Business owners search for time, money and happiness!

All business owners are at different stages of their journey. 

Are you able to distinguish where you are now and how to get to the next stage? 

At our recent Business Booster event, one of our coaches, Tim Rylatt ran through one of his coaching models about the stages of business progression. Based on years of experience working as a Sussex-based business coach, he explained how the stage you are at impacts you as a business owner in terms of your time, money and happiness levels. 

Too often when business performance and business journeys are discussed, the impact of these on the owner isn’t considered. We wanted to flip that around and consider you as the owner first and foremost. 

So, where are you at now and where do you want to be in the future…and importantly, why aren’t you already there?

The time, money and happiness matrix

Graph depicting how much owners time is required vs owner's monetary rewards

Low Monetary Reward Businesses

As you can imagine, owning a low monetary reward business is not the best position to be in, however, it may be necessary when starting out. This is where we find the first business position, and that is owning a start-up.

Start-Up Business

A start-up business usually requires a high amount of time from the owner to get it off its feet, with little monetary reward. You may even be breaking even for the first 6-12 months or in a negative cash flow due to taking out a business loan to get started. This results in having a business that comes with high stress.

Self-Employed Dysfunctional Business

The next category is a self-employed dysfunctional business. This can be described as a company that is realistically classed as a ‘job’. You have to fulfil an activity for monetary gain. 

Working in the business is the only way you can earn money, you couldn’t let the business sit on its own and generate you income, as this could result in very little business growth.

This business is inefficient and still trying to figure out how it works. There is something not quite working in the business so it is still generating low income, however, it has passed the immediate stress of a start-up, resulting in needing a moderate amount of time to work rather than a high amount.

Despondent Business

The next category is a despondent business. One which generates low income and has low time input from the owner. 

Potentially, you have been working on the business for some time now and it’s not working how you liked so you are starting to give up on it, and unfortunately, this happens quite often in the business world.

On the other hand, this is where hobby businesses can also sit. The owner does not need the income, it could be classed as a bonus for them as they have a full-time job elsewhere. For example, a wedding photographer could take photos at the weekend when they get commissions but then go back to their day job during the week.

Medium Monetary Reward Businesses

Medium monetary reward businesses are where owners are starting to make some nice income. However, the time required could still be challenging, which brings us on to the first business type.

Self-Employed Dysfunctional Business

This is another form of self-employed dysfunctional business that is inefficient. It is generating a moderate income however it requires a heavy amount of time from the owner to do so, this causes it to still be a high-stress business.

Self-Employed Functional Business

Next on the list is a self-employed functional business. This is where all the previous business types ideally want to be as their next step. It is generating a moderate income for the owner and is requiring a moderate amount of time, potentially equal to a 9-5 time input or less. 

We class this business type as medium stress. You are able to pay your bills and staff, however, it is only paying money for now and not for the future, so if something goes wrong somewhere down the line, it could still crumble.

Efficient Small-Scale Business

This brings us to the next category, an efficient small-scale business. This business type generates moderate income for the owner and requires very little time from them for it to run smoothly. 

The benefit of this position is due to having a lot more spare time on your hands, which means you could potentially start up another business to reach the same level. Or you may just enjoy the flexibility and income on its own, so you have more time to do things leisurely or with the family, keeping that low-stress work-life balance.

Post it notes with new mindset on & New result

High Monetary Reward Businesses

Everyone wants to be in this position. However, a high monetary reward can sometimes equal very high time input from the owner, so it is important to get it right.

Inefficient Business

The first category is an owner who is scaling an inefficient business, and it requires that high time input. However, somewhere down the line, the owner could get burnt out or very ill due to stress. Yes, on paper this business looks to be doing very well and is generating a handsome amount of money, but it is also ‘killing’ the owner.

Efficient Business

The next business type is an efficient business that is scalable. This business requires moderate time input from the owner and it is generating a high income. 

This business is scalable without the owner’s input, and potentially needs to hire extra staff to take on new duties. This is a very good position to be in, and you are really able to start enjoying the fruits of your labour with your low-stress business.

Fully Independent

The final business type is a fully independent or exited business. This is where everything can be running without the owner’s input, resulting in large passive income. Alternatively, it can be sold on to new owners and still function as it should.

Owners Monetray Reward depicting the level of stress

Where Are You Now?

Now, the questions you need to be asking yourself are:

  • Is your business cash flowing? 
  • Is it generating high income? 
  • Is that income passive? 
  • How much time do you need to put into the business for it to function? 
  • Is it currently scalable?


Once you have answered these questions and can confidently put yourself in one of the previous 9 categories, knowing how to get to the next stage in your career is a massive hurdle to overcome.

That is where we come into play here at Growth Coach, based in Sussex. With over a decade of experience, business coaching is second nature to us and we can help you achieve your business goals.

For a complimentary business review to help get you and your business to the next stage, please get in touch. We look forward to speaking with you.

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