Everywhere you look, there’s a blog post, podcast episode, or video talking about how to take your business to “the next level.” I have been guilty of writing about it as well. We want to grow our business to a particular financial mark, or get recognition and fame. We want to be the next Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or whoever our idol is.
Recently, someone I respect wanted to give me a consultation on my brand, and how I could take my business to “the next level.” I read the email and pondered what the next level would look like for me. It was a fun and frustrating thought because I've worked so hard to get to this level.
In the last four years, I have self-published two books that have sold over 100,000 copies. This led to a four-book deal with a traditional publisher. My first published book came out in May of 2013. I have spoken at over 60 conferences all over the world. My business will make multiple six-figures this year. I have a full client list for my coaching program and classes. I moved our family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to our dream destination of Maui, Hawaii, 15 months ago.
What is my next level?
After spending some time thinking, I realized there is no next level, only the next thing. The thing that got me to where I am today was having three major goals that seemed impossible. I wanted to lose 170 pounds (which I did), I wanted to quit a job I hated (which I did), and I wanted to move our family to Maui.
I worked hard on those goals for four years. As I hit each one, my business grew. I reached the next level, but not because there are levels. I’m here today because I set goals and took action on them. If I want to reach achieve more success, I have to set bigger goals and work towards them.
In the entrepreneurial world, we work so hard for the “next level” when the reality is we just need to create a plan and take action. There will always be more money to make, a bigger business to be built, and those who we respect that we’d like to network with when we reach “their level.”
You can spend all your time chasing that next level or you can focus on what is best for your business and goals. There are always improvements to be made but those have nothing to do with the next level. Business and entrepreneurship is a continuous journey to do better and be better for those you aim to serve.
With the access to information we have through the Internet and social media, we get a glimpse into other entrepreneur's lives and businesses. When we see someone accomplish a milestone, we want the same thing in our business. The comparison trap will have you chasing goals that are not right for your business and life.
You have to do what works and what will help you accomplish your specific goals. Each of us is unique and different. When you try to blend in and copy because you compare, you won't stand out. People do business with entrepreneurs who stand out, not one's that blend.
What's the next thing?
When I thought about where I was in my business and life, I realized I was at my next level. I didn't need a consultation on branding or to hear what the next level is. I love what I do and get to do it in the place that I love. I wake up each day excited to help those who are stuck and need some guidance escaping.
My second published book comes out later this year. I get to write for great publications such as this one. The next level for me is the new goals I'm setting for myself and my business as I write this. I'm done chasing the next level and instead I focus on the next thing. I will continue to build business and dream -- one step at a time.
Always continue to learn strategies that will help your business, but be careful of information overload. Stop comparing and chasing, just focus on what will help your next steps. Don't pursue the next level or hire someone just because they tell you they can get you there. Focus on the next thing that will help your business grow. Figure out what you want for your life and business and put a plan in place to make that dream a reality.
Related: To Do More, First Slow Down