I had a nice long chat with a dear friend yesterday ("dear friend"...I sound like my Mom).... Nicole Taylor. She's over at Snapchat now, ya may have heard of 'em. (Disclaimer: I adore Nicole for her business brain. Nicole runs brand partnerships for S-chat based in San Fran and I've worked with her closely over the years during our stints together at SAY Media. Nicole is a serious up-n-comer manager to keep an eye on for a lot of reasons, but mostly because she's got the 2 Cs: Commitment, and she Cares. Deeply on both.)
Anyway, I was listening to Nicole describing how things are going at Snapchat and I thought of the "fast growth dilemma" I've seen a few times: how to keep one's head when everything seems to be a "yes" all around you. It made me think of a client I worked with a few years ago who got a hit every time up at the plate.....bad pitch, stick the bat out there and it still drops in. Ball outa the strike zone....rap it the opposite way for a double. Every single at bat turned in to something good.
What happened to this digital media company was something that I hope doesn't happen to Nicole and her good friends at Snapchat....and I'm not saying it will. Every person at the company to which I'm referring got complacent even after a few months of hyper-success. Even the top managers. Simply stated, they started believing the headlines. What was amazing to me was that being spoiled by the market got deeply embedded in their sales culture after only a very brief period of time (let's call it six months or so). It was shocking to see how fast the erosion of ambition and drive occurred to the point where they never really righted the ship afterwards.
Most of us are not in this type of situation where our product and services are selling like hot cakes, but there are microcosms of "too much success" that we see all the time. We get on mini-rolls and think it's "what we desreve" or "it'll last forever". But it won't. Fight it. Stay hungry. Don't let success change your outlook. If you're on a roll, enjoy it, but don't sit down and soak in it. Keep a level head and again, stay hungry.
You go, Nicole, you go!!!!!