Why “taking it to the next level” is lazy

Lynn Rivest
2 min readApr 26, 2022

What does it even mean to take it to the next level?

Every time I’ve used this phrase on a sales page or in an email, I cringed a little. It felt like settling. I didn’t want to take the time to figure out why and what might be a better option.

It’s overused and ambiguous.

Now that I’m writing with my ideal client in mind, “taking it to the next level” is not something I want to participate in. I don’t want to be lazy about it anymore.

To get some inspiration for alternatives, I typed in “Next Level” at AnswerthePublic.com. I was at my maximum daily searches and here’s what came up on my screen:

“Take your insight to the next level with a stack of features only available to Pro subscribers”

Ha! It took me a second to realize that this wasn’t my search but their headline to upsell me.

This was a chance to examine the phrase within a copywriting context. With these words, they were asking me to pay for their service.


The next level is not necessarily a good thing.

For me it means, more complicated, more money, things I likely won’t use. Plus, they even made it worse by qualifying that the next level had a stack of features. (Marketing 101 — talk about the benefits first, not the features.)

The next level is not a compelling and tangible result or benefit.

My potential client, the service-based online business owner might already be overwhelmed at their current level — whatever that is. To be successful, they feel like they need to keep reaching up.

Optimizing where they are is not seen as the next level. But that’s exactly what they need to do. Adding more complexity, more clients, more systems to get to the next level will not help you build a sustainable and consistently profitable business.

Instead, consider what you need to upgrade, get rid of, or improve so your business can thrive in a way that feels good to you.

I haven’t quite nailed the proposition yet but at least it’s not about the next level.



Lynn Rivest

I talk about building a minimalist biz + aging boldly as a midlife entrepreneur.