Years ago I attended networking meetings. These were usually breakfast or lunch business meetings where people exchanged business cards and tried to help each other get new clients.

I spoke at many of these events. What I quickly noticed is that the same people seemed to be at the same meetings. One observant friend said, “It’s the same people — and they’re all starving!”

That’s when I first learned about the concept of levels. That is, people tend to stay on the same level of business or social status. When they meet friends, it’s usually in their circle of activity, whether church, work, school, or some club. As a result, they rarely get out of the level they are on.

That’s not bad. You can stay on the level you are at and do well. But if you want more, or if you find yourself starving on the level you’re at, you’ll need to go up a level or two.

When I was speaking at these networking events, I was a notch above everyone in the room. This is not an ego thing. It’s a social perception. I was seen as being at a slightly higher level than the audience simply by nature of being the speaker. I was the authority figure. As the higher teacher, I was elevated a slight degree on their level.

But that’s not good enough. If you want to achieve big dreams in business, you need to step out of your circle or network of peers and associates. You need to go to a group with wider, stronger, richer connections.

You need to go up a level.

How do you do that?

In my case, my books brought me to the attention of other circles of people, and higher levels of networks.

For example, when I wrote “The AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising” for the American Marketing Association back in 1995, I was immediately put in a new level. I was now the author of an important book for a prestigious organization.

This caused new people to contact me. Each of these people had their own network of people. More often than not, these networks were at a higher level than anything I had ever touched before.

Here’s another example: When I wrote my book on P.T. Barnum, called “There’s A Customer Born Every Minute,” for the American Management Association back in 1997, I managed to get the attention of famous tycoons Donald Trump and Kenneth Feldman. Clearly I had been introduced to a new level.

If you want to succeed in phenomenal ways today, you need to go up a level or two on the status scale of networks. The good news is email makes this a snap to begin. Anyone alive can be reached through email with some persistence and cleverness. That’s how I first reached marketing superstar Jay Conrad Levinson, direct mail legend Joe Sugarman, and even gonzo daredevil Evel Knievel. I did it all by email.

People write me all the time for favors. I’m now perceived as an expert, an authority, and an Internet marketing pioneer. They want to associate their name or product with me. I love to help people, so I usually at least give people a chance. But I never endorse anything without seeing, using and loving what they have. This is important for me to maintain my level.

And now people write me from higher levels, too. For example, Dr. Robert Anthony is a man I studied twenty years ago. Last year he wrote me after reading my “Spiritual Marketing” book. Today we’re coauthors. I just produced and recorded his legendary audio program, “Beyond Positive Thinking.” Two decades ago I was way below his level. Today we’re partners!

Keep in mind that going up a level is different than thinking out of the box. You can be creative and still stay on your current level. Brainstorming with your neighbor is most likely different than brainstorming with, say, Richard Branson, the flamboyant owner of Virgin Records.

The point is this: To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you may need to rise in levels and participate with new people on a new playing field.

So the lesson today is to consider your current level, consider your goals, and consider what people outside of your network can help you achieve them. You may have to step out of your level (and comfort zone) to do it, but the step is well worth taking.

It would take an entire book to fully explain the concept of levels. I don’t have that space here. But before I end this short article, let me offer a handful of tips for going to a new level:

1. Write something of value new levels will admire. This doesn’t have to be a book. This very article may introduce me to new levels. One of the main reasons my name is known to a vast majority of people online is due to the hundreds of articles I’ve written and distributed (like this one you’re reading) over the last ten years. You can write articles, too.

2. Apply for membership in a prestigious organization. When I joined the Society for American Magicians, a very old club for professional magicians, I elevated my position among magicians. Joining the right country club or business group can do the same thing.

3. Create or join a mastermind group. Napoleon Hill strongly urged people to form masterminds. The trick to making them work is to be among people who are already successful in the areas you want to succeed in. Their presence will help elevate you.

4. Write to people in higher networks. When I was first starting out as a writer, people way above me, such as famed copywriter Bob Bly, helped me. In later years, marketing gurus such as Murray Raphel and later Paul Hartunian, all helped me. I simply wrote to them. They sensed my sincerity and offered guidance. Today I do the same for others.

5. Speak at associations or gatherings of people in higher levels. You’ll need to have something unique to offer, but if you can deliver what these levels want, you’ll be welcomed into their fold.

Again, there is nothing wrong with the level you’re on. You don’t want to forget your friends or burn your bridges. I’m simply suggesting that if you have giant goals and big dreams, it may be time to take the elevator up a floor or two.


Dr. Joe Vitale is the world’s first Hypnotic Marketer.
He is President of Hypnotic Marketing, Inc., and
author of way too many books to list here, including
the #1 best-selling book Spiritual Marketing: A Proven 5-Step Formula for Easily Creating Wealth from the Inside Out, the
best-selling e-book Hypnotic Writing and the
best-selling Nightingale-Conant audioprogram, “The
Power of Outrageous Marketing.” His latest books
are the best-selling The Greatest Money-Making Secret in History! and Adventures Within: Confessions of an Inner World Journalist.

He’s being called “The Buddha of the Internet.” His main
website is at 

Get a crash course in hypnotic copywriting
by grabbing many of Joe Vitale’s works at —
The Hypnotic Library