The most dangerous time for any endeavor, whether it be a blog or a business, is when it becomes successful. In the early years when we’re working hard to become a success, we understand that it takes time and hard work to make our dream work, but it’s when we feel like we’ve finally found success that failure is potentially immanent.
Why? As soon as we succeed we begin to look at the world—and ourselves—in a completely different light. We relax and fool ourselves into thinking we’ve got it all figured out. That’s the first seed of pride, which is the death knell for success.
Success without humility and self-examination puts us and our business in the most vulnerable position possible. Here’s just a few of the danger signs to look out for:
- Believing you know it all.
- Unwillingness to adapt and change.
- Forgetting how to hustle.
- Lack of gratitude.
- Loss of creativity.
- Believing your own hype.
When we start believing we did it all on our own, we’re on dangerous ground. Sure, have a healthy sense of accomplishment for all you’ve achieved through hard work and sacrifice, but remember that there’s not a single person who became successful in a vacuum. Don’t forget to have a sense of gratitude for everyone who’s helped you along the way, and a sense of thankfulness for your customers, blog readers, or whoever it is you have the opportunity to serve.
As soon as you think you’ve got everything figured out, your success is essentially dead. Innovation and creativity grind to a halt when you let this belief take root. Many people who become successful in today’s market did so because they were innovators who pushed the boundaries of what’s current or what’s possible. Businesses that fail are often businesses that rest on past successes, so any entrepreneur that wants to be successful in the long run must be willing to adapt and change regularly.
Don’t believe your own hype and become the type of person who starts looking down at customers, readers, and employees. The need for hustle never stops, but as you grow and become successful, how you hustle changes from getting everything done on your own to growing into a leader who hires people they trust. A smart leader isn’t a micromanager, but someone who gives their team room to create and innovate. A great leader begins building and investing in new leaders. Don’t be selfish with your knowledge and gifts.
On the road to success, don’t forget all the lessons you learn along the way. You’ve got to be just as intentional about how you conduct yourself and your business after you become a success as you were before success found you.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 ESV
Also published on Medium.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.
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