One of the chief difficulties of succeeding in the business world involves continuing to thrive after an initial triumph. To wit, true success often involves maintaining a certain level of success over the long term. Flash-in-the-pan companies are common in areas like Silicon Valley; however, businesses need to look towards the future if they want to remain relevant over a long period of time.
Suppose you want to maintain your current level of success as you guide your company forward. In that case, you’ll almost certainly want to look for a financial planner in San Diego or another city with a high concentration of successful small business owners. Now is an important time to seek excellent counsel and a community of entrepreneurs who know what you’re going through.
The Nature of Success
Why is it that so many businesses flounder after experiencing the initial stages of success? Why do entrepreneurs struggle once they’ve begun to reach their potential? There are many explanations for this phenomenon: For the most part, however, it may come down to a lack of preparation. Most of us spend so much time imagining the benefits of leading a successful company that we do not plan for anything past this stage of development.
Secondly, we are a culture that worships business success. Too often, as a result, we tie our sense of self-esteem to our level of success within the business world. When our business is doing well, we feel great about ourselves; when we’re struggling, we look down on our efforts.
As it convinces us to let our guards down once we’ve overcome a certain level of hardship, this kind of thinking is a recipe for disaster.
The Successful Entrepreneur Who Struggled
Take the example of an entrepreneur who worked his way up from nothing to launch a successful startup only to watch his company slip away from his grasp. This entrepreneur worked incredibly hard to get his business off the ground; along the way, he sacrificed nearly all of his time, money, and energy for a shot at the top. And when his chance finally arrived, this entrepreneur felt confused and perhaps even out of their element. Success did not happen in the way that they had planned.
In many respects, success blindsided this particular person. Perhaps it was that everyone suddenly wanted a piece of their time. Perhaps it was that many fair-weather friends came out of the woodwork; indeed, it may have been any number of new and confounding challenges that derailed this entrepreneur’s streak of success.
Dodging a Bullet
Happy with a successful outcome and craving more success, this proverbial entrepreneur’s investors were keen to install a veteran CEO into the company’s leadership position and mitigate any turbulence that the company might experience as it continued to grow. As the company’s founder, our entrepreneur was shocked to discover his services were no longer required. In fact, he was out of a job.
This might sound like the stuff of Hollywood films. But this scenario actually happened to a young Steve Jobs after Apple Inc. hit its stride in the early 1980s. Although he was brought back on as CEO of Apple over ten years later, Jobs was actually ousted from his own company in 1985.
Lessons From Business History
So how could this happen to the most talented entrepreneur of his generation? And how do we lesser mortals avoid the same trap?
In truth, one of Steve Jobs’s most significant faults as an entrepreneur was that he knew that his ideas were excellent. But Jobs did not realize that running a business involves more than masterminding the company’s day-to-day operations. At its core, being an entrepreneur involves delegating tasks to others. This was a concept that Jobs struggled with throughout his life. While his desire for top-down control made Apple an extraordinary company, Jobs’s need for perfection and toxic approach to management nearly cost him his life’s work.
Of course, reneging control over our ideas and even our finances to advisors is not an easy process. But finding out who we can trust when we have succeeded in launching a company is imperative for both our sense of long-term success and for our sense of well-being. To go it alone at this stage in our company’s development can put a damper on our future prospects. But finding strength in others can help us to turn a good company into a great company.