Success is the common goal of every entrepreneur.  However each entrepreneur defines success very differently.  Whatever your definition some key criteria and decisions are needed before you can start.

First, you must make sure you have already achieved the objectives in the survival stage of the growth cycle.  You can get a better idea of these objectives in my post titled 8 Things You Can Do to Achieve the “Survival” Stage of Small Business Growth.

In a previous post  titled Is Indecision Keeping You and Your Business from Success? I discussed a  major decision for the business owner navigating the self-sustainability stage .  It is a fork in the road.  You can either:

  1. prepare the business for rapid growth
  2. develop the business to sustain its current level of success

Building the business takes on different objectives and task based on which path you decide.  So, a decision is critical at the onset or you and your business will wander aimlessly.

Once an entrepreneur makes this decision a new set of objectives for both themselves and the company are created.  I discuss the 4 objectives that fall into the owner and company categories in a previous post title, The Search for Growth Continues where I introduced the 5 stages of small business growth.

4 Leadership Objectives Impact the Self-Sustainability Stage of Small Business’ Growth Cycle:

Let’s look at the Leadership Growth Factors and we’ll take a look at the Management Factors in Part 2 of this post at a later date.

Leadership Factors:

Owner goals
  • Owner’s decision here is critical: growth or sustain profitability.
Operational Skills
  • Owner MUST transition from “doer” to executive.
  • Delegate day-to-day tasks and focus 1, 3, and 5 years into the future.
Managerial Abilities
  • Trial and error doesn’t cut it any more.
  • Learn how to train and delegate.
  • Growth: owner must become a professional manager

Stable & Profitable: owner begins to disengage from business.


Strategic Thinking
  • Growth: eye to the future looking out 3- 5 years.
  • Stability: methods to preserve capital and create passive income by focusing on an exit strategy


What you will notice here is that there are a lot of the same objectives here the real difference is what the owner’s role becomes.  This is a difficult transition point for many entrepreneurs.  Most didn’t get in business to become a professional manager. They started their business because they had a passion.  See my previous blog post titled Why So Many Small Business Owners are Unhappy to get a better sense of the challenges entrepreneurs face at this point in their personal growth.  If you cannot get past this point, neither will your business.  So, you need to take a hard look in the mirror and face some tough things deep down inside!

Are you at this point?  Are you unsure of what you really want “when you or your business grow up?”  For those of you that have faced these demons and won, share your journey.  It will help others to see that they are not alone and that there is a light at the other end of the tunnel.

Next, we’ll take a look at the business objectives so stay tuned to next weeks post…