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.
The Microbusiness Earning Plateau is an extremely common problem. You work hard but you just don’t get the same growth you used to get. On the outside you look successful, but on the inside you feel tired and spent.
Surely, there must be a way for Meg—and you, too—to reach her true revenue goals (they’re big!), to keep up the parts of her business that she loves and to spend less time and energy on the maintenance of her business so that she can live her life.
If you’ve reached this phase of business or you want to avoid it all together, you need to create a business model that breathes. You need a model in which marketing and sales activities pulse through the veins of that model. Customer perspective must feed its soul.
The key to busting through the Microbusiness Earning Plateau isn’t more offers (that’s just more work) and it’s not necessarily some signature program or ebook.
The answer is creating an enduring business that helps you leverage prices to serve your customers, developing products or services that address their evolving needs, and crafting marketing and sales strategies that are designed for your freedom.
It’s not that you need to work harder for your business. It’s that your business model needs to work harder for you.
When you’re focused on creating, delivering, and exchanging value according to those three principles, you can kiss that Microbusiness Earning Plateau (and burnout and frustration) goodbye.
All the training on social media, multiple revenue streams, or email marketing tactics won’t teach you those qualities. It’s fundamentally a different way to approach the way your business works. This particular kind of business model looks for lasting opportunities, chooses to learn from its best customers, and streamlines in favor of positive impact and efficiency.
If you’ve hit the Microbusiness Earning Plateau, or your hurtling toward it, don’t just throw more of yourself on the fire. Reimagine the way you do business to reach your goals and beyond.
Tara Gentile is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.