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WHAT IS EARLY STRUGGLE?
It feels like you’re hacking through the jungle, as you fight to keep your newly-born organization alive. The two main challenges are (1) making sure there is enough cash to keep going, until (2) you’ve clearly established that there is a market for your product or service (or for what you're trying to achieve in the world, if you are a not-for-profit).
The mortality rate of organizations is high in this stage – around 80% of all new ventures don’t make it out of Early Struggle. You’re fighting for your organization’s very existence…
Early Struggle is one of the 4 visible danger zones in the growth Lifecycle. The mortality rate of organizations is high in this stage – 80% of all new ventures don’t make it out of Early Struggle.
"If you're a startup, you only have one viable strategy: Stop being one" - Les McKeown
“The first road to freedom is viability" - Rupert Murdoch
The 3 Key Challenges in Early Struggle
MAXIMIZE ACCESS TO EXTERNAL FUNDING
Whatever you thought it would take to get your new venture off the ground, bank on it taking 3 times that amount. (This applies to NFP's just as much as it does to commercial new ventures.)
MINIMIZE THE PATH TO VIABILITY
You have only one goal during Early Struggle - get out of there. The longer you stay, the closer you're getting to running out of resources. Stay ruthlessly focussed on finding your market.
ADAPT TO CONNECT TO YOUR MARKET
Whether you're starting a graphic design agency or a foundation to cure cancer, to find your market you need to test, adapt, test, adapt and test and adapt again - and do it urgently and nimbly.
Build The Team You Need to Get Out of Early Struggle
A key element - in our view, the key element of achieving successful growth is in building the right team. Here at Predictable Success we've uncovered the precise combination of 4 specific leadership styles needed to move through each one of the 7 growth stages in the growth Lifecycle. Here's what you need in place in order to optimize the time you spend in Fun:
To be successful, every new venture needs a Visionary - someone who thinks at the 30,000' level and sets the overall strategy and direction. Visionaries are 'starters' and come up with new ideas.
Visionaries become easily frustrated with detail and attending to the 'nitty-gritty' of execution, so they need to have one or more Operators - ruthless finishers who get things done.
Processors install systems, policies and procedures and are needed in a later stage of growth (stage 3, 'Whitewater'). Having Processors too early will slow down your growth.
Eventually you will need some Synergists if you want to get to the peak stage of growth ('Predictable Success'), but like Processors, they will hold you back if you put them on the team too early.
ARE YOU TRULY SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING OUT OF EARLY STRUGGLE?
(HINT: You should be. The longer you stay in Early Struggle, the closer you're getting to running out of resources before you hit viability.)
By far the fastest way to accelerate out of Early Struggle is to enroll in The Predictable Success Acceleration Program - a proven, time-tested, highly cost-effective Program that will not only accelerate your move out of Early Struggle, it will be your constant guide an companion as you progress all the way through to Predictable Success: