Three years ago, I found myself in a peculiar position. I had just reached the biggest goal I had ever set in my life: making over $100,000 in less than 12 months. I was thrilled. And also confused.
I didn’t know where to go from here. I asked my mentors what I should aim for next. Honestly, I don’t even remember what they told me. Nothing stuck. So I did the only thing I knew how to do.
I aimed lower. Specifically, I aimed for working as little as possible and maintaining my revenue.
I was able to do that too. And this year, when I did my end-of-year bookkeeping and realized that I had achieved yet another year of stagnant revenue, I found myself no closer to having a new goal. Sure, it’s great to work 20 hours a week and bring in $150,000.
But I wanted more.
I just didn’t know what that “more” was.
I’m not in it for the money. Yikes, that sounds like a humble brag. Yet, money is a key way I create plans for growth, efficiency, and product development. Not having a new money goal was holding back my ability to plan.
As I’ve written about before, I got it into my head at some point down the line that the kind of work I could do was worth about $40,000 per year, max. It’s why I stomached working 60 hours a week for $28,000 per year at the Borders I managed for nearly 5 years.
Having a 6-figure business was inconceivable at 25. Yet, with over half a million dollars in revenue between the ages of 28-31, I’ve achieved it over & over again. But where to go from here?
The obvious answer might be a million dollar business. But when “what’s possible” doesn’t jive with what you can conceive, you can’t set the goal.
I have a very difficult time seeing big jumps forward—new possibilities—in terms of the kind of revenue my business can generate. And small jumps just don’t motivate me. More work than it’s worth, right?
So I’ve spent the last 3 years in search of a new goal, a new way to shake the foundations of what I know and push me into the realm of what might be possible.
We are all raised with different capacities for envisioning what’s possible. Some of us have a great capacity for seeing what’s possible with money. Others can see what’s possible with social change. Others can see what’s possible with software. Still others can see what’s possible with organization or logistics.
If you don’t expose yourself intentionally to those who see possibilities in areas other than you, you run the risk of always thinking small. Click to tweet!
You can uncover new possibilities in lots of ways. You can hire a coach, spend time with a mentor, or read lots of books. But the place I’ve had the most new possibility aha! moments has been at conferences or live events when lots of people with different capacities for possibility thinking gather in the same place.
Last week, I was at Pioneer Nation in Portland.
I realized that it had been over a year since I was part of a big event. And I was so glad I went and fully engaged with what the event had to offer.
And sure enough, new possibility thinking abounded.
We heard from Rena Tom, founder of Makeshift Society, whose parents brought her up to believe that her career possibilities were doctor, lawyer, or engineer. After receiving a degree in both engineering and English, Rena discovered the new possibility of working for herself.
We also heard from Laura Roeder whose vision for her company was originally limited by the thinking that she was limited to hiring independent contractors. She worried that she couldn’t find talented full-time employees to work for her. But somewhere along the line, she was introduced to the new possibility that potential employees would jump at the chance to work from home for a company that was committed to success and creativity.
And we heard from Lori Allen, who shared that her original possibility was weaseling her way into a marketing position at a direct marketing company. Later, she was introduced to the possibility of developing a million-dollar line of travel products for that same company. She now oversees a business that produces 6-figures per month.
These 3 women broke through their original goals to see the possibility of something so much bigger.
I’m happy to say that I had that moment last week, as well. I’m already hard at work on those plans and you’ll see the fruits of them soon enough.
If you feel like you’ve stagnated, or like you’re wandering the Microbusiness Earning Plateau, sure, there are lots of business strategies I can teach you how to implement. I can help you build plans and execute them. If you feel like you’ve stagnated on your mission or bottomed out on the power of your organization, I can connect you to coaches that will help you plan and brainstorm.
But if you aren’t intimately connected with what’s possible, those plans won’t pull you out of your hibernation. You’ll ooh and ahh, but you won’t act. Because it just doesn’t seem real.
Today, I invite you to connect with new possibilities. Maybe it’s with a new coach, a new friend, or a new community. Or maybe it’s just with some targeted Google research.
Take the time today to find out what new possibilities are waiting for you.