The 7 Stages of Business Recovery

During periods of major loss or change, individuals—and businesses—experience a number of stages. Everyone has to go through each of these stages in order to recover and the speed at which you get through them will determine how soon you recover.

Here are the 7 Stages of Business Recovery:

1. Denial – Refusal to believe and accept that things have changed dramatically which typically involve some loss. All efforts and energy are invested in resisting that the conditions have changed.

2. Anger / Blame – During this stage the business or individual is finding a target to blame for the major change or loss. All energy and effort is spent on finding someone, some situation or institution to assign as a reason for the current situation.

3. Bargaining and Hope – This stage involves bargaining and hoping for someone to save them. This is stage is a low level of responsibility. Many businesses are in this phase today as they wait for banks to free up capital or the government to come in and suddenly save the day. This is just another level of denial of the situation and only happens due to not taking responsibility.

4. Apathy – Apathy is a form of quitting or withdrawing. In this stage, the individual or business reaches acceptance that things have changed and no one can save them—and in fact, there is nothing that can be done about it! This results in people moving into major contraction and worsening of their own condition by saving money, energy, resources, creativity and any efforts to figuring a way out. The higher your responsibility level, the shorter this stage will last.

5. False Acceptance and Action – This stage sees a spurt of effort to accept conditions and do something about it, result in inconsistent and reactive actions. This is the first stage of accepting that things have changed, but most underestimate the degree of pain or loss and take actions based on an earlier stage.

6. Disappointment – Similar to the stage of apathy, because the actions used are reactions to the past. This results in unsatisfactory levels of production causing disappointment, confusion, and possible frustration. This stage opens up the business, team or individual for true acceptance of the situation and sets them up with what is required to dig their way out.

7. True Acceptance – This final stage is where the individual, team or company becomes fully aware of the amount of change—for the first time—that has occurred and is now prepared to let go of the past and move into the future. This is the first time there is an awareness of the need for new skills and actions. In this final stage of acceptance, people will experience a reinvigoration and excitement about their business and future. They become highly interested in reinventing themselves and their business.

To go all-in on knowing these stages I had personally conducted over 100 conference calls directly with over 800 business owners, executives and managers in total. The results of those calls suggested that people are commonly encountering these stages and progressing through them. However, the companies and individuals that were taking the time to conference call with me have a higher degree of responsibility, so the statistics that follow are most likely not representative of the general population.

Here are some of the results obtained from the conference calls:

• Almost 80% were more concerned with what they need to do rather than who is to blame

• Over 95% realized, as a result of the conference call, that no one was going to come in and save them (this is a critical realization for moving through the stages)

• Almost 100% of them admitted to being in the False Acceptance Stage and expressed disappointment in the results of their current actions

• The majority of those who admitted to being in the False Acceptance and Action Stage acknowledged that they needed to learn new actions, new skills and new approaches that had to start with management

• 98% agreed that while the economy was problematic, it was not the problem

• Over 90% believed the call moved them through the stages more quickly so that they could reach the final stage of True Acceptance and start taking new actions to achieve new results.

This level of responsibility and action is critical to recovery. If a business, team or individual is in any stage but True Acceptance they are not taking actions on a level high enough to fully recover; they will be too busy using all of their energy and creativity assessing who is to blame.

Take responsibility. Recover from the loss or change. Reach your true potential.

Let me know in the comments below which stage you are in, or when you overcame these 7 stages in business. And if you need to kickstart your small business, I’m going LIVE with Hall of Fame Quarterback Fran Tarkenton to give you the tips and business secrets to help you go massive with your business.Register here.

Be great,

Grant Cardone

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