Why is it that some people peak and can’t get past a certain level of success when others continue to grow and reach new highs? You might hit a certain level of income, build an audience of a certain size or attain a certain job title. When you try to move up to the next level, you feel like you’ve hit a ceiling and just can’t get past your current level of success regardless of what you do or try. You might think you’ve attained the most success you’re ever going to attain. You might think that you just aren’t meant to reach the next level or think that you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level. Don’t let this defeatist thinking hold you back. You don’t have to peak at a certain level, but you do have to constantly change your strategies to grow beyond where you’re at now.
You have to change to grow.
Let’s imagine that you’re totally out of shape and want to start running. You might follow a couch to 5K training plan and get good results if you actually follow the plan. Now, let’s imagine you want to take your running to the next level and run a half-marathon. You can’t expect that the following the couch to 5K training will adequately train you to run a half-marathon (approximately 4 times the distance of a 5K). You have to run longer when you practice, do cross training, do strength training and take recovery days as appropriate. In other words, you have to up your game. You can’t do what you’ve always been doing and expect to reach a new level of success.
Do What Successful People Do
Between 2007 and 2010, I ran a network of personal finance blogs under the name American Consumer News. Regardless of how hard I worked and how many articles I wrote, I could never make more than $60,000 per year in that business. I tried to scale up the same strategies over and over again to grow, but nothing worked. It wasn’t until late 2010 when I started to look at what large successful financial publishers were doing to get good results and modeled their efforts. Based on my research of more successful competitors, I started focusing on investing content, building an email list and trying new traffic generation strategies. By changing strategies and modeling the efforts of successful entrepreneurs, I was able to more than double the income my business made from about $60,000 in 2009 to $139,000 in 2010.
Don’t Get Complacent
After seeing huge revenue gains in 2010 and 2011, my company’s growth stalled out in 2012 after a series of business setbacks. I had gotten complacent with the previous level of success my business had and stopped trying new marketing strategies and other growth techniques to keep my business growing. Remember that businesses very rarely stay at the same level of revenue, they’re either growing or shrinking. If you’re not actively working to grow your business, your business is probably shrinking. I received a wake-up call when Micah was born. I killed a bunch of side projects, doubled down on Analyst Ratings Network, tested a bunch of new monetization methods and new marketing channels. Not surprisingly, my business began growing again in late 2012 and in 2013.
Move Up The Value Chain
You only have a certain amount of time available to you in any given day. You do some things because you feel like you just have to do them, even though they don’t contribute to your personal growth or the growth of your company/organization. These low-value activities, like mowing your lawn, cleaning your house, doing customer service work and doing administrative tasks take up a lot of time, but won’t make you any more successful than you are now. In order to move up the success ladder, you need to outsource, delegate or automate these low-value activities so that you can focus on higher-value activities that will help you achieve your goals. If I want my business’s revenue to double this year, I need to focus on sales, marketing, product development and conversion optimization. I can’t get stuck in the weeds of day-to-day bookkeeping or doing customer service. I delegate those tasks so I can focus on the key growth activities which will take my business to the next level.
How to Up Your Game and Reach New Levels of Success
Remember that what you did to get to your current level of success isn’t what’s going to take you to your next level of success. You have to constantly change the strategies you’re using to grow, model successful people, avoid complacency and move up the value chain with your time.