By Andy Bailey
Everyone wants to be on top. But what happens once you get there? The first instinct for many entrepreneurs is to put on the bathrobe of success and just get comfortable. It may feel good for a little while, cozy even, until comfort leads to complacency and complacency leads to crashing and burning.
There are many business owners who fall into the comfort zone. But just because business is booming now, doesn’t mean it will continue to do so in the future. So don’t get comfortable. When you think you are the best, you’re not, and competitors are always next in line.
The only way to stay on top is to keep improving, but the problem you face as a successful entrepreneur is that it takes a lot of motivation to improve from great to even better. You are clearly doing many things right to be in a top-dog position and what’s wrong with your company isn’t going to be obvious. You have to look at the details.
Here are five tips to help you dig in to the details:
1. Go to a bigger pond. There is always more to conquer. If you are on top of the citywide competition that means it’s time to move your company to a bigger arena. Take on the county, the state and the nation— create a growth plan that takes you out of your comfort zone and keep raising that glass ceiling.
2. Remember your competition. The top spot is always yours to lose. The moment you decide you have enough of a lead to slow down, competitors will start moving faster to catch up. Remember: Your competition is not comfortable; they have a reason to grow.
3. Continue learning. Keep your business strategy fresh by continuing to discover new techniques and tricks. Reinvent the standard so that by the time your competition masters your old winning move, you have a new one.
4. Request feedback. As the top dog, you tend to receive far more compliments than criticisms. That’s great, and you deserve it, but it’s often more valuable to learn about your shortcomings. To improve, request honest feedback from your employees, mentors and customers. Address it directly and have something to show for it.
5. Celebrate. The best part of success is the celebration. If you did something well last quarter, pinpoint it, celebrate and keep doing it. As you go from the best to even better, reward and recognize your team’s achievements. It will provide additional motivation to keep pushing to the top.
Andy Bailey built and sold a multimillion-dollar business and is now lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra and president of Nashville’s EO chapter. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.