December 1, 2010

Winning the Success Lottery

You allow your mind to drift and imagine what you would do if you won the lottery. No more bills, no more debts, no more boss, no more schedules. It would be fantastic!

Or would it?

It’s funny to see those winners who claim their lives won’t change and you can see them almost convincing themselves but that is simply not the case. If the jackpot is a few thousand bucks, cool, go buy something silly. A few million is a game changer.

Suddenly you are the one expected to pick up the bill. You strangely get a rush of Facebook friend requests from all those people who suddenly wanted to ‘stay in touch’. The phone starts to ring from people who seemed far too busy just last week.

Now switch “lottery” with “success”.

It may not be as immediate as hearing from cousin Larry days after you win the jackpot who just happens to be passing through town next week. But something is changing.

It may not be apparent until suddenly everyone around you is treating you differently. Could it be jealousy? Could it be a case of zero-sum? Something akin to 'we're all in this together, until we're not'.

In the social web, success can be deceiving. More followers, friends and connections means your business is growing - or does it? It's not about the tools or numbers, right?

Fear is Real.

Some point to a fear of failure when discussing careers and entrepreneurship. But after owning my own business for a while and consulting business owners, it may strangely be a fear of success. Can you handle all those dreams coming true?

There is a story about Whoopi Goldberg that I find quite revealing. It stems back to when she was a starving artist. She would walk by this fancy restaurant in New York City with her fellow comedians and they would vow to have dinner there when one of them made it. She was the first to make it and invited them for dinner. No one showed.

Success like a winning lottery ticket will change our lives. Should that be a reason for us not to strive for it?

knealemann | email

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