There’s one thing that we all face as creative business owners and that’s plateauing. It’s inevitable that we will face challenges along the way, just as we will inevitably face periods of coasting. But at each stage we have to recalibrate and figure out what’s stopping us from taking our business to the next level.
The first business I founded in my early twenties was a film production company that started out as a platform for myself and other creatives to produce visual stories. It only took a year before we were being asked to shoot corporate and private client videos. But once I started earning some nice dollars on film projects, I noticed I wasn’t pushing for more clients. Why when things were going well did I seemingly just stop?
The thing is, whilst I am passionate about telling stories, being a producer wasn’t something I really wanted to do in the long-term. So eventually, we ceased working with corporate clients and now just do in house work for my current business.
Secondly, I created a health and wellness website called eatbeautiful.org. It was going great guns, I grew the platform to 12 regular contributors, with a team of 4 editorial staff. The site was moving along nicely however, progress had stalled and I wasn’t seeing the results I really wanted.
I decided that whilst we had created a beautiful community of health and wellness seekers, it still wasn’t quite hitting the spot. I had to take a step away from it to really contemplate if I was willing to put in the time and effort to take it where I wanted it go. So I literally stopped all business operations for a few months. And in that much needed time off, I was able to get clearer about the purpose of Eat Beautiful - and we recently relaunched the organization with a new social conscious focus and a clearer vision about what we wanted to offer our community.
All the while, I had been writing for my own site www.racheljessicahuxtable.com since 2009. I have always written about personal development, spirituality and entrepreneurship, but didn’t turn it into a business until a few years ago (I self-published my first ebook in 2011). Now we help people around the world through our blog posts, videos, books, mentoring and online programs.
It became really obvious that all the skills and talents I had been investing into my other businesses were now all encompassed into just this one.
I remembered that my real purpose was to help people live their best lives and I was obviously passionate about storytelling and communicating across various mediums. Remembering this helped me get clear about the vision of my business, WHY my business exists, what we stand for and how we serve our customers and audience. Putting all of this into my business vision was really the key to overcoming all of the plateaus I had faced over the years.
So here are some of my tips to help you overcome a plateau in your business;
1. Know your purpose.
Why is this important? Because knowing your purpose will get you through all the plateaus and lows. Being an entrepreneur is a journey of self-discovery. Building a business is a journey of peaks and valleys. As much as we would all LOVE to be on the up swing all the time, there are going to be highs, lows and plateaus.
Knowing the deeper purpose for your business and how it’s going to help change the lives of the people you serve is one of the most powerful tools you have to get you through the tougher times and inspire you to take your business even further.
2. Set regular review dates.
Setting goals for your business is great but if you don’t review the progress it’s really hard to measure its success.
Pick a time frame and set a review date in your calendar (I like to do 3 and 6 months and each financial year). Write down all the goals you want to have achieved by then and what you want your business to look like.
When that date rolls around, you’ll need to take a look at how your business is doing. These are great moments to really assess whether your business is moving in the direction that you ultimately want it to go and whether it’s making the impact that you originally intended.
Ask yourself some questions like;
What is my intention for this business?
Is it being received well by my customers?
Are we making substantial progress?
Is this what I am passionate about?
And where do I see this going?
3. How can you expand or grow as a person?
Our business can only expand and grow as much as we have as a person. Being an entrepreneur is an incredible opportunity to not only become the best versions of ourselves, but to create, innovate and lead with what we’re offering to the marketplace.
If you have stalled in your own personal growth, it’s likely that your business will have too. Dedicate yourself to constantly learning and growing your skills in all things business; leadership, marketing, sales, but also invest time in your spiritual and personal growth too.
Most of the time, people are buying your products and services because of who you are rather that what you are offering them.
Who do I need to become to take this business where I know it needs to go?
Like any journey in life, creating a business is just another way we can uniquely express ourselves. We are going to run into all sorts of challenges, great successes and mind-numbing plateaus. If we view each of these as opportunities to reassess and reevaluate our vision for not only our business but also its place in the world, we can keep growing, improving and creating businesses that make a difference in the world.
Rachel Jessica Huxtable is an author, speaker and mentor on personal growth, spirituality and entrepreneurship. Through her blog posts, videos, books, mentoring and online programs she inspires women around the world to live with purpose and soul and make a difference in the world. She has been featured in The New Daily, Peppermint Magazine, Tiny Buddha, Your Zen Life, Youthful Habits, Desire to Done, The Sparked Company, Beautiful Because, Bliss Habits and Gabby Bernstein’s HerFuture.com. Get her Purpose-Driven Business Planner FREE HERE. Connect with Rachel at her website, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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