Episode 1 - Growing your business: an entrepreneur's journey - Launch to Scale

Rolling out of bed it literally feels like I am pulling away from a giant magnet. It’s still dark outside.  5h37 I see on the phone through blurred eyes. Didn’t I just go to sleep? Shaking my head I know very well that I have not “slept”. No. I just took a 2h23 nap that was supposed to rejuvenate me, clear my mind and help me focus back on the proposal that can grow my business exponentially. But I feel nothing like it.  Walking out of my room like a zombie, I try not to wake Daphney and Anabelle as I go to the kitchen to start the coffee. In the bathroom, I splash my face with cold water like it will wash the fatigue and dizziness out of my system. “I have to finish this” I think to myself. I am halfway done but it must be sent today.

Pouring a big cup of coffee, I think of what that deal could mean for Daphney and me and get an instant boost of energy. This association with a powerhouse name would definitely grow my business. It would mean massive exposure to a new audience, new partners, an unlimited access to quality resources. And, the dollar value of that deal… Boy…We could finally plan to buy a house instead of just talking about it like we’ve been doing for the past 15 months. Well, more like Daphney has been talking about, I should say. It got more intense since Anabelle was born. I, on the other side, have always been silent on the subject. What is the point? I don’t see how we can afford it. The business is going well, yes. But I am nowhere near revenues that are substantial and stable enough to make such grandiose plans. But walking down the stairs to the office, for once I feel like I am legitimated to think and see this as a possibility.

But first, let’s focus on the proposal. As I open my computer, I push last night’s (this morning’s) coffee mug to the side and put my fresh cup of coffee next to my phone. Reviewing the proposal outline I chuckle as I see all that is left to do. I seriously don’t know how to pull this off by the end of the day today. How can I finish writing the first draft, review and correct it, format it in a nice proposal document by 6pm? But, I promised it would be sent. Technically, end of the day would give me until midnight. However, if I want them to take me seriously I would have to send it during the office hours, which means 5… or 6pm. Regardless, I’ll figure it out and make it happen because my business’s growth depends on it. I will handle it, just like I always do.  

As I am typing, I can hear Daphney in the shower, and then Anabelle waking up. A few minutes later I hear Annabelle crying because she doesn’t want to eat her cereal… I am lucky Daphney is ok with doing the morning shift. She is an early bird. I, on the other hand, am definitely not a morning person. All the rave about starting your day super early has made me try to shift it around, trust me. But at some point, I had to embrace the fact that my most productive and creative juice pours in after midnight. It’s as if my neurons only get stimulated when it is late. The darker the night the clearer are my thoughts and sharpest are my ideas. So I always go to bed very late and sleep in until 8h30-9h00am. Except for days like today: this proposal is big.

30 minutes later I hear them coming down the stairs. “Good morning daddy!”

“Hi Bellibee”

As I take Annabelle in my arms, she kisses me on the cheek and asks: “Daddy work?”

“Yes. Daddy is working hard so he can buy you a nice princess house”

“Princess!?” Her eyes big like quarters she hugs me hard and says “Pink?”

“Yes!” I answer quite amused.

With a wide smile, she gets off of me and walks to her mother and says “Mom! Belliebee princess pink!”

Laughing and shaking my head I look at Daphney.

“Hey, how is it going?” she asks.

“Good, I have a lot to do but I think I can pull it off”.

“You still think you’ll have time to get Anabelle from daycare later?”


“Ok. I have a few meetings today so I won’t be in my office. Call me on my cell if you can’t make it and I’ll go a pick her up.”

“Ok thanks. But I should be ok.”

She sighs and says “OK! Have a nice day, hon” as she turns to walk back up with Anabelle.

She looks good with her curly hair and corporate navy blue suit. We’re such opposite but complement each other so well. We’re a good team.

It’s now 2h03pm and things are going pretty well. I am almost done. As I do a final review of my proposal I feel proud. Really proud. This is good. They can’t say no to that! “Ok. Now, let’s format it and be done with it” I say out loud.

I go on Canva to put the text in a proposal format. My friend John told me about this just last week. Apparently, it makes designing really easy, so this should be a breeze.  As I open Canva, there are various format options: presentation, letterhead, magazine, résumé. There is even an ebook template! I quickly go through the options to envision what my proposal would look like in each format, but quickly get overwhelmed. This is getting too complicated for an app that was supposed to simplify my life. I finally land on the letterhead format, just because it looks the simplest and easiest to manage. I should be done in 30 minutes maximum.

As I play with it, I take a sip of the remnants of my now cold and tasteless coffee and can’t believe what I am seeing on my cell: 5h15pm! Is this a joke? I have been formatting for close to 3 hours and I am not even finished?


“Anabelle!” I say in total shock.

I can’t believe I forgot about her. There is no way I will have time to finish formatting my proposal, send the email and pick her up before daycare closes at 6pm.

Filled with shame while I dial, I know Daphney is going to kill me.

“Hello?” she answers.



“So… the thing is… I am almost done with the proposal. I’ve used this new platform to format it but it took way longer than expected. I am almost …”

“So you want me to go get her then?”

“Yeah… that would be great… “

Trying not to lose her composure, Daphney interrupts and says “Ok. Got to go. Have to pick up my stuff and leave now.”

“Ok thanks…” “Hey, I’m sorry. I know I should have called you at least an hour ago”

“It’s ok. Bye” she says abruptly before hanging up.

Phew…  As I continue to type, I must admit that she is right to be angry. This happens every time I have a big project to deliver. E. VE. RY Time. I always think I can pull it off and at the last minute, Daphney needs to come to the rescue. Whether it’s picking up Anabelle for me, answering important emails I am late getting to, finding pictures for an ebook I have to finish or working on my social media. All that because I always think I am self-sufficient and the only person able to do it well.

It’s 5h58pm when I finally press SEND.

Done. It is done. I made it! Fists raised in the air I am now standing in the office. Then I am throwing jabs like crazy. I swear I’m Rocky Balboa! I am so proud of myself. I won the race! Yup! Like I always do!

Relieved, slightly numb, and with a grin on my face I go up to take a quick shower and get dressed before Daphney and Anabelle get home. As I look at myself in the bathroom mirror, the grin still on my face I can see my worries pierce through my eyes. If this deal goes through, my business will grow and scale significantly. However, I don’t know how I will manage this new business when I can barely stay on top of my current business tasks? I know I am a winner. I always deliver. But I also know I am so tired and stressed that I always get to the finish line almost half dead. …I honestly wonder if I will survive that new deal.   

I brush off that thought as I step in the shower and allow myself to daydream of the house I will soon buy for Daphney…

A few minutes later, I hear Anabelle crying her life out in the background as Daphney stumbles to open the bathroom door…

Looking at me straight in the eye, she says  ”Ethan. We need to talk”.



Hi! You must be thinking of expanding your business too so you can surely help Ethan sort this out! What do you think Daphney is about to tell him? Should he be worried about the added responsibilities of the new deal or is he overacting? What is the one advice you would give to Ethan ? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below – Ethan needs help!