In Pursuit of the Next Level: How to Get There from Here

A colleague asked me, “What does the next level of your business look like?”

We were attending a business conference and…had just met. Though I was uncomfortable, I wasn’t offended. (Accountability is a tenet of this conference’s culture.)

So, I paused to lean into her question.

I realized that though I’ve been ‘hustling’ to build this business and am clear on what I’d like to see it become now, I wasn’t as sure of its future. I hadn’t outlined the next level, what I want it to be like once I meet and exceed my current goals.

This set my mind ablaze with this idea…ongoing growth requires calibration after every met milestone.

When I started this business a few years ago, my goal was to get one client…at least one. Once I had one, I partnered with her for over a year to upgrade her business practices. It was great. I learned a lot about business and how to trust my instincts and gifting. That client and I parted ways as I began to identify areas of my own business that I wanted to do more of and those that I needed to strip down. Her needs no longer matched my offerings.

Once I made some adjustments, I set a new goal: More than one client. 😄

Again, I met that goal.

Since then, my mindset, how I view and approach my business, has matured. I’m confident and clear about the value I bring to the marketplace. Yet, this question at the conference exposed me.

I’ve been setting the bar too low and therefore, not truly pursuing my BHAGs with all cylinders going. And for the multi-passionate, high-achiever type, it’s easy to do enough to make a ripple and convince yourself that you’re hitting the mark. I found that I wasn’t bringing all of myself to the business. In some ways, I was allowing low expectations to guide me. Do you know what I mean?

Here’s the problem…

When I do that, or when you do that, we rob the world of the gifting that’s inside of us. I believe that we each are born with genius inside of us waiting to be unearthed and expressed through our passions and purpose. You know, the things that just come easy to you that people comment about and wonder, “How do you do it?” Those are part of your gifting. They are eager for full expression.

Don’t minimize it. Celebrate it. Then think, how can I cultivate it?

Sidebar: Our gifts are not meant to remain stagnant. They are intended to grow as we do. This requires intention.

One way to cultivate your gifts is to become a Learner.

The only way to break through the ceiling of your current level is to learn and grow yourself into another level. Marshall Goldsmith says it best: What got you here, won’t get you there.

Learn. Succeed/Achieve. Calibrate. Repeat.

This is a good personal mantra as well as business one. One of my personal goals right now is to exercise discipline to a greater level in the use of my time. I have outlined a few practices that I’ll incorporate daily. To avoid distractions, I’ve developed a filter to assess the opportunities that come my way. Then, I’ll be able to make quick decisions about what should engage my time. I’m still in the learning stage. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Choose an area of your life where you notice an opportunity for growth and commit to learning how to grow in that area. Maybe you’ve mastered it at one level, but now there are more demands or different expectations at this new level. You’ve got this. You just need new learning.

Listen to a podcast on the subject. Read some articles. Watch a few webinars or Youtube teaching videos. If you have the time, dive into a few good books. Whatever you choose to do, be consistent.

A critical element to include in this learning and growth thing is to invite someone you trust into your process to provide much needed accountability. We all have blind spots. An accountability partner shines light on those ambiguous areas and helps you to actualize your goals.

As we enter Q4 for this year, take some time to review your personal and professional life. Have you met your goals for this year so far? What will you focus on for the remainder of the year? And finally, what does the next level of your life look like?  

Take a moment to dream and goal set. Then, identify what you need to learn to get there.  

Until next time…