If you keep doing what you are doing, you can only expect to get so far. Eventually, you’ll hit a brick wall and that’s as far as you are going to get. This is a matter of fact, whether you want to believe it or not.

Many people wonder why they can’t make more money at their current jobs or pursuing their current interests. Ultimately, it’s because they are not changing their ways for the better. What had worked in the past may still be working, but you cannot expect to reach the next level if you stick to that exact same strategy. Life is not magic. It’s about adaptation, versatility, and resilience.

Step 1: Leaving Convention at the Door

Let’s consider the example of professional blogging and freelance writing. While there are certainly risks to these unconventional career choices, there are also rewards to be enjoyed as well. However, you cannot expect to enjoy the benefits without taking a few quantum leaps of faith. Career growth is not something that happens gradually; it proceeds in leaps and bounds. That’s why it’s a common experience for freelancers to see their incomes increase dramatically only to plateau at the “next” level.

There are many people out there who want to make the entirety of their incomes online, whether it be through running websites, blogging professionally, and flipping domains. At the same time, they hold conventional 9-to-5 type jobs. They are not prepared to take that quantum leap of faith. They are not prepared to abandon their mainstream jobs so that they can devote themselves full-time to online entrepreneurship.

Without taking that leap of faith, they can only expect their online incomes to get so far. I respect that they have families to support, so it’s difficult to make that decision. I appreciate that, but if they hope to be online entrepreneurs on a full-time basis, they will need to leave the regular jobs behind.

Step 2: Hitting the Ramp

Late last year, John Chow wrote about the art of the ramp. He wrote this in respect to increasing both the exposure and revenue of a company, but the same can be said about any vocational endeavor. Going back to the example of professional freelance writing, you may come across several strategies to maximize your freelance writing income. Each of these is valuable, to be sure, but you’ll find that subscribing to any of these techniques will only get you to a certain plateau.

When I first started writing professionally, I focused almost exclusively on blogging. I was glad to make a relatively consistent income writing blog posts and I was able to slowly increase that income by taking on more volume. Eventually, my freelance income reached a plateau and I needed to make some changes if I wanted to make more money. It was at that point that I started writing more feature articles and product reviews. These longer posts took a little more time, but they paid better and I was able to increase my income.

Step 3: Diversification and Lifelong Learning

Once again, I’m starting to experience another plateau. There are only so many hours in the day, so there are only so many product reviews and feature articles that I can write. In order to reach the next plateau, I will need to focus more of my time on other strategies like passive income techniques and writing for print media.

I’ve used the example of freelance writing, because I’m familiar with the topic, but this concept of striving for several successive plateaus can apply to just about any other set of goals that you may have. If you are looking to lose weight, for instance, a certain diet and exercise regimen will only allow you to reach a certain level. To lose those last 5 or 10 pounds, you may need to further adjust your physical training. Your body needs that change. The same can be said about spiritual enlightenment, satisfaction in life, or relationships with significant others.

Step 4: Tuum Est – It’s Up To You

If you want things to change, if you want to reach the next plateau, something must be changed. Something new must be learned. The status quo will remain the status quo until you do something about it. Climb that mountain, reach the next level, and gaze back at the progress that you have made..