Level 1: Survival

Unless you own a well funded startup, this is where most people land after they embark on their entrepreneurship journey.

You’re figuring out your offer, you’re marketing and selling it to people and you’re delivering on your promises.

You’re making things up as you go and it feels like you’ve jumped off the plane scrambling to build the parachute and hoping it will work before you hit the ground. You keep trying new things and often struggle to take projects to completion.

You’re stuck in the feast and famine cycle — operating in an endless ‘hustle & grind’ loop getting customers, chasing customers, doing the work and chasing your team. You’re often living in a state of chaos and running on adrenaline and cortisol.

You have big dreams and a million ideas, but they only exist in your head. You’re chopping and changing directions because you’re uncertain about what you’re creating, what you’re marketing and selling or the way you’re working. The unsettling feeling only contributes to more doubt and drives you to throw more spaghetti at the wall.

Because you may not feel aligned with how you’re marketing and selling yourself, and/or your products and services, the lack of congruence you feel is what’s keeping you stuck at this level.

Unpredictable sales keeps you in endless stress and anxiety since cash is the oxygen of a business.

Level 1 - Feast & Famine Cycle

You’re experiencing a huge gap between your efforts and your results because you spend 100% of your time in “doing mode”, dog-paddling day-to-day keeping your head above water. You don’t create space and time to think about how you want your business to fit into your life because you’re stuck doing.

You try to “be more productive” and duck tape apps and tools on a whim. Ineffective utilisation of the many productivity apps and tools you adopt makes you inefficient due to lack of cohesion with your workflow.

If you’re a fast action taker, you tend to leave a ball of mess behind you. If you have a small team, it’s not clear who is doing what and when things are done. Your team struggles to keep up with your change in direction and your million ideas. In order to keep up, they model your chaotic behaviour which only creates even more mess inside your business.

Your business becomes harder to run the more products and services you create, the more marketing channels you use, the more tools you have in your tech stack and the more people you add to your team.

You are unaware of the fact that complexity multiplies the more variables you introduce into your business.

In order to level up, you need to learn to get out of your own way and expand your capacity to navigate your fears, your insecurities and your limiting beliefs. You also need to develop the mindsets, behaviours and habits to feel safe and secure with where you are.

You need to learn to confront your own capabilities and limitations to wear all the hats your business requires of you, commit to developing new skills and become a “lifelong learner”.

If you’ve chosen to forge your own path in life and make a living through your own business, you will be called upon to expand your capacity and learn new skills at each level of business.

Common Challenges

  • You don’t know what you don’t know
  • Advice from too many sources, analysis paralysis, procrastination
  • Finding product-market fit
  • Marketing and messaging
  • Unpredictable sales
  • Delivering on your promises
  • Duck taping things together
  • Doing everything yourself
  • Not getting out of your own way

What Your Business Needs To Level Up: Establish predictable sales

  • Lifestyle Alignment
  • Marketing & Sales Alignment
  • Prospect Attraction
  • Client Conversion
  • Delivering On Promises
  • Collecting On Payments

Important Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Do I feel aligned with the business I’ve created?
  • Do I enjoy doing the work I’m delivering and offering?
  • Can I see the business supporting the lifestyle I want to lead?
  • Is the business supporting my personal financial needs?
  • Do I feel aligned with the way I’m marketing and selling myself, and/or my products and services?
  • Am I attracting enough quality prospects?
  • Am I converting enough right prospects into clients?
  • Am I fully delivering on my promises to clients?
  • Are my clients delivering on their financial commitments to me?
  • Is the way I’m operating my business sustainable?

It can feel very frustrating, discouraging and painful when we realise that our lives look nothing like the picture we painted inside our heads at the beginning of our entrepreneurship journey. What you’re feeling is normal. It’s part of the journey.

From the outside looking in, business creation in the modern digital age looks like it should be easy. The 20 year old millionaires and social media influencers certainly make it look like a walk in the park.

If you’ve read The E-Myth (by Michael Gerber), you’ll recognise that running a business is different to “doing the work” and being a technician. Ignorance isn’t bliss.

The truth is, we all lack the knowledge, experience and leadership qualities to successfully operate a business especially if you’ve never done it before.

No one is competent at designing and operating a healthy, functional and profitable business right out the gate. Business building is a process and an accumulation of skills we learn and develop over time.

This is why it’s important to recognise, acknowledge and accept the fact that you just haven’t expanded your capacity and developed the skillsets required yet.

While some people can quickly graduate to the next level because they have the skills and capacity to market and sell, a lot of folks tend to stay stuck at the Survival Level. Some people can even spend their entire career existing just to survive in order to keep their doors open.

Staying at the Survival Level for an extraordinary long period of time is a very stressful and difficult way to live.

If you continue to grind your energy away, something will eventually break — usually your body. Your body is intelligent. It gives you signals to warn you that the way you’re operating isn’t working. Feeling like you have to grind through business and life not only sucks, it’s unsustainable.

If you choose to operate with more self awareness, conscious intention, use your energy, time and resources effectively, you’ll give yourself a much better chance at creating sustainable success and a business that you actually love and enjoy.

Let’s look at what your business can feel like once you’re out of the feast and famine cycle…

Level 2