Riding the Entrepreneurial Seasons: From Idea Inception to the Winter of Reflection

Trying not to throw up on the rollercoaster that is Entrepreneurship?

This week’s newsletter is all about the Entrepreneurship Vitality Cycle and the Seasons of Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster I’m trying not to throw up on. It’s time to bring in purpose and sanity with ever-changing seasons to help ride out the hills and valleys without all the nausea…..

In last week’s blog, I talked about all things decisions, if you’re still having trouble figuring out WTF to do, we are diving a little deeper….along with decision making, this can also help you future plan, scale, or even pull back in your business if needed. 


I’m about to throw two concepts at you this week, because it’s all about seasons…. 


Let’s start with the Entrepreneurship Vitality Cycle.  

Think of this like a circle beginning with Idea, then MVP/S, MVB, and Scale - then back to the beginning. If you’re reading this, you may do a quick read through each of these to figure out which part of the vitality cycle you’re in… here are some quick definitions. (Remember, just because you ALREADY have a business does not mean you are automatically at “SCALE” it’s a cycle. If you’ve implemented a new product or service, you could still be in steps 1-3)


  • Idea -  um….yeah, it’s the idea stage. You have an idea, you’re looking to create your business, get validation, and get a sh*t load of feedback about it. You’re solving a problem fulfilling a dream, and this phase is chalk full of possibility, optimism, and a whole lot of uncertainty. 


  • MVP/S (Minimum Viable Product/Service) - If you’ve ever talked to any startup-type finance bro, they LOVE this lil’ subset of letters altogether. I mean I KNOW it’s important, and you should also know that too. This is your bread and butter product or service that you’re working on. This phase is where you are building demand for your product or offering.


  • MVB (Minimum Viable Business) - Big thing I’m learning in my entrepreneurship program….do MVP/S first. LOL whoops probably for a whole bunch of us. This step is where you are actually building your business around the product/service you created. This phase is all about implementation- you’re building operating procedures, and acquiring more customers, and branding and management are key components of this step. 


  • Scale - You’re adopting growth strategies, raising funds, and shifting from new processes to replicating them. This phase is all about expansion. 


Note: I would consider this newsletter to be in the “idea” stage of a potential new business or an expansion of my current business! 


Spring Break is coming up for a lot of us and just an overall mindset shift from the weather warming up and a demand change in business usually brings about some changes in us anway. Since last week was all about hustle vs harmony, we can dig a little deeper into the different seasons those might show up in. 


Last fall I hit a wall with my health and my business. I was overworked and with a recent diagnosis and change in some medical care, I realized it was time to transition to a new season for a while. I needed to focus on more restoration, more winter, and I needed to get more feedback about what I really needed and wanted - I needed to go back to the “Idea” stage in the vitality cycle, because I had none. 


So, how did I know what cycle I was in and where I needed to go? 

We need to look at the four seasons and how they impact our business, remember just because it’s March - you might be in the business season of Harvest so that you can have Restoration in the summer. There are four key business seasons: growth, abundance, harvest, and rest. 


  • Growth: Spring symbolizes new beginnings and growth, and similarly, the growth phase of entrepreneurship is characterized by innovation and expansion. This is the time to plant seeds, nurture ideas, and invest in personal and professional development. Studies have shown that mindfulness techniques can enhance creativity and problem-solving skills, making them essential tools for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on growth opportunities.


  • Abundance: Summer represents a season of abundance and prosperity, and in entrepreneurship, the abundance phase is marked by success and fulfillment. Your hard work begins to pay off, and you enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, it's important not to become complacent during this phase. Mindfulness can help you stay grounded and appreciate the present moment while remaining open to new opportunities for growth and expansion.


  • Harvest: Fall brings a time of harvest and hustle, and in entrepreneurship, the hustle phase is all about taking action and maximizing productivity. This is when you roll up your sleeves, focus on execution, and push through challenges to achieve your goals. Mindfulness practices such as time management and stress reduction techniques can be invaluable during this phase, helping you stay focused and resilient in the face of adversity.


  • Rest: Finally, just as winter brings a time of hibernation and introspection, the rest phase of entrepreneurship is essential for recharging and rejuvenating. It's a time to step back, reflect on past successes and failures, and replenish your creative energy. Mindfulness practices such as meditation and journaling can be invaluable during this phase, helping you gain clarity and perspective.

It’s time for this week’s Reality Inventory:

Ask yourself where you *think* you are at in the Entrepreneurship Vitality Cycle and ask yourself what season you’re in. Then, go back and see what’s next. Try to match the season that you’re in or the season you’re coming into and the EVC you need to focus on. 


From there, you can make your next big decision - like launch a new product, add a new process or even refining an old one, or sunset an idea or even an employee that no longer serves you or your business. 


And there you have it—a deep dive into the cyclical nature of entrepreneurship through the lens of both the Entrepreneurship Vitality Cycle and the natural seasons. This journey through idea inception, development, scaling, and sometimes, the necessary retreat back to the drawing board is not just a process; it’s a reflection of the natural ebb and flow of the entrepreneur's life itself. It’s the opportunity to create what’s possible in your business without the need for all the dramatic nausea and “unsureness.” 


Whether you’re basking in the summer of abundance, harvesting your well-earned rewards, planting new seeds in spring, or taking a much-needed winter rest, remember that each phase is crucial for sustained growth and rejuvenation.


Seriously, pause and reflect. Are you sprinting through a perpetual autumn, pushing hard but risking burnout? Or perhaps you’re stuck in an eternal winter, resting more than acting, which can hinder your growth. Maybe it’s time to embrace the spring within your business and life, sowing new ideas and nurturing fledgling projects. Or, it might be your moment to revel in the summer of your entrepreneurship journey, enjoying the fruits of your labor while staying mindful of the cycles ahead.


Remember every entrepreneur's path is unique, however, we all traverse these cycles and seasons. The beauty lies in recognizing where you are, understanding what’s needed, and having the courage to pivot or push forward. 


Here’s to cultivating resilience, embracing change, and thriving in every season of your entrepreneurial journey because you are courageous, capable, and strong!

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