Why Your Income Has Plateaued – And What You Can Do About It

You have a working business model. The money is flowing in, and clients are raving about you. But all of a sudden, you hit an income plateau. You might think it’s just a quiet week at first, that business will pick back up. But the weeks keep going by. You’re getting more and more frustrated and wondering –

What on earth has gone wrong?

You’re not alone. Whether you’ve got a full-time business or a side hustle, you’re probably going to plateau at some point in the journey. What you choose to do now can take you to the next level, or it could leave you stuck at an ‘ok’ income level.

To fix your income, you need to figure out why it’s happened. There are a few reasons, but in this article, I’ll talk about two ways you can overcome an income plateau.

Your income has plateaued because you’re trading hours for money

No matter who you are, you have a set number of hours in a day. And no matter how many cups of coffee you drink, you can’t work for 24 hours every single day. At some point, you will be doing everything you can with the hours you have for work.

This is where many people get scared. They fear hiring others and outsourcing the regular business activities we all need to do, like invoicing, bookkeeping, social media marketing, and content writing. So instead of spending their time in their zone of genius, they get caught up doing everything else.

In this case, not only will your income plateau, but you’ll also end up burning out and earning less money overall. You may even push yourself to the point of giving up the business completely.


how to overcome an income plateau


Your income has plateaued because you’re earning the amount that feels comfortable

Most people have an internal thermostat that tells them how much they feel comfortable making. I know that might sound a little bit crazy. But in all seriousness, if your income goes above your internal set point, you’ll find a way to cool it off. Or to sabotage it unconsciously.

Think of someone who became an overnight sensation. It might an actor, an athlete, a rockstar, or even a social media influencer. These people can have a sudden influx of 6 or even 7+ figures in a very short period of time.

But you’ll often hear about them running into financial troubles or even declaring bankruptcy within a couple of years. Because unconsciously they’re taking actions that relieve them of the money that feels like ‘too much’ for them.

Have you ever:

  • Neglected to send out invoices to clients that want to pay?
  • Forgotten to follow up on a lucrative client or business opportunity?
  • Procrastinated on doing the work that will pay well?
  • Had a really successful launch followed by several people canceling?
  • Avoided networking or running a webinar right after making a substantial amount of money?
  • Seen your expenses consistently rise in line with your income?

If you said yes to any (or all!) of these, there is a good chance that you are hitting a level of income that doesn’t feel comfortable or safe.

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What to do if your income has suddenly plateaued

If your flow of money has stagnated or it’s even going backward, don’t panic. There are a few steps you can take that will help you reboot your business and overcome an income plateau.

Look at how you spend your business time

If you’re not bringing in more money because you don’t have time to see your clients or customers, look to your work schedule. You might even like to color-code it based on the type of activity.

Then ask yourself these two questions:

  • How many hours am I spending on income-generating activities compared to other activities? Income-generating activities might include actions such as putting up your Facebook ads, sharing an offer with your followers, networking, and planning out your strategy for the next quarter of the year.
  • How many hours am I spending in my zone of genius compared to other activities? This is whatever it is you do in your business, whether it’s seeing clients face-to-face, running workshops and webinars, or making your products.

If you find that you’re not spending a good amount of time in your zone of genius, it might be time to bring in someone who can assist you. Your best bet to escape the plateau is to find someone whose zone of genius complements yours. That can be someone to answer email inquiries, manage your Facebook ads, or whatever else is sucking up your time. It leaves you free to do the activities that bring you more clients and more money.

Understand the money messages you were raised with

Much of our financial identity is rooted in what we learned as children. The way that our parents, family and even the wider community spoke about money and work shaped our views from a very young age. If you want to dig deep into why you might be self-sabotaging, you want to uncover these beliefs.

Where was the stress and anxiety around money when you were growing up? When you think about how you saw money as a child, does a scenario come to mind?

My client ‘C’ remembers that every time she asked her father for money to buy something small, he always said no. “There was never enough money,” she said, “and yet she knew there was money – I saw and even counted the money.” Today, ‘C’ has so much fogginess about money as a result of the mixed money messages she inherited. And that, together with the lingering fear of hearing ‘no’ has meant that ‘C’ hates doing discovery calls with prospective clients. So she sometimes avoids them. And blocks her income.

Pivotal money moments

Often, lessons around money are learned around a pivotal moment. This might be a divorce, a loss of job, or even the death of a loved one. If you have experienced any of these transition periods within your family, explore how they affected you. And that might still be impacting your money today.

If you had a parent who didn’t handle their finances well, you might even have grown up wanting to prove that you can do better. But this usually comes from a place of anger and rebellion, rather than self-worth. So you still might end up sabotaging yourself – for example, you might earn a significant income, but have constant unexpected bills, charges and fines come up.

The deeper you can dive into the lessons and beliefs you learned about money and work, the better you are able to address the blocks they created.

Seek support

It can be hard to dig deep into the reasons why you don’t want to earn more money. Your brain is hard-wired to stop you from going there. It’s self-protection. That’s why having someone on your team to help you uncover these blocks can make a world of difference.

If you’d like to explore how you can break out of an income plateau, then I invite you to book at 30-minute discovery call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you transform your relationship with money.

Schedule your consultation by clicking here.

Why Your Income has Plateaued and What You Can Do About It Pin - Debbie Sassen

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