Dreams! We’ve all got them. That’s what calls us into our own business. Watching our dreams unfold into reality is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.
As rewarding as it is to watch that dream manifest, it can be equally frustrating when the dream seems stalled. You’re stuck at a certain point, and can’t seem to reach the next level, no matter how much you want it.
Here’s what happens: There are a certain set of skills that you have to develop in order to launch your business. It can feel overwhelming at first: create a website, set up directory listings, get email, find a way to take payments. There’s a LOT.
But you master all those skills pretty quickly. Your business is open for clients. Once you’ve mastered those steps, you suddenly realize that there is so much more to it than that. Growing your business is a continuous process of mastering new skills, and developing your capabilities.
I see this same process unfold with my son. He’s an avid Fortnite-r, and is constantly trying to uplevel his skills. He can’t reach level 146 until he’s mastered all the skills on level 145. When he first gets to level 146, it feels impossible. He has no idea what he’s supposed to do, and how to beat the challenges. He’s got to figure it out as he goes.
His process usually goes something like this:
- Excitement: This is a great level! I love these challenges.
- Frustration: I can’t figure out how to do this. It’s impossible to beat.
- Guidance: Let me watch some YouTube videos to see how others have mastered this level.
- Practice: I’m getting closer to beating this.
- Mastery: I did it!
Sound familiar? Yep. It’s the same process we go through as we build our business. What Fortnite does so well is lay out the levels and the challenges required to master them. In your business, that can seem like a bit of an abyss. Not knowing what comes next, or what you have to do to grow.
That’s why I want to demystify this process for you. I want to help you understand where you are and what skills you need to master in order to grow.
Knowing what you need to do to take your practice to the next step can be frustrating, especially if what you’ve tried hasn’t worked! Building a six-figure business from the ground up takes specific steps, which I’ve outlined for you here so you know where to go next. It’s all about mastering the skills you need at your level, and then leveling up to challenge yourself further and build your revenue.
See if you can identify which level you’re in now so that you can take the steps necessary to move up.
Launching Stage: ($0-$20,000/year)
You’ve just opened your doors; you may even be part time still. You’re not established yet and don’t have consistent client flow. Everything is overwhelming and you may ask yourself, “What have I done???”.
There are two things to focus on in this phase. One is getting your systems in place: booking, payment, etc. These will be important later as your practice starts to grow.
But the biggest thing? Overcoming imposter syndrome! Repeat after me: you’re the real deal. You’ve got this. You’re ready to go.
- Emerging Stage: ($25,000-$40,000/year)
This might be the most frustrating stage! You’re in business, your systems are set… but the clients aren’t coming. Anticlimactic, to say the least.
The step to level up here is to get a consistent client flow; you want 3-4 inquiries per week. But how can you get those calls?
You need to reach enough people and connect to the ones who need your help. The main goal of this phase is to get a consistent flow of new clients.
[Related Podcast: How to Choose the Right Niche to Grow Your Practice]
- Building Stage: ($42,000-$82,000/year)
You did it! You got that consistent client flow! People are calling, but you want more. So, take that next step by putting in place an actual marketing system. Without it, many businesses get stuck in this stage.
The goal is to be someone that clients seek out, instead of you waiting on calls. The way to do this is to focus on giving value to your audience, so they see you as a trusted authority who can help them solve a problem.
This phase is also where old money stories and limiting beliefs start to creep in, and these can stop you in your tracks. If your goal is to break 6 figures (and I hope it is), you have to have the right money mindset supporting you through that growth.
- Growth Stage: ($82,000-$150,000/year)
You have leveled up, people are seeking you out, and you’re growing your business from a place of inspiration, not desperation. So, what’s the next step? The skill to master in this stage is charging what you’re worth.
Many launch their business by undercharging, because they don’t believe they’ll be able to get clients if they charge more. $40 an hour? Sure, why not! (That was a jackpot when I started my practice.)
To build your business into the 6-figure range, you have to start charging what you’re worth. That may mean transitioning out of insurance or simply charging more per hour, but the increase ensures that you’re working with clients who truly want to be there.
Start being selective about the clients that you’ll work with, which can be a mindset shift from the attitude of “grow, grow, grow” that you’ve had until this stage.
Scaling Phase: ($150,000+/year)
This phase is the most fun! You’ve mastered the prior levels and your practice is humming along. Now is the stage to build a program. Create a retreat, hire someone to work with you – you’ve got something larger than yourself now and you have the financial stability to see where your vision takes you.
In this stage, it’s essential that you have a supportive community around you. You’ve grown a successful business, and you’ll hear all sorts of negative comments from people in your life who don’t get it. The only way to counteract this negativity is with people who understand what you’re doing, celebrate your wins, and support you when things are difficult.
Knowing where you are and what you have to master gives you the clarity you need to take action in the right direction to move your business forward.
If you’re a psychotherapist, how much easier would it be if you had a supportive community of others helping you move through these stages? Whatever stage you’re in, we can help you master that level and move up to the next one. Click here to join my FREE pop-up Facebook group for the tools, strategies, and resources you need.