These are very interesting times. The world seems to be polarized - truly feast or famine. Businesses are going under and the cries of "the economic crisis" ripple through the planet like waves ripple out when you drop a rock in the water. Fear, failure and the world's obsession with dramatic events blanket the airwaves. It's almost impossible to ignore.
But there's something else going on - something nobody's talking about.
On the other side of the fear and failure are people and organizations that are experiencing massive success. Reality television shows make instant celebrities. Business owners with "hot" ideas are growing faster than they ever have before. One in 8 couples are now meeting online.
And they are getting crushed under the pressure of sudden success.
While most people think they want fame, fortune or something bigger, they are wholly unprepared for the emotional, mental and physical skills they will need to manage newfound success. Celebrities deal with this all the time. The late Michael Jackson, undeniably the King of Pop (whether you like him or not) lived a life of emotional trauma, lost youth and low self-esteem. Shia LaBeouf: "I don't handle fame well," LaBeouf says. "Most actors on most days don't think they're worthy. I have no idea where this insecurity comes from, but it's a God-sized hole. If I knew, I'd fill it, and I'd be on my way."
Now you don't have to be a celebrity to experience the demands of sudden success. Take the business owner who suddenly finds himself or herself leading an organization for which they are ill-equipped to run. They lack the people skills, the leadership skills and emotional intelligence to make things work smoothly. Working hours increase. Productivity decreases. Frustration and overwhelm take over. Anxiety becomes normal. Then personal criticism starts, which begins a never ending cycle of self-doubt and lowered self-confidence.
It doesn't have to be that way. Here are 5 things you must know if you are experiencing sudden success in any area of your life.
1. Sudden Success Brings out the Weirdos. When you become more visible in your company, publicly or even in your family, weird things can happen. It's like the old story of the crabs in the pot - whenever one crab almost reaches the top of the pot and newfound freedom, the other crabs pull him back in to die. Expect opportunities to arise, communications to increase and watch out for people who want to use you or ride your coattails. You will need some trusted advisors to put together a system to discern your good opportunities and weed out the dream stealers.
2. You will need to learn emotional intelligence. When success demands more of you, it will demand more of your emotional energy as well. You will have days where you wonder if it's all worth it, and begin the cycle of self-defeat. Don't go there. Likewise, you will need to learn to manage your emotional state in every situation to be able to think clearly and react appropriately to things coming at you fast. People will begin to judge you, have opinions about you, and that can make you feel bad if they are negative. With a high level of emotional intelligence, you will understand that people's opinions of you have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with whatever they are experiencing at the time (if you don't understand this now, you will. I'll explain in another post about perception).
3. People skills become VERY important. Most people aren't trained in understanding others' personal style, filters, values and perspective. Therefore, communication breakdown occurs more often as teams grow and you need more people around you to handle daily activities. It is imperative that you become a student of people and behavior to be able to hire the right staff, understand their needs and get people to their most productive level. Once of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring people to work for them is the "warm body" approach. They take a person with a certain skillset and try to make them do a job they aren't good at, and then wonder why it isn't working. Proactive understanding of people matching to skillsets is a must.
4. You MUST become a better leader. When more demands are placed on you as you grow, the general tendency is to be like a rat in a cage, trying to run faster and faster on the wheel. Worry that things won't get done, anxiety over whether people are actually doing the work, when will it get done cause many sleepless nights for fast-growing business owners.
Recently, I was hired by a small business owner to help with this exact issue. She was working almost 20 hour days, losing sleep over details and she had people she wanted to work with to build a team but didn't know how. We restructured her time, I taught her communication and people skills, but most of all, I taught her how to let go without losing control. As a result, we engaged a team of 5 amazing people to help her. She reclaimed 47 hours per month. Doing things right, she hit ALL of her revenue goals within 30 days.
I tell you this because as a small business owner, you don't always get to see what the big companies do to develop their people. Big companies spend millions on leadership training, communication training and the like just to help people get along and be more productive and have better performance overall. Small business owners struggle, not knowing that a different way is so close.
5. You will learn to say "No". Decision-making skills are imperative in helping you deal with success. Information, requests, communication will all increase, and your ability to say no to time-wasters, distraction, guilt, frustration and overwhelm will become a skill you'll wish you had a long time ago. Your goals will become more clear, and so your ability to weed out potentially unproductive opportunities will be heightened as you truly go to that next level.
While there are many other things that go along with sudden success, these are some of the most important. When your focus turns inward to making yourself a better leader, communicator, influencer and visionary, your entire world will change. Your success will be sweet, exciting and manageable.
To get started, download the free audio program called The 13 Vital Traits of Super Effective People. It will open your eyes to getting started on the calm road of success.
About Stephanie L. Frank
Founder and President of SuccessIQ University
Best Selling Author, The Accidental Millionaire
Book Stephanie to Speak or read what she has to say about achieving goals, leadership, peak performance, personal empowerment, persuasion and influence, productivity, creating systems, and time mastery on her blog web site: http://www.stephaniefrank.com
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