In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you how I overcame my business growth plateau.
Before we dive in, I want to reassure you that at some point or another we also experience a business growth plateau. They are a normal part of being in business.
But if one is starting to get on your nerves and you want to have some strategies to overcome that business growth plateau and go into the next phase of your business growth, this is going to be a super helpful episode for you.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Progress Art™️ free workbook: tashcorbin.com/freeprogressart
Let’s dive in!
In order to overcome my business growth plateau, I needed to get really honest with myself about the fact that I was in one.
I’d had three launches in a row that had capped out at about $70,000–$75,000 in income and I had set the goal for all three of them to have a six-figure launch.
By doing my income tracking and tracking the results of my launches, I was able to see that I was nudging up against this seemingly upper limit.
The first thing that I needed to do in order to overcome my business growth plateau was to recognise that the plateau existed in the first place.
Daily money tracking is one of the non-negotiable habits that I have set for myself. If you do not track your business income every single day, I highly recommend you practice as an online business owner.
This allows me to focus on my income every single day, and pay attention to my income, my thoughts and my feelings about that income.
I love using Progress Art to set myself stretch income goals, really go for them and track my progress towards them every single day.
This one habit of tracking my income every day has helped me to recognise how much I let low-income and no-income days impact my energy and mindset.
It’s allowed me to become more resilient to those mindset wobbles.
Daily income tracking is also what has helped me to identify when I’m hitting an upper limit.
Sometimes my big mindset wobbles happen when I have huge income results in my business.
It’s not just about dealing with the negative feelings when there’s no income or low income. It’s also about dealing with those upper limits when there’s big income or unexpected income.
That habit of tracking my income every single day helped me to see I had a comfort zone. My comfort zone was a certain minimum level of income… but also a certain maximum level of income.
If you do not track your income every day and you’d like to give Progress Art a go, make sure you check out my Progress Art freebie here: CLICK ME
That freebie talks about why income tracking is so powerful, how to embed a daily income tracking practice, and includes some artworks to have a little play with so you can see if income tracking through Progress Art works for you.
Once we’ve identified that there’s a business growth plateau, how do we overcome it? What do we do?
I always start with mindset FIRST.
The reason being is that I know when I implement strategy solutions on a solid grounding of a really resilient, abundant and expansive mindset, those strategies are far more effective.
One of the things that I look for is: What is safe about this income level or this business growth level?
For my launches that were all tapping out at about $75,000, it wasn’t actually the income amount per se. What was safe was the number of students who were joining at one time.
I felt like my capacity to hold space for that many students was my upper limit.
It was safe for me to welcome 50 students into my program, but no more than 50 students at a time.
If there were more than 50 that came in in one go, how on earth would I be able to make sure I was meeting all their needs? That I was getting to know them? That I was really understanding what they were looking for from me?
There was a safety thing around the numbers.
The next thing I want you to do is look at what it means.
What does it mean to hit $75,000 in a launch?
For you, it might not be a launch level of income that you’re plateauing, it might be a monthly income level or a weekly income level.
Whatever the income is for you, a way to tune into what it means and what you’re making it mean is to first calculate the income amount that you’re plateauing at, and then multiply it by 12.
Let’s say you’re hitting an income plateau of $9,000 a month, and $10,000 a month is your goal but you just can’t seem to hit it. What I would do is multiply that amount by 12. This equals $120,000 a year.
Ask yourself: What does the income level of $120,000 a year mean?
For me, I was making it mean that I was losing connection with my audience because there were too many people… I couldn’t hold space for all of my clients.
There have been other times when I’ve had income levels and upper limits that have come about because of the symbolism of a certain amount of money.
I remember when I first hit $165,000 a year in my business. It was towards the end of my first year of business. When I multiplied my monthly income by 12, it equalled $165,000 a year.
The reason why that was symbolic was because that was the salary that I had left behind to start my business.
It felt really uncomfortable that in just one year after starting my business, I was out-earning the money that I had gotten from my corporate job.
The reason why it was feeling uncomfortable and what I was making it mean was that I had worked for years in that career to get to that income level. I then left it all behind, started my own business and I got back up to that income level really quickly.
What I was making that mean was I hadn’t earned it.
I hadn’t worked at this long enough. I hadn’t worked at this hard enough. Therefore, I must be taking advantage of people.
I was making it mean so many things subconsciously, and I could see that it was creating this upper limit.
So I got really clear on what was safe about the income plateau. What was I making it mean if I went over that plateau?
I also like to use two mindset techniques to tune into and uncover what’s underneath this and what I’m not spotting.
I look at: What would be the negative consequences of going any higher than this upper limit?
When I worked in corporate, my friends and family knew I earned very good money. This meant that when I went out to dinners with my friends, I would shout.
I was out-earning them all, so if we ever went out together, I’d always pay for everything.
I have a lot of stuff around fairness, and it felt unfair that they would have to pay for lunch when I earned far more than them.
But what was happening for me when the negative consequences exercise came up, was I could see I was worried because $165,000 in business income is not $165,000 in your pocket.
I didn’t have as much spare or disposable money.
One of the perceived negative consequences that were completely unconscious until I actually sat down and got honest with myself about what I was worried about, was that I didn’t feel like I had the same level of disposable income as being in corporate, but now if I out-earned that amount, I would be expected to shout everyone dinner again.
That’s not at all what my friends and family’s expectation was. It was just that it was an unconscious worry. It was an unconscious concern of what a negative consequence might be of getting any more successful.
I also had a negative consequence come up for me around out-earning my mentors.
In my first year of business, I worked with a number of different mentors. And I out-earned them very quickly.
Two mentors in particular that I worked with in the early stages of my business, were still very open about the fact that they were working towards having $10k months… And I had a 20k month in my sixth month of business.
I was worried if my business got too big, that I would make my mentors feel bad because I had outearned them.
Even though on the surface level there was absolutely nothing wrong way me earning more than $165,000 a year (heck, I wanted a million-dollar business!), when I took the time to actually uncover it and pay attention, I could see that consciously, subconsciously and even unconsciously, there had been some little worries boiling around.
With some journaling and paying attention to those pop-up thoughts, I could see what those negative consequences might be, and make the conscious decision to let those go.
One of the big tools that I use for mindset and clearing out some of those mindset blocks is using EFT (tapping).
I LOVE doing EFT.
I do a lot of tapping very consistently in my business, even to this day. But particularly when I can see I’ve got a business growth plateau, I do a lot of tapping to overcome any of those mindset blocks and clear out any of those negative consequences or limiting beliefs.
Another thing I like to use is turnarounds.
For example, I might have a worry that people are going to think I’m too big for my boots… If I make too much money, people think I’m too big for my boots.
I do a turnaround as a little mantra that helps me to remind myself that that’s actually not true.
The turnaround for being too big for my boots is, “I’m building a business where people celebrate and applaud my success, and they are inspired by it.”
If I had the negative consequence of my mentors feeling bad if I out-earn them, I would instead turn it around and say, “I’m building a business where my mentors are excited that I’m outearning them and I’m one of their biggest success stories.”
You can see how that negative consequence or limiting belief being turned around is so powerful.
I love using the opening line, “I’m building a business where…”.
Then I will just keep saying that to myself.
“I’m building a business where my mentors see my success as their success.”
“I’m building a business where I can be their best success story. Therefore they’re happy for me to out-earn them.”
“I’m building a business where I’m so tuned into my strengths and abilities that I just skyrocket my income really easily.”
It’s a really powerful way for me to remind myself consistently that everything’s okay.
Denise Duffield-Thomas, one of my money mentors, uses mantras that start with “It’s safe to…”.
“It’s safe for me to out-earn my mentor.”
“It’s safe for me to earn more than I used to incorporate.”
“And it’s safe for me to be seen online as successful and financially successful.”
There are lots of different ways that I support that really powerful, resilient growth mindset.
I do the mindset work FIRST… Whenever I notice an income growth plateau, I start with the mindset work. Then…
2. Pick a growth strategy
I come up with a way to really navigate how I’m going to grow from here. What is the business strategy I’m going to use to overcome this plateau?
In the initial stages, when I saw my launch results were plateauing at the $75,000 mark, I actually got really real with myself.
Do I want more than 50 people to join the Take Off program at a time? Or do I need to do some work on making that easier for me and being able to hold space for those people? In the meantime, is there another way I can increase the income without increasing the number of people?
The obvious answer was that I could put my prices up.
I didn’t need to have more than 50 people join, I could just set the goal of having 50 people join the Take Off program at a higher price.
With that higher price, I was able to overcome my income growth plateau.
Sometimes the growth strategy is to increase the price. Other times, the growth strategy may be to increase:
- The number of sales
- Your reach
- Your lead generation
The growth strategy may be to create something new.
For me, the three strategies I’ve used to overcome my biggest income plateaus have been:
1. Price increases
3. Focusing down on one existing offer instead of having multiple offers
I’ve had three really big plateau times in my business, and three times I applied different strategies.
For the $75,000 launch, I did a price increase.
When I was hitting that income plateau at the $165k mark in the early stages of my business, I did a big launch of my VIP package to prove to myself that I could totally go higher than $165,000.
The following year in my business, my income level almost doubled. It was about $300,000.
The third time I hit an income plateau, what I recognised in the strategy part was that I had over 30 different products and services that people could buy from me.
That was confusing my audience, but it also meant I was juggling a bunch of different products and services at once.
It was confusing for me, it was confusing for my audience, and it didn’t allow me to give each launch the time, space and energy that it needed to actually maximise my results.
Most of the conversion in a launch comes in the last period of that launch. But because I was trying to launch so many different products and services in a row, what that meant was that when I got to the last week of the launch, I was already thinking about the next launch.
I kind of checked out of the launch I was in… at the very point in time when my conversion should be spiking.
The part of the launch where most of the income comes in was being neglected.
I wasn’t present to those launches because I had far too many offers.
My strategy at that point in time to overcome that business growth plateau was to narrow down the options to work with me.
I do want to be 100% clear here… all of those growth strategies would have been harder for me to see and implement if I hadn’t dealt with the mindset stuff first.
If I don’t pay attention to my mindset and look at what’s really going on here, my natural solution is to work harder. To promote more. To build a new thing.
It’s important to me as an ideator, a creator, and someone who is very quick to problem solve (usually with a new fresh idea) to make sure my mindset is resilient and strong and I’m in an expansive space without jumping into fear-based strategy.
If I build my strategy based on fear and a wobbly mindset, it will most likely require me to work harder, push harder, and work longer hours… and that doesn’t help anyone.
I work on the mindset first, and then I build my growth strategy.
There are thousands of great strategies that you can choose from. But I do love asking the questions:
- Can we increase the prices?
- Can we bring in a bunch of leads en mass using a launch?
- Or can we somehow focus down on your existing offers, and narrow the options for people to work with you so you can give each product and service the time, space and energy it needs to really shine in your business?
3. Set a goal and get support
Once I’ve got strong mindset and a clear strategy, I then set a goal and enlist the help of my team to make sure that I see the strategy through.
I don’t try to bust through a business growth plateau on my own.
As an extrovert, connector archetype and someone who’s an obliger in the tendencies, I know that one of the defaults that I revert to is that all the weight needs to go on my shoulders.
This comes from my history being a carer for my mum, some of my family of origin stories, and things that used to happen in my corporate workplace.
My default mechanism is that no one else needs to worry about this.
I’m a big nurturer… Everyone else needs to be taken care of, and I will put the load on my own shoulders.
When I’m wanting to overcome an income plateau, I’m very mindful of setting the goal AND getting my team on board to help me with it.
If I get my team and Davey (my partner) on board to help me with it, I’m far more likely to overcome that plateau without burning myself out or overloading myself.
So set a goal and get your team on board!
That is my three-step strategy of how I’ve overcome business growth plateaus in my business:
1. Mindset first
2. Growth strategy
3. Set the goal and recruit your team to help you with it
As I said, the only way I identify that my income is plateauing is if I’m consistently tracking my income, and paying attention to my mindset.
If you want to grab that free income-tracking resource, make sure you head to tashcorbin.com/freeprogressart.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.