Surviving Success

In business, you often hear people discussing how to survive failure. This is no small matter. Imagine investing considerable money, sometimes a life’s fortune, into a particular venture only to have it fail. Consider, as well, the significant cost in time and emotional commitment to a business and then think about how not succeeding may affect someone on a psychological basis.

No doubt, all business people should develop skills to help them deal with failure, or what I like to see as temporary nonsuccess. (In fact, this is a key skill set for all people, whether or not they are immersed in commerce.) After all, we really only fail when we stop attempting to achieve our goal or goals. As long as we are alive, there is hope that we can still make our dreams, as well as our well organized business, plans come true.

However, what about surviving success? This is something that few people seem to consider. The ability to survive success is as important as the ability to survive failure.

In the realm of sales, we often see people fall apart when they begin to succeed. Ironically, their initial success is nothing more than a prelude to failure. This, obviously, is not good.

How does this happen? Let’s take the case of a hard working salesperson who begins to earn good money. Consider, that, perhaps, this person has been struggling to do well in their sales position. And then, after a few years of putting forward effort and not reaping many rewards, the money begins to flow. It is at that point, that they must take care to be humble.

Once we begin to succeed it is incumbent upon us to remember our prior struggles and to understand that we are blessed to see results for our efforts. If not, we might begin squandering the fruits of our labors, living beyond our means and slacking off in our work efforts. What was success will then fairly quickly be transmogrified into failure.

Surviving success means staying grounded, being thankful for achieving results and maintaining an attitude of humble confidence. This will help us build up to even greater successes instead of dissipating what we have achieved.

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*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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