I never knew exactly what Dragos’ background was until now. I’m just starting the whole online business process and it sure sounds like he’s gone through the whole thing and he’s got some great insights on it.The 7 StagesHe says there are 7 stages – or ages as he calls them – in the progression of a business. Enthusiasm, Naivety, Attention, Maturity, Expansion, Leadership, Exhaustion are the main stages of an online business. Running a business is different for everyone but I think Dragos has done a great job summing it up. It’s amazing that he was able to think back to what was in each stage long after he had gone through it. Apparently he followed his advice from the next section.Keep a JournalI never thought that I’d hear a recommendation about keeping a journal for a starting a business. Running a business is similar to every other adventure we can understake in that there are mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. It’s tough to learn those lessons when you can’t remember what you did and what went wrong. That’s where the journal comes in. The whole idea is to record what you did, what went wrong and what was awesome. If you’re a serial entrepreneur or you’re just able to apply the things you learned to other areas in life, it will serve you well to look back on your journal and remind yourself not to make the same mistakes again.Day DreamDragos recommends day dreaming as a way to visualize your goals. I was a little surprised with this one but am happy that it’s something that works. I day dream all the time and use it to make sure I’m heading in the right direction and not doing something I hate. Most of the time it takes some work getting to where you want to go. Any goal worth pursuing will be worth a bit of work. Day Dream to make sure that you’re not putting a lot of work into something you don’t like.Expand too EarlyOne of the worst things a business can do early on is try to expand too early. It can kill a business or at the very least spread it too thin at a time when resources need to be focused to get through the tough times. There is a step later on in the process where expansion is the focus but it is important to wait till there is a solid base before expanding. I’m guilty of this myself. I’d say I’m in between Enthusiasm and Naivety with my business and I’m having a hard time keeping things simple and focused. Expanding is one of the more interesting steps and involves brainstorming, trying new things, and getting bigger but it’s not a great idea to try early on.ExhaustionApparently the last step in the business process is exhaustion. When things have run it’s cource, you’re on top, and all you’re doing is fending off competitors, it’s been a long and tiring process. Dragos says there’s no more expansion to be done because you are the leader. Although I have yet to become a leader in any niche, I don’t see how there is a limit to expansion if you’re number 1. I guess it would make sense if you’re on the top of your niche there is no where to go but sideways. I think there are still expansion options available to a leader in a niche since there are always related niches to conquer.Think about your exitThis is one of those things that you’ll want to start thinking about when you get into the final stages of your business. Hopefully you’ll be able to either expand into something that will keep things interesting, delegate your way out of working too much or selling your business.It was a bit tough to read with the English issues. He could have benefited from a quick read through from an editor. At the same time, I’m impressed that Dragos has put out a book even though he doesn’t have a perfect grasp on English. It definitely shows that things don’t have to be perfect for others to appreciate them.If you want to take a look at the 7 Ages of an Online Business by Dragos Roua you can check it out here.