Tell me if this sounds familiar: Meg just started a new business. Her skills are exceptional, the work turns her on, and she really understands the customers she’s working with. She’s poised for success and excited about sharing what she does with the world.
She starts off by telling friends and family about her new gig. New clients come, slowly at first and then they pick up speed. Soon, she’s working with people who come through word of mouth and she charges a good rate. Each new client feels like a big win and she’s very satisfied with the progress she’s making in her business.
As Meg is in business longer, she gets even better at what she does, grows her prospect list, and has many happy clients. However, things aren’t quite as exciting anymore. Of course new clients are coming. But now what? Why is she suddenly feeling less than excited about her business?
While “wins”—new clients, bigger returns, fun ideas—came fast and furiously, Meg is starting to feel the slow crawl of a phase of business I call the Microbusiness Earning Plateau. She feels like she needs to hustle more and more to maintain her revenue growth. She puts in longer hours and more effort but her goals remain out of reach.
The pace continues to flatline.
She develops new offers. She launches like a boss.
Meg starts feeling burned out.
That’s rough. Being burned out isn’t why she started the business. She started it to feel alive, vital, and on fire. Her business depends on her and it might even start to lag.
Unfortunately, this time is when many business owners not only burn out, they drop out.