If I had a dollar for every client who came to a call beating themselves up because “they’re not there yet”…
I’d have A LOT of extra dollars. And you know what? I get it. I used to absolutely torture myself in my own business for “not being where I should be by now”.
Like you, I’m an extremely motivated individual and I do not shy away from taking the action necessary to get to where I want to go. I hustle when I need to hustle, rest when I need to rest, work extra hours when it’s required. Make the investments I need to make, even if it’s uncomfortable.
You know how it is…we do what we gotta do. Period.
The bad thing about this habit? It turns against us when all our effort doesn’t seem to be getting us to our goal within our expected timeline.
Every year I have several clients who’ve had successful businesses for several years, but they’re feeling terrible about themselves & beating themselves up for ”not having gotten to seven figures yet”. Some have been in business for only 2-4 years, others longer.
The reason this is problematic: I’ve worked with MANY people who gained a lot of wealth & fame FAST. While everyone envies and praises it, behind the scenes they’re breaking down in myriad ways.
Do you know how many people who “hit seven figures in only their second year of business” don’t have businesses anymore because they burned out or couldn’t handle it?
Very often, when you grow that fast, you often have figured out a “hack” to grow quickly, or you got lucky and hit a very particular niche or need in the market.
But you know what you didn’t do?
You didn’t grow your personal capacity nor the energetic or structural capacity of your business to match that of a seven-figure business.
That’s like your foot growing two sizes while you’re sleeping and trying to wear yesterday’s-size shoes the next morning. Painful.
What I usually see in people who grow to seven figures fast is:
- Major team issues, with high turnaround, team drama, and team members who knew how to work in a six figure business, but no idea how to support a seven figure one.
- Underdeveloped standard operating processes, workflows and systems that make working in the company a messy nightmare.
- A team that doesn’t have the capacity to handle the huge influx of customers they’ve received so the customer experience is dismal and as a result they have to constantly launch because they lose customers as quickly as they gain them.
- A CEO plagued by overwhelm, overwork, anxiety and the increasing pressure of feeling like all eyes are on them to perform or “double that seven figures” next year.
- Business owner with exhaustion, mystery health issues, or fighting with their spouse or losing friends because they’re irritable or overwhelmed.
When businesses grow at our own natural pace (and that timeline looks different for each and every one of you), the growth doesn’t outpace your capacity.
Instead, your capacity gets pushed little by little in a manageable way, so you get the benefit of time to grow your ability to handle the increased challenges of a growing business in a sustainable way.
Oh, but the glitz and glam of being able to post on Facebook about your seven figures give us a sense of pride and validation!!
It makes us feel like we’ll be more worthy of the respect of our peers. Or like we’ll finally “belong” in that room with the people we compared ourselves to.
Except it doesn’t really. All the seven, eight and nine-figure CEO’s I’ve supported still felt insecure at times in boardrooms, on Oprah’s couch, and even with millions of Instagram followers.
Because the title of “seven-figure business owner” doesn’t automatically give you the confidence of the gods. Nor does a title help you navigate challenging situations that come with those seven figures and beyond.
After working with over 74,000 people & being in my own SUSTAINABLE, very successful business for 12 YEARS, I’ve seen SO many people come & go.
Most of the “7 figure darlings” everyone was obsessed with, interviewing on every podcast, featuring in magazines, forming affiliate partnerships with, and wanting to be like? They aren’t around anymore because they quit/shut down their businesses. That fast growth wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Building wealth & success that fast isn’t sustainable.
Yet every year I work with clients who get “starry-eyed” about these coaches & entrepreneurs’ claims of multi-millions. They get seduced by the seven-figure bragging, sign up for their free challenges that promise them the same wealth at the same speed, read their books and invest in their programs, thinking proximity to them will be the “fast pass” to wealth. But they don’t see those same results.
Because growth that quick isn’t the norm, no matter how much the online industry tries to convince you it is.
I’m NOT putting down anyone who’s made seven figures fast! I’m ALL for good, brilliant people building wealth. I will cheer you on!
But before you find yourself seduced by those two glitzy words “seven figures” on someone’s social media post, and find yourself ascribing expert status to them simply because of those two words…consider this first:
Are you learning from a person who built wealth fast but hasn’t been around long enough to prove their “system” is LONG TERM sustainable (10+ years)?
Because in many cases, that’s what many people are doing. And I don’t know about you, but lots of businesses make it to the 1-2 year mark. Some make it to the five-year mark. But a very, very small percentage of those businesses make it past year ten.
I’d much rather learn from someone who’s been doing what they do for a long time and been able to sustain a successful business for 10+ years. Who has a good work-life balance, rich nourishing relationships, well-rounded hobbies, and good internal equilibrium.
That’s the person who KNOWS what kind of capacity it takes to stick around that long and keep up their success in every area of their lives, not just in their business.
I assume you don’t want to be a flash in the pan, but instead more like a long-term legend, yes? You can impact so many more people that way. I’d rather you stick around.
What good is a seven-figure year if that business isn’t around two years later because you didn’t have the *capacity* developed to sustain it? Or it made you develop chronic health issues? Or it caused the destruction of your marriage?
I’ll take slow sustainable growth over that, any day.
I’ll close by telling you something I say to all my high-achieving clients who beat themselves up for “not being there yet” (it’s also something I’ve had to remind myself of many times in the past):
Honor your pace. Just focus on staying consistent, in your lane, devoted, and keep building your capacity to HANDLE all the big things you want.
Be proud of where you are and trust your time is coming. Because if you keep showing up fully, that time WILL come. It will come in its OWN time.
And when it does come, and you trusted its pace, you’ll understand EXACTLY why it took the time that it did.
I know from personal experience. All the times I was beating myself up for “not being there yet” when I look back on it, I am so glad it didn’t happen then because now that I have what I have, I know there was no way I would have been able to handle it. Phew! Glad I dodged that bullet.