How to Take It to the Next Level

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I work with business owners who have many millions of dollars, executives who make millions, and those who are just making a really good living. Plus, lots of conversations with others across the spectrum of financial success.

A few things universally true.

1. It doesn’t matter how much money we have.

2. The majority of us experience a good deal we wish was different in our lives.

3. That may include money, but is more than money.

4. Many people are trapped by moderate success.

Trapped by moderate success is a soul killer. A joy killer. It causes you to just keep doing what you have always done.

Trapped by moderate success is a soul killer. A joy killer. It causes you to just keep doing what you have always done. I get into conversations with people who would seem to have the world by the tail. At least if you look at their income statement or balance sheet. Yet, they reflect… And, describe their life success as no more than average.

“Taking it to the next level” is achievable and so worth it. It’s so obvious I don’t even know how to argue the case. It would be like trying to make an argument that sunshine is good. Yet, really smart, accomplished, capable people can’t find the time or fortitude. They can’t get out of their own way. That’s pretty much them talking and demonstrating, not me. I watch. I listen. I hear.

Step One is to GET REAL about where you are now. I emphasized those words for a reason. How do I say this delicately? Tell the freaking truth! You are either living the life of your dreams or you aren’t.

What is working and what isn’t? What is pretty good, OK, or not good at all? I am not asking you to commit to anything, figure out solutions, or second guess what you might have done differently. None of that. I made the little assessment below about as straightforward as I know how to do. Print it out, grab a pen, close the door, take a couple of deep breaths, and get brutally honest. There is not good or bad, right or wrong. The goal is simply to get up close and personal with what is. Just check the box that applies. See further instructions for the math below.

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N1: Multiply the number checked in each column by value at the top of that column.

N2: Add the totals for each column and divide by seven.

If you are 5s in all seven categories, do more of what you’re doing. If you aren’t, you know where to start. If you average below about a 4, that spells real opportunity. If you average around a 3 or less, you’ve got serious work to do. I know I’m getting in your face a little bit. I am trying to help.

I meet people who have moved mountains their entire lives to be a 5 in their businesses and careers. They’ve sacrificed a marriage or two, and a whole bunch of themselves. They’ve lived the long hours, stress, and dirty hard work. On the goal line, they have been successful. Life looks pretty good. They tell me it is, but with obvious hesitation or resignation right beneath the surface. Then, they tell me what’s not the way they want it. When they GET REAL - when they speak their truth - life may be a long way from a 5.

You might notice I did not weight these seven categories. I didn’t try to put joy or health higher than money, or vice versa. My experience, however, is that financially successful people do tend to weight these, subconsciously perhaps, in their own lives. They de facto vote money/ business/ career as more than the other six combined. Don’t get me wrong. I am a loyal capitalist. I am just harping on my message to take a hard look at where you are and GET REAL.

As usual, I am out of word space. That’s OK, because this is a good stopping point. GET REAL now. We’ll figure out what to do next in a later edition.

Recommendation #1: Take the test. Take a look at the entirety of your life relative to what you would consider a “5” across these categories.

Recommendation #2: Start to get a picture of what you would like it to be, in a perfect world. Don’t fret about “if” or “how”. I am just asking you to dream a little.

Recommendation #3: If you want to pick up a great book that might be valuable to you, get a copy of Get Real, by my friend Stephen McGhee (SEE IT HERE).