Episode 66 – What’s Your Next Level? (It Might Not Be The One You Think)
When we talk about ‘The Next Level’ in business, what are we normally talking about?
We’re usually talking about income.
Which is directly connected to our ideas of becoming more successful.
Making more money.
And generally, the conversation stops there.
But then why do we want money?
To make life easy. To take away ‘problems’. To buy more stuff. To do more things.
And why do we want that?
We want all of that to feel better.
The Online Business Growth Ladder
In one of the very early podcast episodes I talked about The Online Business Growth Ladder, which is a description of the stages, or levels you go through in business.
It looks like this:
You start at Dreamer – you’ve been thinking about starting an online business for a while and what you need to do there is start!
Next comes Starter when you’re in the startup phase. Here you are focusing on getting the right set up.
Then comes Hustler when you’ve got your business basics in place and your energy is best spent on getting more customers to grow your new business baby.
After that comes the Pro level where you’re setting up systems and stabilising the business.
Last on the (current) ladder is CEO, this is when you’re looking at scale, outsourcing and becoming a leader in your business.
Here you are steering the ship instead shoveling coal in the engine room.
You can see there are income levels that can go with these levels. They are a guide and people reach these stages of business at different income levels.
At CEO level you are the boss.
You are living Your Business, Your Rules.
You can do this at Pro level too if you’re wanting to have a simpler operation.
I used to think CEO was the ultimate. The ultimate in terms of ‘The Next Level’. I say that in some of my training.
But is it?
I’ve been a CEO in my business for a while now and I’m starting to think that’s not where it ends.
Recently I announced I am semi-retiring
I made this announcement because I realised, after creating a lot of spreadsheets which I was doing because we are moving house, that it’s possible for me to completely stop working. If I choose to.
I don’t say this to boast. I say this to open the discussion of what success looks like and how individual that can be.
To be clear, if I completely stopped working I wouldn’t be living in the lap of complete luxury but I wouldn’t be slumming it either.
Not that I’d be unhappy slumming it for the record, I used to live in Brazil in a two-room house with two other people where mosquitos would fly through the unrendered walls and bite me all night.
The mosquitos were awful but it was one of the most interesting and fulfilling times of my life.
So when looking at where I am at now I started asking myself:
What do I really want?
If I could choose now how I want to live for the rest of my life what does that look like?
What’s beyond your business, your rules?
Once you reach a certain level, what does ‘Next Level’ even mean?
Most of us are familiar to a certain extent with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Our basic needs start with food, air and water, once we satisfy those we are thinking about shelter and income, then come the social needs of love and acceptance, after that acknowledgement and then at the very top is self-actualisation.
In a nutshell, once we free ourselves from stressing about the basics of life, get our relationships in order, we are then free to become who we really are.
So let me ask you, where are you at?
I realise that I’ve been working on project financial independence longer than most people and you may be at the very beginning wondering how to get started.
Or you may be in the thick of the day to day ups and downs of running a business.
And I get it. It’s hard. I still find it hard sometimes.
But my question to you is this:
What’s Your Next Level?
Is it more money?
Which is totally valid. If it’s your truth.
Or is your next level something else?
You may absolutely want more money.
You may want more time.
You might want more mental bandwidth for yourself.
Maybe you want more excitement.
The point is what do you want?
And, is there a possibility it’s closer or more accessible than you think?
I’m personally discovering that I want doesn’t necessarily conform to traditional ideas about success.
I guess I should not be surprised as my whole business centres around the idea of Your Business, Your Rules!
So ask yourself:
What’s your Next Level?
What do you want to feel more of?
What’s true to you?
Because it is oh so easy to follow the crowd.
And that’s usually not where true happiness, our authentic selves or self-actualisation is found.