Are you looking to level up your business in a big way this year? Then it's time for an identity evolution.
Our identity is our sense of self, how we see ourselves, what we believe about ourselves, and the conditions and qualities that distinguish us.
While there are parts of our identity, like our character, that make us who we are and stay fairly consistent throughout our lives, there are other parts of our identity that grow and evolve throughout our lives.
When we look at this in the context of business, our identity evolves many times over. Every new level that we grow into requires a next level identity to support it.
Leveling up our business is usually part of the vision and goals we set for a new year or even a new quarter. When we think about what it will take to level up, we often think about all of the things we need to DO differently but we don't often stop to consider who we need to BE to step into and lead at that next level.
We focus on actions and activities instead of also considering thinking, mindset, habits and behaviors. It takes a combination of all of those things to achieve the next level results we want.
Instead of thinking simply about what you need to DO to get to the next level, also consider who you need to BEcome to step into that next level.
Because true transformation requires an identity evolution… and you can’t get to the next level by being who you are today.
Let's look at a few examples.
We experience many identity evolutions throughout our entrepreneurial journey:
- Employee ⟶ Entrepreneur
- Solopreneur ⟶ Visionary Leader
- Doer ⟶ Delegator
- Consumer ⟶ Creator
- Influenced ⟶ Influencer
- Unprofitable ⟶ Profitable
- 5 Figure Business Owner ⟶ 6 Figure Business Owner
- 6 Figure Business Owner ⟶ Multi-6 Figure Business Owner
- Multi-6 Figure Business Owner ⟶ 7 Figure Business Owner
- 7 Figure Business Owner ⟶ 8 Figure Business Owner
Each one requires us to grow and evolve our identity, how we see ourselves, and how we show up.
Whenever we find ourselves feeling “stuck” or plateaued in our business, or when we aren’t seeing growth at the rate we want, it often ties back to identity and can represent a fixed mindset or fixed identity.
We can see ourselves as someone who can or can’t do certain things and it can feel like a truth instead of the choice that it really is.
Maybe you find yourself saying things “I’m not the type of person who…”
- Would ever spend that much on paid ads
- Is good at leading a team
- Charges that much
- Is comfortable speaking on a stage
Or you find yourself saying things like “I’m the type of person who…”
- Always does it this way
- Figures it out – I don’t need a plan or systems
- Trusts my intuition – I don’t need data
In each of these scenarios, we state things about ourselves as if they are facts, hardcoded into our identity, and by doing so we limit what's possible and slow down our growth or actually keep ourselves from the results we want most.
Tune into Episode 58 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast or keep reading below.
So how do you evolve your identity and level up while remaining true to who you are?
Remaining true to who you are comes down to staying true to your personal values. What we evolve are the things we believe about ourselves and what we're capable of, and ultimately how we see ourselves.
You can evolve your identity and remain in integrity with your values.
If you take a moment and think about what your next level looks like, what characteristics and qualities does a person who runs a business at that level have? Do you need to step into someone who:
- Charges premium pricing for the incredible amount of value you provide?
- Is a visionary leader with a team supporting you to implement on your vision?
- Unapologetically says no to clients and opportunities who aren’t a good fit to make space for the ones that are?
- Boldly shares their message and point of view and starts a movement?
Let's say you have a goal of $500k for the year. Maybe that's the revenue goal for your business like it is for many of my clients. Or maybe it's the revenue goal for your scalable signature offer in your business. Or even for a single launch event this year.
You want to reflect on how your identity needs to evolve to become a $500k business owner. Here are some questions to consider:
- What does a $500k CEO do differently than what you do today?
- How do they make decisions and what type of decisions do they make?
- How do they show up – for their clients and their online community?
- What do they do personally and what do they delegate?
- What does their day look like? What is their CEO Schedule?
- How do they serve their clients – what do their offers look like?
- What is their business model and how is it different than yours?
- What does their team look like? How do they work together?
- What systems do they have in place and how do they run their business?
- What do you need to let go of and what do you need to step into?
Reflect on who you need to become to step into your next level.
We did this exercise at our Lean Out Level Up Retreat and as attendees reflected on these questions, there were some common themes they shared.
They recognized that they needed to hire and delegate so they weren't so involved in the day to day of their business. They recognized that the decisions and activities they were currently doing were keeping them playing smaller than where they wanted to be. They also recognized that their schedules and habits didn't fully align with those of a $500k CEO.
It can be very powerful to realize where there are differences because that is how you put changes into motion.
Here are my 2 biggest tips for stepping into your next level:
1. Think of people who inspire you who are already at the next level you want to step into.
Find people who have the business model you want, who structure and deliver their offers in the way you want, who approach their marketing and sales in a way you respect and resonate with, who have the blend of work style and lifestyle that you aspire to have, and that show up for their clients and online communities in a way that you want to show up.
It is rarely one person who embodies all of these things, so it can be helpful to identify multiple people at that next level.
2. While identifying people who inspire you and paying attention to what they do is a great place to start, far better and more impactful is to surround yourself with people at the next level.
The biggest uplevels I have experienced in my business were by being part of masterminds where I was around people at a level or 2 higher than where I was. It helped me not only see what was possible but to think bigger and shift my perspective.
Nothing accelerates your results faster than immersing yourself in a space where others are already operating at the next level you want to achieve and who embody the next level identity you want to step into. Especially when you're all aligned around a common goal of growing as both a business and as a business owner.
To level up your business, level up your identity.
I'd love to hear - what is the next level for you and your business?
If you have a goal of hitting $500k in your business in the next 18 months, explore our exclusive mastermind for high achieving coaches, consultants and thought leaders.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.