When coaching a business leader, the first thing to identify is the stage of the business being led. Why? One very important reason, different leadership skills are required at different stages of business. This is true with you too. You are the leader of the Business of YOU and to know how to lead yourself, you must know what stage you are in. Within each stage are unique challenges, diminishing and growing resources, and opportunities. What if you looked at yourself as a business to make the most of each stage?

Business of YOU: Stages

When a company is created it is a called a start-up. As it develops and gains customers, it moves into the growth stage. When systems and processes are established to support continuation of business, maturity is reached. If the economy, client base or other system changes a mature business may experience decline. At this point the business ends or it reinvents itself to grow into a new organization or direction. What stage are you in?

Start-up: Better known as recent graduate, downsized, new career, life style change.

Growth: Better known as work experience, networking, certification, and trying new things.

Maturity: Better known as expertise, authority, opportunities, and choices.

Decline: Better known as stress, depression, anxiety, loss of motivation and dissatisfaction.

Reinvention: Better know as creative energy, new perspective, challenge, excitement and rebirth.

Business of You: You are on a Mission

The first step to develop the business plan of you is the same for every stage so if you are not sure what stage you are at (or you are between stages), you can take this step forward. The truth is, you are on a mission. You have a reason(s) for living and working.


If you don’t know your mission or have lost touch with it, try this simple exercise. Get some crayons or colored pencils or anything fun to draw with and create a picture (no words) of your perfect day. It’s a day you create. Take at least 15 minutes. Let yourself dream. Be silly. Be grandiose. Be simple. This perfect day has as many hours as you need so don’t think about how much time, money or other resources you have – just draw. Put your drawing away. Take it out the next day and see what you see. Do you see what is important to you?