Recently at Mastodon Media, we have been able to do great work for one of our clients. The average year-over-year revenue increase in this particular industry is around 3 per cent. This year, the annual revenue increase was almost 14% — and our marketing agency was the only main vendor they changed during this time span.
Doing good work is contagious, and the great thing about going good work is more business opportunities come your way.
As Mastodon Media is growing consistently right now, and more clients are signing up with us, I am realizing that with success, there also comes a big test.
Bad times always feel like a test. Entrepreneurs going through a bad patch feel like they’re getting hit from every side. Nothing seems to be working, and they are emotionally distraught, wondering when this phase is going to end.
But when the tide turns and we’re finally successful, we have a tendency to sit back, relax and enjoy the good feeling.
These past few days, I have been thinking more than ever about the changing seasons in an entrepreneur’s life, and why success isn’t a free pass for either me or my team to take it easy.
In fact, the outlook should be quite the opposite, because success raises questions about repeatability and scalability. If a company has to grow, it has to root out inefficient systems that may have worked in the past but is not sustainable in the long run. An entrepreneur has to review every department, every task execution and find new ways to do things even better.
I catch myself getting lazy when things are going well. That is why I have to re-motivate myself, so I can in turn re-motivate my team to push on with new ideas and new systems that will support us as we onboard more clients and do creditable work for them. We cannot take our eye off the ball, get stale with technology adoption and lose our cutting edge in the market, just because we’re successful today.
There is no such thing as perfection. There is always room to grow and learn and be even better, and if we don’t do it, our competition will.
Sometimes, the problem is not about being lazy but being too prideful. During this period of success in my life as a marketing entrepreneur, I have found myself teetering on the brink of pride because I am feeling the wind of success under my wings. For just a little while, I want to relish being in the spotlight and pat myself on the back for all the hard work I have put in to encourage and help each member of my team to grow and flourish in his/her role. For being present for my business partners 24×7, making sure they have all the support they need to do their jobs better.
But my lifelong training stops me in my tracks when I realize I may be slipping down the rabbit hole of success. When you identify your life’s work as mentoring people, and finding success in their achievements, the spotlight should not – cannot — be on you.
To remind myself of my life path, I took time out of my busy day to talk to Benj Haisch, an extremely talented photographer who I mentored a long time ago. Reconnecting with Benj, who randomly appeared on my Instagram feed today, was both therapeutic and instructional because I found perspective once again.
The recent spate of success at Mastodon Media is a stepping stone, not an end goal. My responsibility as a leader is to look ahead at the future and keep building a great team and a great company, so when bigger, better successes come our way, we are always ready.