Ichaosjpgf you ask 100 people to describe their relationship to chaos, you might be surprised how many different answers you get. Some say they “love” chaos. Others will say they have to have it to be motivated. Still others will say they avoid chaos at all costs and then admit chaos is impossible to avoid. What about you? How do you feel deep down about a state of confusion and instability? Do you thrive on it? Do you expect it, but dread it? Whatever your position on random and unpredictable behavior, it is a fact chaos creates tiny changes that lead to large changes which lead to growth and development. And yes, often times success. Some of those changes are hard to predict with a high degree of certainty. But, without them, we would stand still, never reaching our goals or our potential. If you can learn to embrace chaos and the change that follows, you will find yourself in a place of constant growth and renewal. This is good!

Let’s simplify this. I propose there are only three stages of business for small business owners:

Clueless: The period in any business when you know much less than you want to about almost anything; a time when you need but are not willing to take much help; a time when you move forward on determination and excitement; when your ideas and fear inspire you to keep going. This is also a time when you might question why you thought you could be a small business owner and wonder if you will ever make a living doing what you love.

Delightful chaos: A period of heightened energy and creativity; a time when we develop systems and test our potential; a time when we bound out of bed each morning and burn the midnight oil just because we want to.

Bored: Long after you have reached dozens of goals and been recognized for many accomplishments; when you have realized profit and satisfaction; when your processes are in place and you are in a position of “maintenance” you may find you are actually bored. This is a time when owners take their eye off the prize and settle into a state of stagnation. Many dread going to work each day and find any excuse to delegate even those tasks best handled by them alone. They think about selling or retiring and forget how much energy they have put into the long hard journey.

We are always glad to see the “clueless” stage come to an end and if we are “bored” we look for something to shake us out of it. That something is usually a new product or service, reorganization or expansion, or anything else to challenge our status quo. Once we undertake something new we are right back in delightful chaos. Yes, the very best place for any small business owner to be is living and loving “delightful chaos.” It is a perfect state for growth and change. It is where all great ideas are born and implemented. It is where the thrill of being your own boss and creating success your way begins. Embrace it. Thrive on it. Let it inspire your creativity to find solutions to your challenges and explore your possibilities.