Philie Group Blog

Breaking Through to the Next Level
By Mike Philie

Since you were a kid, you’ve been working to break through to the next level. It didn’t matter what it was. Whether it was the dance team tryouts, the next level little league squad, or the advanced math class, you put the time and effort into reaching that next level. As an adult, you haven’t stopped trying to get better, and be better, in both your personal and business lives. One thing I’ve realized as I continue to work on things is that the initial improvements can come quickly but the incremental improvements get harder to achieve. When you reach the “it’s getting harder” stage, one idea is to change the playbook. In line with the concept of “what got you here may not get you there,” adding new plays, and new habits may be the catalyst necessary to break through to the next level.

Adding New Habits

Just like a world-class athlete, sometimes the practice regimen needs to change. Adding new habits can become the lifeline to the staleness of day-to-day activities. This isn’t meant to be a wholesale change. Rather, new habits should replace the ones that you no longer benefit from. If you are true to yourself, you’re already aware of the ones that need to be upgraded.

Leverage Your Strengths

Take the concept of the world class athlete and apply it to your business. Is your business operating on all cylinders, or does it sputter in the final minutes of the game? Look at it over a period. Businesses can be like people; in that we all have good days and not so good days. Make your determination over time so that you don’t rush to judgment on any one low point. You’ll need a diagnosis to determine where things have gone flat, and to identify the areas that are going well. Create an action plan to leverage those strong points and use them to propel you forward – on purpose.

Depending upon the structure of your business, this may be a Saturday morning exercise with a cup of coffee and a yellow pad, or the agenda for the next few sessions of your leadership team meeting. You’ll know the right approach. Sometimes creating the new habits isn’t the hard part of this lesson. Sometimes the hard part is deciding that you’re going to create new habits. Overcome that impediment, and moving forward will be a manageable initiative. Best of luck and if I can be helpful in anyway, let me know.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions.


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