Where are you in your life and business today?
Figure it out is Stage I. The first 1-2 years where you learn as much as you can about your business. You swallow books on business models, buy programs to learn sales, write lots of bad blog posts, mess up with clients, test hundreds of shiny ideas. Since you literally don’t know what you’re doing, you assume everyone else does, and ask them how you should do it.
Get used to extreme discomfort in stage I – the kind you feel by stepping directly into something you feel way in over your head for. With so much to learn, the sheer inadequacy you feel of how you’ll learn it all is overwhelming. Freak outs? Daily. “Should I be doing this?!” “I’m not smart enough!” “I don’t know how to sell!” It’s exciting but very tough.
Once you’re through it, you see the joke’s on you. It’s not time management or best practices; You learned your capacity to handle huge uncertainty and risk.
Knock it out is Stage II. Years 3-4 in your business where you simply grind it out. “Work hard, see your goals through!” This is the training sequence in Karate Kid; a chunk of time where you’re fighting, refining, practicing, tweaking, putting yourself out there to likely get punched in the face. You’re now open for business whether you’re ready or not. What this looks like for an entrepreneur: You keep the promises you made to yourself and others; write the articles you said you’d write, launch the program you planned. Deliver the gig you’re scheduled to show up to. You follow through like a champ, deliver big time, and fulfill, as much as you can. If stage I is where you learn, stage II is where you TRAIN.
Rock it out is the Stage III. This stage feels the best. Why? Because now you know enough about yourself to not just keep promises, but make bigger ones. Opportunity favors you; it sees how hard you worked and how you trained. All the teeth cutting results in more success, more money, more clients, more opportunities, more chances to be seen, more good work to do.
You work hard during this phase, but it doesn’t feel as hard as the other ones. Hitting your stride reduces the sting of any failure or mishap, because you’ve proven to yourself that at some level – YOU’VE GOT THIS. You’re rocking out.
So why should you know what stage you’re in anyway?
Acceptance, sweet pea. Acceptance.
Whatever stage you’re in today, accept it. Even if it’s hard or you’re genuinely confused, still accept it. Because whatever stage that is, it’s precisely where you’re meant to be to show you what you’re made of.
Accepting this is the first step to mastering any stage.
It takes the pressure off of you to be farther along than you really are, shelving your ego impulse to, “Be there better and faster and now!” The only way to make real progress is to stop judging, so you can fully show up where you ARE, without wanting to be somewhere else. This is how you learn what you need to, when you need to learn it. When you’re open to new tools and instruction, not embarrassed that you’re a beginner. That’s when strategy sticks in your brain, not when you’re too self-consciousness about what stage you’re in.
When you accept, you’re able to take action on the important things. Because you’ve now stopped worrying so much, your brain diverts energy from stressing out that you’re a beginner to actually learning what you need to become a master. Worry-free neurons are what produce great ideas and build a great business. This is how you get to the next level.
It won’t come from wishing you were farther along, that will only pull you back farther from your goals. Trust me, I tried. I pushed hard and fast and judged myself before I realized it pulled me back much farther from my goals. The gravitational pull of judgement is strong.
Don’t worry about what stage you’re in. Worry how much you’re accepting it.
Relief and confidence come from knowing what stage you’re at, and then accepting it.
So, what stage are you in and have you accepted it? Write out where you think you should be and how you pressure yourself to be farther along.
Your next level isn’t there. It’s right here, right now.
Next week I’ll talk about how you can get the most results out of your 2015, so stick around.