We prefer taking the long view of success
When it comes to start ups, it is almost impossible to get drawn into ‘overnight successes’ portrayed on social media. We buy into the glamor and often can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy when looking at companies that seem to have it all figured out. Instead, find inspiration in other people’s wins and don’t be fooled by a snap shot of someone’s success. We don’t see to ever talk about the fact that growing too quickly can be just as dangerous to your business as not growing at all.
We also know that seasoned entrepreneurs know that the road to success is long, twisty, and fraught with hardship.
Greatness is not instantaneous, greatness is earned
What are the dangers of rapid growth and how do you avoid them? Here are the most common areas where new businesses fail;
- Losing Track of Finances
- Overvaluing Sales
- Ineffective Business Operations
- Hiring the Wrong People
- Not Scaling Customer Service
- Management Mistakes
- Scaling Technology to Business Need
Remember that when navigating times of hardship, emotions run high, and it can be easy to overreact. With the ups, there are always downs. This seems obvious, but we often forget this when we are in periods of down. We quit at the lows because we cannot see the next peak right around the corner. Steph Smith from How to be Great said;
The local minima are especially psychologically taxing due to something called the Hedonic treadmill or hedonic adaptation. Essentially, as someone achieves new successes in various aspects of their lives, their baseline shifts to reflect that new level and therefore, their expectations and desires are re-established as well. There is no net gain in happiness and thus, it becomes even more difficult to stay “level-headed” during these down moments.
That is exactly why a specific search for success can be problematic and instead of looking for unsustainable shortcuts in life, it’s much more effective (and healthy) to aim for continuous habits that bring you success as a byproduct, not as the end goal.
“The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom.” – Atomic Habits, James Clear
Using your voice
Of the many habits and institutions on which covid-19 has shone a harsh light, none has been more exposed and disrupted than work. The pandemic has drawn attention to the disjuncture between the indispensability of certain jobs, from nursing to making deliveries, and how little they tend to pay. It has led to the great resignation and the quiet quitting. Whether you are starting your own enterprise or want to be more entrepreneurial within your organisation, people are making a change in the millions. The gig economy, more than profit and other changes in work started before 2019 but covid-19 has exacerbated the movement.
And despite what major news feeds focus on, people aren’t just quitting in food service and low-level jobs. In addition to the usual resignation trends in younger, less tenured employee populations, new Visier Insights data shows unprecedented resignation rate changes of employees across tenures, or employees aged between 40-45 years, and women. Women have been resigning at higher rates than men for years, and this trend increased in the first eight months of 2021. It’s also been widely reported by now that unhappiness at work does not stay at work. Stress and a lack of work-life balance have the potential to affect every aspect of a person’s life. The Gotara survey clearly demonstrates this. Women preparing to quit said their primary reason for leaving was that the the job was negatively affecting their mental health (54%), financial reasons (28%), and because of the negative effect on their relationship with their children (13%).
The most common reason for women leaving their employers is because they feel like they don’t have a voice. So whether you are employed, call yourself an entrepreneur or just starting out in a new career, be sure you find your voice. This can be done through crafting and telling your story, through actions like asking for better, and many other ways which promote your own needs and wishes. It takes talent to rise from the bottom. It takes courage to persevere.
Our advice, remember to pause, centre yourself and keep moving forward. After all, being “great” is not about being better than someone else and character is forged in the fire of hardship.
“Perhaps the first rule of everything we endeavour to do is to pay attention. Perhaps the second is to be patient. And perhaps a third is to be attentive to what the body knows.” – Barry Lopez
If you want to share any thoughts or your own experiences, we would love to hear from you. You can also sign up to our newsletter.