Stages of Entrepreneur’s life and Stages of Rocket Engine, Compared.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Everyone will agree that Entrepreneurship is a very interesting journey. Life becomes very interesting and challenging the moment you decide that you want to become an Entrepreneur.

The business goes from various stages that of Startup, Stabilise and Growth. I was wondering if the same qualities of an Entrepreneur are applicable for all the stages? Of course, not, the qualities required in the startup phase are very different from the next phases.

Can an Entrepreneur manage the company in the same way during its various stages?

Then I tried to compare this to the process of a Rocket Launch. This Rocket, which launches Satellite has various engines for each phase, and each engine phase has a particular role to play.

Please note that this article is not about Success and Failure. The goal is to talk about the different phases of the life of an Entrepreneur.

Similarities in Rocket Engines and Entrepreneurship

Generally, the term rocket science is used to indicate something which is significantly complex and difficult to understand. We are going to use the analogy of Rocket Engine to understand the life of an Entrepreneur.

There is a striking similarity between the Rocket Engine and Entrepreneurial journey. Business grows from Startup, Stabilise to Growth. The rocket moves from Booster, Orbit, to Escape Velocity

Life of an entrepreneur – Phase 1 in Rocket – Boosters; Phase 1 in Business – Startup

In rocket terminology, the Phase One engines are known as boosters. In phase one, the circumstances are challenging. Atmospheric Pressure, Gravity, and Aerodynamic Resistance are high. So the rocket has to burn a lot of fuel in a very short time get passed the Earth’s environment.

The purpose of first phase is to escape the Earth Environment and get into Orbit. Where it can cruise smoothly.

Similarly, in a startup phase, the business has very adverse circumstances. Survival is of prime importance. The Entrepreneur might be in constant fire fighting mode. Rather than creating an organisational structure, getting things done is more important. The entrepreneur might play the role from peon to the President all at once.

If the business does not pass the startup phase towards stability (Orbit), there is a continous struggle of survival.

Life of an entrepreneur – Phase 2 in Rocket – Orbit; Phase 2 in Business – Stability

Once the rocket escapes the Earth’s Environment, it reaches in the outer orbit. There it rotates around the Earth at a specific speed and on the specific height.

The Rocket does not require huge thrust to stay in the Orbit. Minimal power is required to stay in the Orbit. It just needs to maintain the height and the speed to stay stable.

The same thing happens with the entrepreneur also. Once the business passes the startup phase, it kind of stabilises. The firefighting and do-it-yourself style of management needs to get more organised. Building Team has to begin in this phase. Delegation of work to subordinate starts to come in. Setting up day to day administration becomes prime importance.

The Stability Phase in the life of an Entrepreneur is very dangerous because the sense of complacency (satisfaction) can creep in and prevent from the next phase.

The change of management style in the second phase is a must. If that does not happen, Small business stays small. Getting from phase one to phase two is comparatively easier because it comes naturally.

Life of an entrepreneur – Phase 3 in Rocket – Escape Velocity; Phase 3 in Business – Growth

Staying in an orbit is a very tricky situation. If you decrease the speed or height, Earth’s gravity may pull you down. To get into outer space, the speed has to increase beyond a certain point. This speed is called Escape Velocity.

Similarly, an entrepreneur also has to come out of the comfort of stability and think of the big growth. Otherwise, the business stays in the orbit of stability and never makes it big.

Here comes the visionary aspect of Entrepreneurship. Thinking big and administrative excellence is not everybody’s cup of tea.

The problem with most of the small businesses is that they don’t reach the escape velocity. They always remain small. (in the orbit)

Conclusion, which type of Entrepreneur are you?

If we study the fortune 500 companies, There are very few companies where the founder of the startup is also leading the large corporation. There are few exceptional stories though like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, to name a few.

Either the leadership and management style has to change or

12 Comments

  1. Smita Nadkarni

    Beautifully compared business with rocket science. I would just add one more thing to it is that rocket science works same for all the flying objects… but different business requires different strategies and different way of planning…

    • Limesh Parekh

      Smita Nadkarni, Thanks for the comments. I was trying to create an analogy between phases of Rocket Engine and Phases of life of an Entrepreneur.

  2. Krushit Shah

    A very interesting analogy presented in an effective way.
    My startup Zoogyo is currently in the booster stage 1 of its lifecycle but with the right mindset and collaborations, I hope to make it to the orbit one day!

    • Limesh Parekh

      Krushit Shah, Thanks for the perspective. I am sure, The ultimate objective would be to escape the orbit and go on the path of continuous growth by achieving ESCAPE VELOCITY.

  3. Sunil Deora

    Super article.. short and powerpacked…

    Loved the way its compared with Rocket launch… complex yet so simple..

    Thank you for valuable iinsights…

    • Limesh Parekh

      Thanks a lot, Sunil Deora. Also, spare some time to go thru the activities of SkillXperience.org. Where we try to make students more employable.

  4. Kadal Amutham

    Every rocket has an end of life. So the enterprise…

  5. Tapan Sheth

    Nice article. Every time your article inspires me. Want to go to Outer Space but failed.

  6. Jayesh Shah

    Superb insights as usual Limesh bhai. As an organisation, Sheding the strap on boosters, various stages contribute to the successful mission of a rocket, similarly, accepting and embracing change is one of the most crucial things in
    Indeed, leaving comfort zone is not everyone’s cup of tea.

  7. Suhas Marathe

    Article makes you introspect

    Analogy presented is perfect

    Remaining small is not in any way been shown negative

    But perspective is cleared in all forms of business

    Limeshbhai thanks for this share

  8. Vipul panchal

    Are real story of and new entrepreneur which struggle to make business stable at certain time and move forwards. Excellent story written by limeshbhai.

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