Industry Trends – Fear of Success
Recently I received my CEDIA 2016 booklet in the mail. Their focus for this years’ show… Think Big. I love it! Personally I believe you should always “think big.” Content and satisfied are bad words. You should always strive to be better and constantly reach out of your comfort zone for those things that are extraordinary. This is going to be an industry pep talk of sorts because too often we get stuck in a rut of normalcy.
How is your business doing currently? Do you have all the business you’ve ever desired? Or are you struggling to keep up because you have “too much” to do? Many people I speak with give me the latter as an answer. “It’s just so busy… I can’t keep up” or “I just don’t have time to do that” are common responses. This is a great spot to be in, sort of. You have enough work to keep you busy and more than enough to pay the bills. And although they are correct in their comments typically, there is a looming problem. If you are this busy, it’s time to look at solving the problem. Or as CEDIA put it, it’s time to Think Big.
I have some personal vested interest in this grandiose idea as I work for a company that is actively trying to get the industry to think bigger, giving those in it an outlet to save time and be more efficient, which in turn, allows dealers become more successful. Over the years I’ve seen so many with a fear of success though. They are just fine performing to the “status quo” or happy being over worked with no time for the things they love most. Why is it so hard to take that next step and be happy and more successful than you’ve ever been?
First we need to look at what defines success. Is it money? Is it time with your family? Is it travel? We each have our own perception of success. I’m here to tell you that at the end of the day, we’re all striving for the same thing. Achieving success means that you are elated at the end of each day. You know that you’ve done everything for your business, for your family, for your friends and most importantly for yourself. Success is going to sleep at night with an overwhelming sense of achievement and waking the next morning excited to do it all over again.
Sounds pretty great, huh? It’s also pretty easy. All that you have to do is decide that this is what you want in your life, and then make it happen. For most, achieving this first means that you have to understand what it’s like to work your butt off. Then realizing that you don’t want to do that forever. For me that revelation came when I was still just the manager at the store I ended up being co-owner of. We were understaffed and I was simultaneously working as Store Manager, Project Manager & Design Consultant. So I had to figure out how to work 120 hours in a single work week, and still keep my sanity. I was able to do all 3 jobs while only working around 90 hours a week. One night at around 10:30pm I was tying up loose ends and the current owner at the time stopped by to see why I was still there. His words that night literally paved my personal path for success. He said to me “Barrie, I greatly appreciate your dedication and desire to make sure that this business stays at the top of its’ game but I’m going to tell you something. And I can’t believe I’m telling you this. Go home. You can’t create time. All that I ask of you is to do as much as you possibly can within the allotted amount of time you have during the day. Get the things done that are at the top of your list and then the rest will just have to wait until the next day.”
My success was gaining control of the time I spent doing my job and creating a better work/life balance. It was at that time that I decided I was going to “work to live” rather than “live to work”. Before that, I had a fear of success. Primarily because I didn’t understand what it meant to be successful. Subsequently, once I made this change, the business started running smoother, I was able to hire and delegate better and we doubled our annual sales over the next 2 years. This then lead to my acquiring part of the company and so on.
The point of all this is to make sure you fully understand what it means to think big. It may not be what you think it is. Take care of yourself first and everything else will fall into place. So now ask yourself how successful you actually are. Are you delighted with yourself and your accomplishments at the end of the day or are you just satisfied that you made it through it? Think Big! Don’t be afraid of being successful!