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Beware of the “Playing Business” Stage

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Starting a business is invigorating. Creative energy is at an all time high along with optimism and drive. But many entrepreneurs fall into the same trap: this is fun and should always be fun! I should be living my dream!

This is what’s known as the “Playing Business” stage. A budding business owner gets caught up in the fluffy tasks of starting a business. Making social media accounts is fun! Designing a logistics algorithm for cross country shipping methods? Not so fun.

To avoid playing business, you need a lot of self control for an extended period of time and the ability to keep pushing when things get discouraging, also known as GRIT. Here’s how to avoid getting stuck in the fun stages of starting a business:


  1. Make a List – Label which tasks are arduous and dreadful, and ones that are light and quick. It’s okay to still do side work for the business as long as you’re diving into the main framework that will support the rest of operations.
  2. Find a Workflow Balance – Some people work in 30 minute spurts with 5 minute breaks, others can power through several hours and then take a long break before diving back in. As your own boss, you make your own hours to fit your workflow!
  3. Stay Inspired – It could be reading success stories online, hanging up an inspirational quote each day, or thinking about why you quit your day job. Whatever it is that pushed you to become an entrepreneur, hang on to it when you need motivation.
  4. Practice Self Discipline – All of those pictures of entrepreneurs working in hip cafes and beautiful beach resorts are quite enticing. But it’s up to you to recognize when you’re not actually productive in distracting places. If you need to get out of your home, the library may not be glamorous but it is efficient. The first few months will take a lot of self-discovery, but only you can know what it takes for you to buckle down and get hustling.

There are many stages to starting a business: Seed and development, startup, growth and establishment, expansion, maturity and possible exit. If you can get past the playing business stage, chances are you’ve got what it takes to make your idea work.