You might want to start a business to gain location independence, creative freedom or time freedom.
Social media ads flying through your feed offer attractive promises like:
- How To Make $5,000/Month From Anywhere
- Make Six-Figures In Less Than A Year
- Hustle Your Way To $10,000/Month With No Idea and No Experience
But how long does it take to achieve financial stability?
The honest answer? You might not want to hear how long it really takes to start a business!
It took me 5 years to consistently earn about the same monthly income I had from my last job.
From my interviews with 500+ solopreneurs, the average length of time it takes to gain financial stability is two years on average.
From the moment they commit to researching their idea to the moment their business is paying them the same amount of monthly income from their most recent job is two years.
That might seem like a long time, especially when you’re used to getting a new job in a matter of weeks, if not months.
My visit to the Amazon Jungle In Brazil during the summer of 2019 reminded me that everything has its own natural pace and growth can’t be forced. Including starting your business.
You can try to hack your way to growth, but you’ll most likely burn yourself out even if you achieve financial stability!
Starting A Business Times Take Like Growing Açaí
During my visit to the Amazon, I learned about growing açaí for profit from my host Evandro Pereira Dias.
In the video below, he explains how he started his business when he bought his land almost 7 years ago and planted 800 açaí trees.
It would take another 4 years before the were mature enough to start producing berries. He harvested just 20 baskets during his first season. Two years later he harvested 400 baskets!
Each year he reinvests his profits to plant more trees and to maintain the land. In the next few years, he says he’ll be harvesting 300 baskets a week throughout the season!
As I listened to Evandro, I couldn’t help but think that growing açaí was the perfect analogy for growing a business. (And if you’ve listen to our podcast long enough, you know I love gardening analogies when describing business concepts;)
Like growing açaí, growing a business takes time and for good reason.
When you’re starting a business, you’re not getting a new job. You’re completely changing how you work, how you make a living and even your identity!
It takes time to absorb all that change into your life!!
4 Startup Learning Curves
Starting a business takes longer than you might realize because you’re learning 4 new ways of working simultaneously!
- How to manage yourself.
- How to validate a business idea.
- How to create systems.
- How to find clients/customers.
Taking on any one of those learning curves is steep all on its own. When you’re starting a business, you’re tackling each one of them at the same time without even realizing it!
I believe the simplest business model to try first is making money from what you already know by doing it for people you already know.
Basically, how can you turn your most marketable skill from your profession or current job into a consulting, freelancing or coaching opportunity that continues to serve clients in your network or industry?
This approach helps ease two of the four startup learnings curves from the above list: #2 validate your business idea and #4 find clients.
You won’t have to validate your idea because you are transferring your skills from employment to self-employment.
Staying focused on serving your current industry will also make finding clients much easier because you can rely on your existing connections.
The remaining two learning curves are the toughest for most people.
How to manage yourself: When you think about it, our conventional employment system always told us how, when, where, on what and with whom to work. Learning how to manage yourself is one of the hardest feats you’ll ever have to accomplish because you can’t fire yourself, so you have to learn how to deal with yourself!
How to create systems: Remember, you aren’t creating a job for yourself. You are building a system and most of us have never done that before. It’s a big mind shift to learn how to earn money from a system you’ve built, rather than trading your minutes for dollars as you’ve been taught as a conventional employee.
Recognition of these 4 startup learning curves alone will now help you move through them faster, thus helping you get your business to financial stability more quickly.
Learn How To Start Managing Yourself
If you’re ready to start working for yourself, I tell people to start learning about yourself first!
You need to evaluate the most important resource of your business: YOU and the biggest obstacle in your business: YOU.
The more you learn about yourself, the more effectively you can manage yourself.
Check out our 12-Week Self-Assessment Challenge to help you learn more about yourself than ever before!
We always love hearing from you! Have a question about starting your business? Share here.