Have you ever wanted to reach that next career level but don’t know what else to change? Maybe you’ve mastered your schedule, you’ve grown your network, and worked long hours. Perhaps, you’ve successfully grown a small business, but you can’t seem to break into that elite sphere. You might think to yourself, what am I doing wrong? How come I’m still stuck?
In a recent episode of the Making Bank podcast, guest David Neagle discusses the advice he gives to those trying to reach the next level of their career through his business Life Is Now. Started twenty years ago, Life Is Now has grown into a multi-million–dollar global company that inspires those from any income bracket to improve their life and their wealth. So what area does Neagle focus on the most? Your mentality.
Neagle advocates for a successful mindset to not just start your career but advance it at every stage. He had to learn this lesson the hard way: during a breakdown after working overtime driving a forklift to support his family. In his own words: “I was asking God to please show me something to do different because I didn’t know what to change. And I got this message in my head that said, ‘change your attitude.’ And I started there.”
After some self-reflection, Neagle decided to change three things about his attitude. He made a concerted effort to be more positive, hardworking and respectful, modeling himself after the CEO of the company for which he worked. He stopped complaining about work, gave 100% to every task he completed, big and small, and started respecting everyone for who they were. When he changed the lens through which he viewed work, he tripled his income in thirty days alone—going from $20,000 a year to $62,000. Before you do anything else, make sure you shift your mindset to one that allows you to grow in your career.
Neagle says, “The opportunity was around me for two years and I didn’t recognize it as an opportunity until I changed my attitude. That was such a wake-up call for me: that something could be right there, and I couldn’t see it for what it was because my attitude was so bad.”
Once you have adopted a more positive mindset, it will be much easier to excel in your career, whether that means starting your own business or climbing the cooperate ladder. However, upon increasing your position, you will need to incorporate additional mentalities that can handle this new role. One of the most important mental blocks that Neagle has witnessed in his clients is issues of control.
By control, Neagle means that once you’ve had some success, you may be more stubborn about changing behavior to reach the next level. He says, “The mindset generally is that they’re resisting changing something about who they are, what they’re doing, or what they need to change in order to get where it is that they want to go.” In other words, you may not want to adjust even more than you already have. However, in order to reach your goal, you must change continuously to reach that goal. If you resist pivoting, your business can suffer, and over something avoidable.
According to Neagle, the resistance to change is enormous. He recounts a specific incident when proposing to his client a solution to adapt in COVID. Neagle’s client was experiencing a higher percentage of people saying no to their services, so Neagle suggested they talk to 5-10% more people to adjust to this. He says, “Your numbers would be right back where they were. They literally said to me, ‘I don’t know if I want to work that hard.’”
Although unfortunate, it’s understandable: growing is difficult to do. However, in order to be successful, you must be open to progress in order to not only advance your career but survive such unusual times. Now is the time to pivot the most, to think creatively, and to be open to change.
Another aspect to a successful mindset that also relates to control is hard work. You might find yourself thinking, “Hard work? Isn’t that a good thing?” After all, that’s what landed you in a leadership position in the first place. Yes, hard work is always good. But, as Neagle says, “Hard work is a great thing until you start making work hard.”
What he means by this is that once you are in a leadership, you need to remember to delegate. Focus your energy and time on the tasks that are most important for your role. Neagle says, “You’re not going to get to a million by working hard, just hard work is not going to cut it. You need a different strategy in order to do it.”
So, how does working hard relate to control and delegation? Well, as Neagle believes, people do everything they can—and extra—to get to that leadership position, but then forget that they no longer need to do everything. By this, he means that people don’t want to let go of simple tasks, as continuing to do so feeds their need for control or their ego.
However, once you focus your energy on more important areas for your role, you will be able to better identify what needs to change within the company. Perhaps you need to market better, create a better work environment, or bring on new people. Whatever it may be, concentrate on the tasks that only you can do. At the end of the day, you can work diligently in daily tasks, but if you miss the big picture, your company will suffer overall.
While abstract, you have the power to adopt all these suggestions, no matter who you are. What’s stopping you?