Have you been getting that itch? Like maybe it’s time to level up, but you’re not exactly sure. Not sure if you have the time. Not sure if you have the bandwidth. Not sure if you even have the desire. Growth is scary. And, it’s not always 100% necessary. 

Let’s unpack the feelings and practicalities around taking your next step.


Where is the feeling coming from?


It’s important when you first get the urge to grow that you identify where this feeling is coming from.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I bored?
  • Am I anxious?
  • Am I making a dive for money?
  • Does this excite me?
  • Does this feel natural?
  • Is it my idea? Or someone else’s?
  • Will it fit into my current life?
  • Is there a feeling of expansion or retraction when I think of it?

Before you think about the how and when of “leveling up” make sure it’s what you actually want. If it’s coming from a place of desperation, or if you think it’s something you’re “supposed to do” think again. Leveling up should be an in-your-gut WANT! If you don’t really want to do it, it’s going to be a struggle all the way.


Line it up with your why!


If you’ve decided it’s something that feels right (at least at the moment) it’s time to put the idea of leveling up through another test. 

Does this move align with your why?

Something can be a good idea. Feel right. And then still be wrong for your business.

For example, a new client can be exciting and lucrative, but perhaps they are WAY off brand for your business. The work will be harder. The learning curve will be large. And it could detract from your path.

A level up should be a step towards where you hope to go. If it’s a regression, a side step, or a giant leap off the staircase, you might want to consider if it’s right for you.


Is there an opportunity to test this idea?


You’re a smart business owner. So while you’re ambitious, you also know that dipping a toe tends to be a smart idea. Collaborate with some of your top customers. Create a minimum viable product that teases this news idea. Begin working on the new project and see how it feels before going all in. 

If you want to start a podcast, begin by producing five to ten episodes before your launch.

If you’re considering creating a course, develop a free intro class and see how sign ups go.

If you think you want to do a conference, start with a small, single event.

There’s always an opportunity to scale up, but don’t feel rushed. It’s okay to create a manageable version of your next level that allows you to feel out the steps ahead. And if it ends up not feeling quite right, then you are able to dial back without feeling as if you’re letting someone down or are too far to turn back. 


Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Comfort Zone


On the flip side, maybe you’ve lingered too long in your current state. There are also signs to look for that indicate you’re overdue for a level up and it’s time to shake off the cob webs and get into creation mode.

If you have…

  • Lost your luster for business as usual
  • Watched a steady decline occurring in sales
  • Noticed a lack of engagement in your audience
  • Witnessed comrades and competitors ascend past you despite similar starting points

Then friend… it’s time.

We all get stuck. We all get comfortable. But too much time lingering in one spot can create a chasm that leaves you unable to crawl out of your rut. You can still test your new moves with the above considerations, but movement is just as important as heading in the right direction. 


Identifying Serial New Idea Syndrome


Additionally, it’s important to pump the brakes if you’re trying to level up too often in too many areas. Another common trait of entrepreneurs is Sparkly Item Syndrome. It’s easy to feel like you need to accomplish everything at once and that you have to seek out something new the second there is a moment of ease. And neither of these things are true either. 

If you are starting something new before you’ve even seen the last to-do through to success, then you might be jumping the gun. Give yourself the chance to learn and live in new levels before reaching for the next. You’ll learn a lot about your capabilities and the requirements and demands of leveling up if you allow yourself to really experience each level to fruition.

Compulsive new ideas often means a lot of unfinished business. When you do decide to level up, do it incrementally. Build the skyscraper one story at a time!

As you look to the New Year, consider what leveling looks like for you and your brand. For some, it’s a giant leap. For others, it’s a small, measured move. But test how it feels in your gut before you commit to it on paper. 

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