Lisa Robbin Young

Why I hate "Next Level" - what does it really mean?

Can I be blunt for a moment?

I can't STAND the phrase "take your business to the next level". I think it's overused and too generic to have any real meaning.

And that's EXACTLY why so many business coaches - especially in the online world - use it. Yes. I use it too... which is part of what bugs me about it!

It's a blanket, "catch-all" phrase that allows them to paint a huge picture without really saying anything at all. You're left to use your imagination to figure out what "next level" really means.

I mean, I get it. It's a phrase that resonates for folks because it suggests progress and growth. Going up the elevator from the ground floor to the penthouse. That idea of "started from the bottom, now we're here."

But it's so generic! Taking your business to the next level could mean increasing your revenue, expanding your customer base, or improving your marketing strategies. By using a broad and flexible phrase like "take your business to the next level," a coach can appeal to a wide range of potential clients and highlight the various benefits they offer.

Which is great for the coach, but not necessarily great for you.

What does a "Next Level" business even look like?

You don't want generic outcomes, you want specific help tailored to your situation. That's why you hire a coach in the first place! And the kind of "next-level" lift you need may not actually be what that coach is offering.

What if you need help through an audience pivot? I did. I needed specific help from someone who understands how to do an audience pivot. The idea of "taking my business to the next level" meant reaching more of those new, perfect-fit audience members. So, I put out a call to find a new coach, and what I got back was very telling.

I was specific in my request. Dozens of folks raised their hands and when I went to their websites to vet them more than HALF of them were talking about "next level" results.

Gag me.

Most of the coaches I talked to couldn't help me until I was already pivoted. But not with help finding these folks. Which, you know, needs to happen before I can market my offers to them!

So why raise your hand in the first place?

I ended up wasting a LOT of time talking to people who were good at things that I didn't even ask for! All because they wouldn't be specific enough in their marketing and messaging to help me understand what they offer and how they could REALLY help me... or if they understood my problem at all!

"Next Level" is a shorthand leaves a lot of room for interpretation

Using a common phrase like "take your business to the next level" can be a helpful shorthand for communicating the overall goal of their coaching services. It's a quick and catchy way to get potential clients interested in what they have to offer, and cast a wide net, but when you need specific help, this phrase is mostly worthless.

If "take your business to the next level" can mean different things for different people, depending on their goals and aspirations, then you have no real clarity. It could mean pushing past your current limits, reaching new heights, and tapping into your full potential as a business owner and as an individual, just as easily as it could mean expanding your customer base, increasing your revenue, improving your products or services, and creating more value for your customers.

That's a painting with a VERY broad brush!

No wonder potential clients get confused, throw their hands up, and walk away!

Specificity is clarity. Clarity builds confidence, which feeds your ability to take courageous actions (like saying YES and hiring a new coach!)

Define "Next Level" for yourself BEFORE you look for a coach

To make the term "take your business to the next level" meaningful, have in mind specific examples of what that might look or feel like for you.

For instance, taking your business to the next level could mean achieving a certain revenue target, expanding your customer base, launching a new product or service, or simply improving your overall brand image and reputation. It could also mean feeling more fulfilled and passionate about the work you do, having more freedom and flexibility in your schedule, and feeling more confident and empowered in your ability to make a difference in your industry.

If you're not clear about what you want or need from a coaching experience, you're more likely to be lured into "next level" language that doesn't get you where you really want to go.

Sadly, most coaches aren't providing specific examples so potential clients can better understand the value of choosing them. Instead, they're relying on lazy "next level" language that isn't helping you at ALL.

But you can make smart decisions by being clear and upfront with what you want or need from a coach. Don't equivocate. Ask them directly: how can you help me achieve x?

Don't let "next level" jargon hypnotize you into saying yes if you're not clear the coach can help.

And if you're ready to get real support to build a business that works for how you're wired to work, let's talk! A few seats are still available for this month's Cashflow Creator business model workshop series. Together, we'll design (or redesign) your business to be in alignment and integrity with what matters most to you and how you're uniquely wired to work.

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