Emotional Cycle Of Change When Starting A Business

Emotional Cycle Of Change When Starting A Business

The emotional cycle of change when starting a business is somewhat similar for every business owner. Typically, this cycle is made up of 5 distinct phases or stages. And each of these phases comes with its peculiarity.

It is easy to feel disappointed in yourself when you experience some of the emotions that come with some phases of this cycle.

This is especially true if you are not familiar with this concept at all.

This is why this article has been compiled to help you understand and come to terms with how you are most likely feeling.

Here, everything that you need to know about the emotional cycle of change when starting a business will be discussed.

So, it might be a lengthy read; however, it promises to be an illuminating and interesting one.

Therefore, make sure you stick with us to the end.

The 5 Emotional Phases You Will Experience When Starting Your Business – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

Typically, you are bound to experience different emotions as you go through your business journey.

There will be days when you will feel elated by it all.

And there will be days when it feels like the whole world is against you.

Oftentimes, the level you find yourself in your entrepreneurial journey may influence your emotions and thoughts.

This is why it is easy to categorize these emotions into various stages.

Let’s take a closer look at these emotional phases to help you understand what you are most likely experiencing or have experienced.

Phase One – Uninformed Optimism

At this point, you are bursting with optimism about your business.

But this optimism would most likely be uninformed because you are not yet aware of the setbacks and challenges you would encounter down the road.

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs in this emotional phase have just conceived their business idea.

At this stage in their entrepreneurial journey, all they can feel is enthusiasm about how great their idea is.

In their minds, the possibilities open to them are endless.

If you are in this phase, you most likely spend your time thinking about the several benefits you would enjoy once you implement your business idea.

Setbacks and challenges are not things you are familiar with.

Therefore, you are motivated and ready to get things in motion.

Your mind would be filled with all the amazing things you can accomplish with your business.

You are coming up with catchy yet classy business names, deciding what your official website will put out, coming up with amazing offers, and so on.

This is one of the best stages in your business journey but it is often short-lived.

Once you move into stage two, it will become really difficult to maintain the optimism you started with.

Phase Two – Informed Pessimism

This is the stage where you have a reality check.

You most likely have started turning your business idea into a reality.

You are taking steps to actualize your goal and start up your business.

At this point, you most likely have started experiencing challenges and setbacks.

Maintaining your initial optimism is becoming difficult because you are now realizing it may not be as simple as you thought it would be.

All your positive thoughts are slowly getting replaced by sad and negative thoughts.

You may start questioning yourself about whether you have what it takes to accomplish your dreams or not.

All these feelings are what will lead up to the next phase of your emotional cycle.

Phase Three – Great Despair – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

The third phase is most often the hardest.

This is the phase a lot of entrepreneurs throw in the towel because they no longer have the zeal and motivation to keep pushing.

In this phase, your business has taken off.

And whatever challenges you had encountered in phase two may have multiplied.

You are now dealing with the stress of keeping your business afloat.

Perhaps, sales are not coming in the way you thought they would, your supply chain is frustrating you, or your marketing campaign is a mess.

If you were questioning yourself before, it will become worse in this stage.

Because you may move from questioning yourself to downright doubting your every action.

This stage is also the reason why most entrepreneurs tend to “jump from one thing to the other”.

They may think they chose the wrong industry or niche.

So, instead of seeing it through, they halt everything and start up in another industry or niche.

And this is how a very dangerous cycle begins.

If you are one of such entrepreneurs, you may have noticed this pattern in yourself.

You come up with an exciting business idea, and then you implement it.

When the going gets tough, you decide you can no longer go on, so you stop everything.

And then you come up with another exciting idea.

And it is the same thing all over again.

The funny thing is, once you decide to try something new, you start the emotional cycle all over again and you’d go back to phase one.

This is what makes it easy to get stuck in the cycle.

Because you will get excited and optimistic every time you try something new.

But you always give up before things become better.

Phase Four – Informed Optimism – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

If you get to the stage, then it means you did not give in to the despair you faced in phase three.

In this phase, your optimism is rekindled.

And this time it is better because it is now informed.

You are no longer blindly optimistic at this point.

Rather you are optimistic because you know you can achieve your goal if you put in the work.

Now, you know you can and will do the work that has to be done.

Your experiences in phases one and two have made you develop the champion mindset.

And your business may even start yielding some profits that will make you more determined and motivated.

Phase Five – Success – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

The final phase is filled with happy emotions.

Your business is most likely flourishing and you are now reaping the rewards of your labor.

You are happy, fulfilled, and bursting with confidence.

If you get to this phase, it is because you were able to withstand all the challenges and setbacks you encountered.

And doing this is not an easy task.

This however does not mean it is not doable.

A lot of entrepreneurs have weathered the odds and become successful.

You can be one of them too.

All you need to do is know how to handle all the stages of emotional changes you are bound to experience when starting a business.

Luckily, the next section would discuss tips that can help you do this.

How to Handle the Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

To get to the fifth phase of the emotional cycle when starting a business, you have to overcome all the challenges and setbacks that are thrown at you.

And you can only do this if you have control over your emotions.

One of the best ways to handle one’s emotions is by improving one’s emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence plus your hard work should typically result in success.

But what does emotional intelligence mean?

Well, emotional intelligence is what makes a person able to recognize their emotions, understand them, and know how these emotions are affecting them and the people around them.

Due to this, emotionally intelligent people often know how to maintain a great relationship with people around them.

Traits of Emotionally Intelligent People

The following are the five main traits emotionally intelligent people possess.

Knowing and developing these traits is among the first step you need to take to improve your emotional intelligence.

Self-Regulation – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

Self-regulation is what makes people with high emotional intelligence able to control their emotions.

If you can self-regulate, you won’t give in to your emotions and make hasty decisions based on them.


Emotionally intelligent people are usually quite self-aware.

This is because they properly understand their feelings.

And this is why they do not allow their feelings to control them.

Rather, they control their emotions. 

Read this article to learn about the importance of self-awareness in business.


Empathy is another very essential factor of emotional intelligence.

Simply put, empathy is being able to recognize as well as understand the needs and wants of people around you.

An empathic person is ever ready to listen to the problem of others.

And also know that their actions can trigger certain reactions in other people.

This is the trait that makes it possible for emotionally intelligent people to maintain great relationships with others.

Because they listen to people, they are not quick to judge or write people off.


If you have high emotional intelligence, you would know how to control your emotions to stay motivated at all times.

Social Skills – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

The fifth trait of emotionally intelligent people is social skills.

Their social skills coupled with empathy are why people naturally gravitate toward them.

Because they are great communicators, they can always listen to others and help them out in any way they can.

Now that you know the traits you need to develop to improve your emotional intelligence, let’s now take a look at some of the tips that will help you develop them.

Remember, the main reason you need to improve your emotional intelligence is so you can gain control over your emotions.

This in turn will help you stay level-headed through the various stages of your emotional cycle of change when you start your business.

You have to keep your emotions in check throughout every phase of this cycle.

This is because even good emotions can cause damage if not handled properly.

For instance, the first phase (uninformed optimism) only comes with positive emotions.

But if you let these emotions get the best of you, you may never get anything in motion.

You may simply spend all your time daydreaming and thinking of all the good things that can come out of your idea.

So, regardless of the phase you find yourself in, ensure you pay attention to the tips that will be shared below.

1. Recognize and Analyze Your Emotions – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

The first thing you need to do to take charge of your emotions is to recognize them.

When you find yourself battling with certain emotions, do some soul-searching to figure out your feelings.

For instance, let’s say you are questioning yourself at every turn.

From what you’ve learned so far, this is one of the ways you may feel when you are in phase two of the cycle (informed pessimism).

And you also know that the challenges and setbacks you are encountering are responsible for these feelings.

But let’s assume you were yet to read this article.

This would mean you may not know what you are feeling; let alone why you feel them.

In this case, the best thing to do is sit down and try to figure out your feelings.

Once you can identify your feeling, you need to analyze them.

Ask yourself questions that will help you understand why you feel the way you feel.

Try to describe your feeling and be specific with it; do you feel anger, doubt, or fear?

Doing this will increase your self-awareness.

You will also be able to distance yourself from your feelings.

This way, you can take a closer look at them and this would in turn help you figure out how to control them.

There are several methods to identify and assess your feelings so that you can achieve all these.

These methods include journaling, practicing mindfulness, meditation, and so on.

You just have to find the method or methods that work best for you.

2. Understand That Your Emotions Do Not Define You – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

This is a very important lesson you will likely learn when practicing tip #1.

Just because you feel a certain way at a point in time does not mean that is who you are.

You need to know this and often remind yourself of it.

When you know that your emotions are simply just emotions and not a definition of you, it becomes easier to distance yourself from them.

And once you can do this, you become capable of choosing your response to your thoughts and feelings.

You can decide what to do when you feel a certain way, or think a certain way.

3. Have a Routine to Help You Minimize Negative Thoughts and Emotions

It becomes very difficult to let go of negative thoughts and emotions when it seems like everything around you is failing.

This is most likely how you may feel in the third phase of the emotional cycle you’d find yourself when starting a business.

A once-promising venture may start looking very bleak because you find yourself swarmed by challenges and setbacks. ‘

At this point, it is easy to doubt yourself and feel like perhaps you should not have chosen the path you did.

But you have to fight off these negativities.

That is the only way you can advance to the fourth and finally fifth phases.

One of the best ways to minimize your negative thoughts and emotions is to keep busy.

Keeping busy does not mean filling your days with irrelevant activities.

No, to take away the negative thoughts, you need to keep yourself busy with tasks that will take you closer to your goal.

You have to do things that will help you overcome the challenges that are making you think negatively.

Let’s say your negative emotions are because you are not making as many sales as you thought you would.

The first thing to do would be to identify these emotions.

Once you do that, analyze them and figure out the root of the problem.

Perhaps you are not making as many sales as you want because the marketing aspect of your business is lacking.

You can fight off the negativity by implementing new and better marketing strategies.

Create a routine that will keep you busy as you work towards actualizing your goal.

4. Be Realistic – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

Make it a duty to always be realistic from the moment you conceive your business idea.

Do not allow the optimism of the business idea to distract you from the realities of starting and running a business.

It is nearly impossible to start up a business without experiencing certain obstacles and challenges.

So, prep your mind for them.

Accept that difficulties are part of the things you have to encounter on your way to success.

When you start your business with this mindset, you will know how to handle your emotions to overcome the challenges when they eventually come.

5. Cut Yourself Some Slack – Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

Improving your emotional intelligence and taking control of your emotions is not a walk in the park.

It is not something that you can accomplish in a day.

So, it is normal to lose control of your emotions despite all the effort you put into keeping them in check.

This is not a reason to become harsh on yourself and start feeling like you are not making progress.

Instead of doing this, encourage yourself and keep practicing.

Learn to cut yourself some slack; this is also part of controlling your emotions.

Conclusion on Emotional Cycle of Change When Starting a Business

When starting a business, your emotions will be all over the place.

You will go through a series of emotions from hopefulness to frustration to despair to anger to doubt, and if you hold on, back to hopefulness.

Typically, it’s a full cycle.

But if you stop halfway, you will not get to the point where your hope returns.

This is why you need to learn how to control your emotions.

The tips discussed in this article can help you achieve this.

But they can only be of help if you practice them.