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Understandings of Growth #4
I am the CEO and Cofounder of Income Store. It’s now the sixth time Inc. 5000 company. I just did the numbers and I found out we did about $50 million in 2018, which was double the prior year. We’ve been doubling for quite some time now, every year with 150-plus employees in multiple countries. I am in the middle of a six-part series called the Six Understandings of Growth. This is the underpinning besides the advertising, the marketing methods, the company building and the scale methods that we use across our portfolio of 1,200 money making websites and businesses. There are some underpinnings that hold the growth in a hypergrowth state.
I’m on number four. It’s called the understanding of the five phases that everybody goes through in every position they hold. Every position, whether you’re a teacher, a CEO, whether you’re the president of United States, I don’t care what position you hold. Your current position and any previous positions you’ve had, there are five phases you’ve gone through and are going through that are unavoidable. If you have a team and you lead people or are partnered with people, you want to have a deep understanding of these so you can help them navigate through the five phases faster. The five phases that everybody goes through in any position are the following. Number one is the excitement phase. Some people call it the honeymoon phase. You get a new position and everything is just rosy. You can work twenty hours a day. You can’t wait to get to work. You are jacked. You’re excited about where you’re at and what you’re doing and it’s fun. For some people, that lasts a minute. For some people, it lasts forever.
Most often, an employee gets in the infamous doubt phase because someone triggered it. Click To Tweet
Whenever you’re done with the excitement phase, you often slip into phase two, the education phase. That’s when you know that the excitement has worn off and you come with the self-realization, “I need to study a little bit to stay sharp.” You start reading blogs, you start buying books, you start going to some seminars on your own and watching videos. You get instate educated partly to hold onto your job, but partly to grow and you know deep down that it’s the right thing. Then you go into phase three. Phase three is the reality phase. That’s when you realize, “This is a real job. Reality sets in. I’m going to be here for a while. I got to do the work.” Everything about work settles in. The scope of it, the drive time if you commute, the people that have gotten you there, the people that need to get you to the next level, the homework involved and the continuing ed. Everything about what you’re doing sinks in, then phase four happens.
Phase four sometimes lasts one second, sometimes it lasts six months and almost always it’s triggered by a person. You were in phase three and you now have to jump in to phase four and it is the infamous doubt phase. That’s when you start doubting what you’re doing, who you are, where you’re going, where you’re headed and the company. Something was planted in you that a seed of doubt germinates. I want you to think back about your previous position. Were you excited for a while? Did you go into education and then reality? Did you start doubting and did somebody plant a seed? Is that why you ended up in the position you’re in right now? My bet is, yes. The reason is you didn’t get to phase five. Phase five is the clarity phase.
The clarity phase is when you know who you are, you know the position you hold and you know where you’re headed personally. You know that this is either a résumé builder or it’s a long-term play or it’s a foundation. You know that you’re in the right spot and you want to be there for a while. That’s the clarity phase. When you hit phase five and it’s real, you then immediately go back to one and two at the same time. You get excited a little bit. There are a little jump and pep in your step and you start to go for continuing ed because you want to stay in phase five.
This is number four of a four-part series. Number one is the excitement phase. Number two is the education phase. Number three is the reality phase. Number four is the doubt phase and number five is the clarity phase. If you’re the leader of a company, if you manage people, I want you to ask yourself, “Do I know what phase each of my people is in?” If you don’t, that’s dangerous times. You want to see if you can figure out it somehow someway. I’ve been so bold as to send out a survey and a test and have everybody fill it in. To my surprise, people answer honestly. They’ll tell you when they’re in the doubt phase and they’ll tell you why they’re in the doubt phase.
Is that a great checkup from the neck up for you, your managers and all the people doing the meaningful work? Is that helpful? You don’t want people in the doubt phase. It’s okay to be there. You have to be there at some point, but you want to help them along. You want them to either get into the clarity phase or get them into a different position in your company or out of your company and do everybody a service. As a great manager and leader, the fourth understanding of growth is the empathetic understanding of the five phases. If you’re empathetic towards them, you can coach people through them better and faster. I hope this helps. Take care.