Getting your website in front of this audience will undoubtedly lead to new customers for your business."

SEO is a very complex topic--and it would be impossible to even scratch the surface in this article--so you'll either want to spend some time researching the ins and outs of the industry on your own, or hire an expert to develop a strategy for you. Invest in Content Marketing and Social Media With your website squared away, you'll want to expand your online footprint by investing in content marketing and social media.

Content marketing. In the world of internet marketing, content is currency. Content is what attracts search engine traffic, facilitates social sharing, and establishes your brand's reputation in your respective industry. You'll need a strategy for creating and disseminating onsite blogs, guest blogs, press releases, articles, and more. Social media. As you know, social media is a massively important catalyst for small business success. It allows brands to reach millions of prospective customers without having to travel around the world or invest major resources into global marketing campaigns. Establish profiles on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get started. Content marketing and social media should be your major focus in the months to come. They frequently work in unison to engage your target audience and direct them to your website. Give Your Business a Strong Online Foundation Virtually all modern businesses and brands have some form of an internet presence. However, only a small fraction of these businesses have a strong foundation that's conducive to long-term growth. If you want to position your business for the future, then it's critically important that you gather your key decision makers and develop a concerted plan for getting started. By outsourcing certain tasks and handling others internally, you can develop an online presence that you're proud of. Sourcehttp://www.inc.com/samuel-edwards/5-steps-to-starting-your-business-online.html