Last week I explained how, for the entrepreneur, the “plateau” is natural and unavoidable.
You might say this is especially true for the legal entrepreneur, since if you are starting a solo practice you are likely going to be a one-man or one-woman show for a while.
However, whatever the size or structure of your firm/business, the characteristics I described are universal… The common thread being you will get (extremely) close to burnout and quitting!
I also offered you the first 5 steps to get yourself OUT of the plateau… which mainly revolve around knowing your “numbers” inside out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the next 5 steps. So without further more ado, here they are:
Tip #6. Seek a level one greater than your own. Be very careful in whom you confide during a plateau. Of course, there’s no sense in hiding where you’re at, but not everyone can support you through it. This is a time to expand your sphere of influence. Find entrepreneurs who are playing one level beyond where you are and ask for advice and support. They’ll be able remember their last plateau and give you the reassurance and advice you need. Find (or create) a mastermind of professionals who can expand your mind and hold you accountable to your own goals.
Tip #7. Trim the fat. Seek and destroy inefficiencies in your personal or business spending, at least temporarily. Even at the darkest moments, I have found ways to be more efficient in my finances, such as renegotiating my VOIP contract, cell phone contract, growing our own produce (yes, we did get our hands dirty to save money and have homegrown organic food!), moving our insurance to a cheaper provider, etc. Even $50 can help! Trimming can be joyful thing. Just think of it as freeing energy for better things.
Tip #8. Find your “Oh Shit!” number. That’s the bank balance that makes you jump out of your chair and yell, “Oh Shit!” You panic! You think! You ACT! And when you act, you will make things happen. I had no idea I had an “Oh Shit” number until Alexis pointed it out to me. When I realized my number was the same number my mother had as her monthly allowance, something in me snapped and I decided I would do everything in my power to bring conscious awareness to this self-limiting number floating around in my head. I’ve been pushing my number up ever since. What is your “Oh Shit!” number?
Tip #9. Weigh the alternatives. I mean the alternative to being an entrepreneur. What are you going to do if you throw in the towel? Are you employable? Are there jobs to be had? Will you like working for someone else? Will it offer you something other than stability? What about being employed is comforting? Frightening? What about being an entrepreneur do you love? What do you loathe?
Tip #10. Wait 90 days before you throw in the towel or make any drastic moves, do all of these things for 3 months. Don’t give up. After 90 days, use the information you’ve acquired to write up a good old-fashioned Pro/Con list. Now, if you choose to walk away from your plateau, then at least you’ve not done so under duress and in an unclear state of mind.
Creating a business has been one of the most amazing journeys for me (aside from being a parent). It has forced me to look at things from points of view I never anticipated. It is enervating and unnerving. Terrifying and exciting. Sometimes, I’m on the fence, just like most entrepreneurs. But that #10 step, that’s the ticket. Wait to make a decision.
Because this too shall change. Enjoy the ride!
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