I went to a conference this year where I heard something very familiar. One of the attendees said she was going to take all the information we’d learned and take her business to the “next level.” Although I know she meant what she said, what she really meant she was going to take what she’d learned and create a list of ideas. Laudable, but not really taking it to the “next level.” Taking your business to the next level requires more than making a list of ideas, it requires turning those ideas into measurable, actionable steps.
Check your mindset. Sadly, every new level requires some new sacrifice. I recently had a nine-point jump in my Klout score—but then it dropped! I was taken aback, to say the least, but I realized it was because I’m more preoccupied with networking, connecting, making sure deadlines are met, and editing my butt off. Why? Because I am making next level moves and some things will have to suffer to get me there. The things, people, events (even sleep) I loved or that even gave me “Klout” in some areas may have to suffer or be eliminated. If you want to get to the next level you have to accept that fact.
Check your influencers. Did you know that if you are walking down the street and find a person standing on the street and looking up for no reason, you might look up, too? But if there is a crowd looking up, there is an 86% chance that you will look up? We are influenced by the people around us. Period. Whether we know them or not, whether they have the same ideologies or goals, or whether or not we like them. When you are thinking of going to the next level you must find a way to be with people who are on that next level (or even two levels up if you can).
You can start the process by reading books of successful people, heading to events where you will find people on the next level (don’t forget to introduce yourself), or even reaching outside of your comfort zone to find a mentor who is where you want to be. Trust me. Send them a quick e-mail introducing yourself and ask them how you can help them get to their next level. Who influences you is important. That next level will have new people.
Check your money. This is part of my next level mantra for 2016. Investing financially in myself and my small business is going to be the game changer for me. Oftentimes we sit and think, If only I had the money, when we do have the money—we just haven’t gotten that next level mindset (again) to spend it properly.
Recently I went to an event where the speaker was making millions and they were still paying other people to coach them. Some may be thinking, Well, they’ve got the money to do that. This isn’t a chicken and egg situation. Your small business will get to the next level by spending money. Make the investment in yourself and find ways to get others to invest in your small business. (Oh, and even millionaires want to upgrade because they already know the value in it.)
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