There comes a time when we hit a plateau in our business and we want to grow but we find it hard to. The reason for this something I call the Evolution Cycle of a Business Goal. Although is applied to business, it can also be applied to any other area of our life.
The Evolution cycle of a Business Goal:
The mind, naturally, resists change as, due to our past, change meant danger and it also meant looking bad and, consequently, social expulsion.
As a result, our mind, inherently, does not want us to change and, as a result, will cause us to stay where we are and, as has been described earlier, feel stuck where we are.
It is in this situation that we need to understand the evolution cycle of a business goal – as feeling stuck means that you want to go to the next level, but the defence mechanism that is built into your brain does not want this to happen, as one of it’s main purpose is to protect you from danger through change.
It is at this point that the full evolution cycle of a Business goal is helpful, as an understanding of the process is usually more than enough to overcome this inherent lethargy that is built into our brain.
There are 4 levels of each Business goal and I will go over them using the acronym MIND to keep things as easy to understand and follow:
M = Money
When we first set out a business goal, our first objective is to make money. We have costs to cover, rewards we want to treat ourselves with, a sense of security we want to have and a lifestyle we want to live at.
However, as we progress financially, we soon reach this goal. As Bill Gates says ‘A hamburger is still a hamburger after a million dollars’ and similarly, we soon realise that we are actually living the lifestyle we desired.
At this point, money no longer becomes the primary motivation factor. We know we have it, we know we can create it easily and we know we never have to worry about it.
Just as a child outgrows a toy, we outgrow the need to have money and we move on to the second phase of the Business Goal Evolution cycle.
I = Identity
Once we have conquered the ability to earn money and have accumulated enough, success (especially financial success as it is so easily measurable) becomes a game.
This game is essentially called ‘how far can I go?’ In this game, money is no longer the objective but proving to yourself how far you can go is. This is where identity comes as we start to push our identity further and further with our financial success.
At this stage, it is about proving to yourself and pushing your own boundaries and limits. It is about winning the private victory and conquering your own financial Everest.
Once you have conquered your own Everest, the peak in your mind, you have proven to yourself and won this game. Naturally, the mind then looks for the next transition:
N = Network
Once you have proven to yourself, you then want to prove to others. We immediately see that although we have achieved our own peak, there are others who are much higher than we are.
We think to ourselves that surely there’s another Everest that he or she has conquered, let me try to conquer that.
Just as fear is inbuilt, the need for social acceptance is also built in. Our need to be seen as equal, if not superior to others, becomes evident here as we now push ourselves to new levels.
Soon, however, we realise that this is a battle we can’t win as even when are the richest on the street, we may not be the richest in the town. Even when we are the richest in the town, we can’t be the richest in the city etc.
We soon also realize that money is just money, it has no real value but that which we give it and our priorities change again.
D = Destiny
Once we have conquered our own peaks and won the acceptance and respect of others, the final phase in the evolution cycle of a business goal kicks in.
We start to think outside of ourselves and look at our impact on others. Human beings are remarkable in that we will often do more to help others than to help ourselves and, in doing so, we begin to think of our destiny or our legacy.
There are countless examples of millionaires and billionaires who have moved into philanthropy. Andrew Carnegie stated that he wanted to spend the first half of his life creating wealth and the second half of his life giving it away.
Naturally, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reach this stage, but this is when the bigger picture comes into play and the key questions are how can I help as many as I can? What is my real passion that I can dedicate my life to? What do I want to leave this world? What do I want my legacy to be?
Whenever we are stuck, we are actually transitioning from one level to another. A part of us wants to move to the next level but a part of us wants to protect us from this new unknown territory as familiarity has become so safe. The paradox of wanting to grow but wanting to stay safe comes fully into play.
The best way to overcome this is to look at where you are transitioning to. Make that transition easy and safe. The first step to this is always awareness of the transition that you are going to make, as then your mind can begin to prepare for this transition to the next level.
One of the biggest problems we face is that we are born with unlimited potential but limited mindsets. As a result we limit our goals.
I firmly believe we should make our goals as large as possible so that instead of being limited by them, we can always grow into them.
Good luck with your transitioning!