The curse of success and the blessing of failure

I have heard to the point of exhaustion how people are frustrated with the lack of growth in their business and in their lives. It always starts the same; a monologue detailing years of success peppered with self congratulatory statements emphasizing the victories of years long passed. If I’m lucky enough [insert sigh] the conversation is takes place in a room with a projector where I have the privilege of having an elaborate power point presentation inflicted upon me for a minimum of one hour. The conclusion is always the same; despite doing everything right, identifying problems, developing strategies, even bringing in someone from the outside to provide some unbiased and sage advice, the business (or relationship) has become stagnant, and in many cases, is struggling to survive.

Bain tells Batman “Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you.” In business, I have seen how many organizations have failed to adapt due to complacency. We hear it all the time, “if ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. The problem with this mindset in business is that it completely ignores the consumer. Businesses are seeing sales decrease drastically and are scrambling to find the solution to turn the tide and get things back on track. If the product, price, delivery, and customer service are all great, then why are customers buying less? While this may seem like a conflict of interest given the platform this is being written on, it is this writer’s opinion that it may be time for your business to start taking social media seriously.

It’s time to stop celebrating the victories of yesterday and start to look at not just the future, but the present. If you already have a social media presence and sales are still declining, great! Reach out to the community. Engage with them. Figure out what it is you could be doing better and act upon it. If you are of the mindset that social media is not where serious business take place then have a seat and let’s break this thing down together.

Let’s pretend for a second that we live in a world where your business is doing everything 100% right, 100% of the time. Your product is top notch, you have award winning customer service, your prices are competitive, and your core competencies set you well above the competition. Your customers are no longer purchasing from you because you no longer have their attention. It’s time to stop looking at consumer’s product specific needs, and start looking at their individual life desires. Consumers will spend their time (and money) where ever they feel there is value added to their lives, and the greatest asset we all have access to is time. You may think, “well, people don’t go to social media to buy my products”. Fair enough, but people that buy your products use social media every single day.

Don’t let yesterday’s victory be the excuse you use to do nothing today.

Get rid of the arrogance and complacency that has you believing that you can grow a business by repeating the same exact behavior until the end of time. If you don’t want to spend the budget immediately on contracting a firm to manage your social media that’s fine. Sign up for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram, (which are all 100% free to sign up for) and start to tell your story. If you are honest to your audience, and consistent with your content, you will absolutely grow a dedicated following who will not only buy from you, but will do the marketing for you for free, to a much larger audience than you could ever reach on your own.

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