Clint Powell: Success Is A Dangerous Thing

Monday, June 9, 2014 - by Clint Powell
Clint Powell
Clint Powell

The sweet-sweet smell of success.  You have worked hard.  Profits are up.  Customers are happy.  Growth is going as planned.  Employees are all smiles. Yep, life is good. As a business owner or sales rep this is one of the most dangerous places to be. 

We have seen it happen a thousand times.  The stories we share about the demise of others is always followed with ‘but that will never happen to me.'  Don’t be so sure.  What happens when we get a taste of success? 

• I am the reason for all my success

Sometimes we forget that part of our success may be due to things that we have little control over.  The economy, the season, the market, competitors failing, etc. - that doesn’t mean that a good economy will save a horribly run business.  It does; however, make is hard to be critically self-aware and to make sure we identify what we have done right or wrong.  Success should give us room to sharpen our saws, improve process and procedures, and grow our skills.  I believe in positive thinking and that we do shape our future by attitude and hard work.  I also know that we need to be in a constant state of evaluation to keep business on the right track.  

• It’s going to keep coming

The trap is we think if we keep our head down and keep working hard that the business will just keep coming.  Nope. If we keep our head down, we don’t see what is ahead.  How can we be the ambassador of change for our company if we are too busy trying to keep things just like they are right now?  Remember every peak has a down side, your job is to anticipate and plan accordingly.  Be proactive. 

• I am way too busy to… 

Fill in the… The issue is we get comfortable.  Folks who prospect – stop prospecting.  Those who believe in systems – stop using the systems.  Sales reps that network – get too busy to network.  Those who advertise – stop advertising.  Using presentations – nope we don’t need them anymore.  Our success is usually a combination of hard work, market and economic elements, those we surround ourselves with, and our habits.  When success sets in, we get too successful for habits, we are way too busy.  We are beyond thinking that something as simple as prospecting or using systems contributes to our success.  After all, .we are rainmakers now.

• There is only room for one way up here 

Don’t forget that you had help.  Someone placed that first order – sent you that first check - gave you tough feedback - gave a word of encouragement – a second chance – took time to answer questions - introduced you to your next client. It’s your turn to help now to help someone.  If it seems like there isn’t enough room at the top - build a bigger platform.  You are not paying it forward; you are probably paying it back.  You will also create personal and corporate brand ambassadors - people who will carry your flag into the business world every day.  

Success can be a very dangerous place.  It can cause us to be lazy and take what we have built for granted. It can cause us to bask in our own glow or stop doing what the small things that got us where we are.  Don’t let the very best times be the cause of your demise.  Find a balance between enjoying your success and staying focused on the future.

* * *  

Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, a full service advertising agency in Chattanooga.  He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College.  He has spent years in radio advertising sales and management, built and sold a billboard company and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing ad copy and helping formulate strategies.  Clint has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop advertising campaigns.  He frequently leads marketing and advertising seminars and meetings for businesses and network groups.  He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and business owners to solutions. He sits on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with his wife and three children.

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