Bust Through Your Revenue Ceiling

Hitting a revenue ceiling sucks.

While everyone else is freaking out about how the latest change to the Facebook algorithm is going to kill their lead gen …

There you sit.

A calendar chock-full of client work, no time to take on anything more, and still not enough money is coming in.

I remember when I first hit that point, I tried following all the advice about how to “scale quickly.”

I built group programs. I brought on contractors. I raised my prices. I switched to retainers and productized my services.

And I just ended up more stressed, more frustrated, and with less money and time to show for it.

Maybe you can relate.

So what do you do when you’re in that situation?

Here are three steps you can take if you want to be able to expand your business’ growth capacity and blow through that revenue ceiling.

Here they are.

1. Get the Cash Flowing

The first thing you need is to free up some cashflow.

That’s pretty obvious. If you don’t have cashflow, you can’t invest to grow your business.

Now, that might mean you need to raise your prices, it might mean that you need to reduce the amount of effort that goes into delivering your product, it might mean you need to do both.

But we need to free up your cashflow to a point where 15% of the money that comes in not being spent; staying in the business as profit.

Once you’ve got that in place and you got the cashflow sorted out, then you can go to step number two, which is to start to reallocate.

2. Reallocate

If you’ve been able to set aside 15% for profit, you can now temporarily reduce that to 10% and use the difference to fund your growth.

You can use that to hire someone. You can use that to reinvest in the growth of your business. You can use it in any number of ways.

But the key is that the investment that you make should see a return on that investment. If you hire someone, they should increase your business’ ability to generate more revenue.

That way, the costs remain the same, but your revenue increases.

Over time, your profit will also increase back up to 15%. It gets back up to 15%, you can start to reinvest again, drop it down to 10, allow that investment to achieve its return …

You get into this really nice cycle where you’re able to continue to grow your business without hitting a ceiling.

3. Don’t Save Time, Expand It

So once you’ve got the profit, How do you reinvest?

A lot of people think, “Oh, I should hire someone” and that can be a great answer.

But when you’re hiring, it’s really important to think about expanding time, not just saving time.

Because the truth is, there’s only so much time you can save. Hiring a VA may give you a few extra hours a week but what if you were to hire someone to do sales calls or to do your coaching calls?

Then you’re starting to create more time, more capacity, more ability to do amazing things in your business.

So, when you hire, think about how you can create time instead of just saving time.

Your Turn

That’s what I’ve got for you today; just three really quick things to look at if you feel like you’re in a situation where you’re at a revenue ceiling.

The question is, which of these three things is going to be the thing that’s going to make the biggest difference for you?

Is it freeing up cashflow, is it reallocating profit, or is it expanding your time through hiring instead of saving time?

Send me a message on Facebook; I’d love to hear which of these three things you’re going to prioritize … or if you don’t know we can chat about it, and find an answer together.

“What do they know that I don’t?”

Sometimes, it just feels like everything is going wrong.

  • Your market doesn’t respond to your product the way they have in the past.
  • You’ve doubled your revenue every year … except this year.
  • Your profit has shrunk, cashflow is tight, and you still haven’t seen the ROI on any of your new expenditures.
  • You’ve hired a team, but still find yourself working more than ever … and not on the creative projects you WISH you were working on.

What’s worse is you know there has to be a different way …

… because you look around you and see these people who are crushing it and you ask, “What do they know that I don’t?”

Well, here are four things that I believe make all the difference.

Plus, insights from some of our clients—about how they have used these lessons to close the gaps in their businesses, too.

1. Recognize That Overcoming Obstacles is Simple

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it’s easy, but the path to overcoming obstacles really is rather simple.

At any given moment, there are only two things that you can do if you want to keep moving forward. You can plan, or you can act.

Ideally, you do both in balance. You plan, and then you act on those plans. And then you adjust your plans based on what your actions have revealed, and then take more action.

Plan, action, plan, action.

Rinse repeat.

It really is that simple.

It may not be easy, but it is simple.

2. Create Plans That You Will NOT Follow It Perfectly

A few years ago, I would have described myself as a “chronic over-planner” who didn’t always follow-through on all my great plans. Maybe you can relate.

What I learned is that I was too focused on making my plan perfect (and then following it perfectly). It was so binding. I felt like I couldn’t make a mistake or miss a step, because then my carefully crafted plan would just fall to pieces.

But what I learned is that the point of planning is not to create something that you can execute flawlessly.

As one of our clients, Lisa Fabrega, says:

I used to believe that I could plan it one way and it would have to be exactly like that but now I know that even once the thing is out there you will get feedback that you will need to pivot a few things or tweak along the way.

She’s exactly right.

3. Create More Constraints

So if the point of a plan is not to create something that you’ll follow step-by-step, what is it?

Well, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times:

Freedom comes from constraints.

Lacy Boggs, founder of the Content Direction Agency, summed this lesson up really well:

One of the biggest misconceptions about planning I run into in my biz is that people fear if they plan (in my case, their blog posts) they won’t be inspired any more—that they’ll plan the passion right out. Planning actually gives them back time that they otherwise spent waiting for inspiration to strike and stokes the creativity they thought it would drain away.

She explained it to me further with a great analogy: writing free-form verse may seem simpler than writing a sonnet. But when you have the structure and form of a sonnet to follow, you’re actually forced to be more creative.

Freedom—including creative freedom—comes from constraints.

4. Be Accountable for the Result

One of the biggest mindset shifts I had to as I was growing my business is that what I do is not help clients double their profit with half the effort.

No, what I do is this:

I run a company.

My company does the doubling the profit thing; my job as the CEO is to run the company.

What that means is that, at the end of the day, I am accountable for the results that the company achieves. However, when I’m acting in my capacity as a CEO, my job is not to do the work that generates those results. No, my job is to generate those results through my team.

Our client Denise Duffield-Thomas explained this as her biggest lesson, as she grew her business from the $250k mark to $1m+:

Part of your planning should be how you can step further into the CEO role of your business and work more in your Zone of Genius (CEO doesn’t stand for “Chief Everything Officer” by the way).

Successfully planning out a million dollar business is more about what you take OUT of your plan, rather than what you put in.

As you plan out all the tasks and new projects, you want to do, ask yourself ‘Who can do this INSTEAD of me?’

Who, indeed.

(Of course, even Denise needed help seeing the bigger picture answer to this question. You can read more about how we helped her do that, here)

Do This, In EVERY Moment

There’s a lot more than can be said, of course.

But for right now, all I want to drive home is that at any given moment — or maybe I should say at every given moment — you really do only have two options.

There are only two things you can do to move forward, take advantage of your opportunities, and overcome your challenges.

You can make a plan
You can take action

So here’s your challenge for this moment:

Take 30 seconds right now to do the first — think about the four lessons I outlined above. Pick the one that resonates most deeply with where you are and where you want to go …

… and then go do it.

Tired of Hustling? Try Relying On This Instead.

Set scene: In a martial arts dojo, two instructors, Kevin and Eric, are demonstrating a drill

Kevin: *punches*
Eric: *blocks*
Kevin: *pushes Eric over*

Kevin: Ah, you see, he got pushed over. What’s the problem here?
Students: He wasn’t connected to the ground! Bad stance!
Kevin: Yes, very good. But there’s more to it. Let’s do it again.

Eric: *adjusts his stance*
Kevin: *punches*
Eric: *blocks*
Kevin: *pushes Eric over again*

Kevin: See? Still pushed over. The problem is that he’s relying on muscle. He’s stiff! He’s rigid! He’s trying to push me out of the way with his block!

This went on, back and forth, about five times. Every time, Kevin told Eric he needed to get more into his structure and use less strength. Eric adjusted and softened, just minute changes — so small you could barely see them.

Then Kevin would again push him over. “Too much strength! Less muscle, more structure!”

Finally, Kevin pushed and Eric didn’t move.

Kevin: Ah, there we go. Now you’ve stopped relying on your muscle. Your structure is holding you up. Read more

Your Revenue Goals are Lying To You

Your revenue goals are lying to you.
And they are a big part of why you feel like taking the next step in your business is impossible.
See, if your goal is to bring in $500k annual revenue, that doesn’t mean you’re building a $500k business.
It means you’re building a $840k business.
It’s math.
Right now, let’s say you’re doing $120k in a year, or $10k/mo.
Well, a $500k business means that on AVERAGE, you have to be doing $40k/month in revenue.
Which means for every $10k month, you need to ALSO have a $70k month.
And if you did $70k each and every month, you’d be at $840k in a year.
So what your 12-month goal of making $500k REALLY tells me is that you want to have built a business that is capable of doing at least $840k in a year.
And if it’s not, then you need to re-evaluate your goals.

The Biggest Mistake That Keeps Online Business Owners Stuck at $250k

At the end of the day, the math is quite simple:

In order to have a $1m online business, you must be able to generate $1m in sales.

All the structures and systems in the world are meaningless if you don’t have something to sell — some way of serving people; of exchanging value for value with them.

But here’s what I’ve observed: there’s a threshold that happens at around the $250k mark for most coaches, services providers and related businesses.

For some people, it’s higher.

For some people, it’s lower.

But somewhere around that point, things suddenly start to get HARD.

You have something that’s working, but it’s only working so well.

It’s like you’re too successful to quit, but not successful enough to feel like you’ve “made it”.

The question is,

How do you get past that point?

Read more