A Stage 5 mature business provides the owner with money as well as time. The three-faceted bar of the Crankset Group description of business maturity states:
- I am able to take off 3-4 weeks from my business.
- My business makes money for me when I’m gone. (And I’m not just working 3x as hard before and after).
- My business is still up and running when I return.
Given these criteria, the tactical strategy was easy. However, when I considered what I would do with those 3-4 weeks, it became apparent that I required a shift in my mindset.
Last Christmas season, I realized part of my journey requires that I continue to change inwardly to achieve my ideal lifestyle. Continuing to operate as a driven workaholic business owner right up to my BMD (business maturity date) will not sufficiently prepare me to operate as a Stage 5 business owner. To avoid spending my 3-4 weeks off getting sick and collapsing, I need to embrace this change ahead of time.
If all my energies have gone into the business, I cannot suddenly shift to an ideal lifestyle of service. The natural tendency would be to trade self-sacrifice for self-indulgence with its entitlement mindset.
When I was in grad school, we doctoral candidates considered ”hiding” after landing somewhere as assistant professors. We would paying our dues and then, once we attained tenure, we could come out from whatever closet—faith, sexuality, etc.—we had been hiding in leaving our universities to be stuck with accepting us as we are.
Today I believe that it is hypocritical to engage in competition, ‘seeking to win at any cost’ while we ‘work until we drop’ while hoping to later achieve tenure, aka business maturity.
This little aphorism has proved its truth: “As now, so then”
We shape our future selves with the choices we make in the present. If we want to be different long after achieving business maturity, we need to start living it in the here and now.
Every business owner has to make decisions with uncertain future consequences. Making these decisions and being at peace with it demonstrates wisdom. If we start learning to create margins for life as we build a Stage 4 business, it’ll feel more normal to expect to let our business provide time as well as money as our businesses and ourselves mature.
After some deeper soul-searching, I now have a clear vision of the elements that require adjustment. Some revenue targets can be relaxed while creating a mature business so that I can have a life. I still intend to hit my BMD and achieve tenure. But, doing so will require that I redirect some of my energies away from business development.
Developing part-time staff and implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system will advance my firm through the “mindset shift” toward a Stage 5 mature business. Once these systems are in place, I can hit my BMD.
Robert White’s quote led me tools to this liminal dimension. Am I lowering my vision or am I lifting my circumstances? Once the necessity of having emotional, spiritual and physical bandwidth was clear, I could make the right business decisions that will, in turn, affect what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks and months.
Next: How the “Rain Man” helped me see Stage 5 more clearly.
- Check out additional resources from Robert White HERE.
- Share with your colleagues and in the comments: how do you know when you’re elevating your circumstances to your dreams or just lowering your dreams to fit your circumstances?