Secrets of the Super Successful: Do Not Celebrate Yet

When Marissa Mayer got an offer of employment some years back from Google Inc, it was a thing of great joy. It was a position she had coveted for ages and her hard work had finally paid off. Gladly she accepted the offer and resumed but her colleagues soon became amazed at this weird woman who even the latest of workers would leave in the office and the earliest of workers would still meet at work. Everyone wondered what the issue could have been with Marissa.

Besides, she just resumed and could not just be trying to indicate that she is working harder than everyone else. Actually she had realized the weight of her impossible workload and knew she may not be effective in that position except she works about twice the number of hours everyone puts in and had immediately started sleeping under her desk, taking her bath at strategic times when no one would discover her secret and kept on working hard.

A few years down the line, when she got an offer from Yahoo! Inc to resume as the CEO, not much people were surprised for they have now seen how that her hard work was beginning to pay and no one doubted her capacity to effectively handle the position.

Marissa had met some people in Google Inc, whose salary had not changed substantially from the time she joined to the time she left. Those same people were hired not because they were lazy and relaxed but because they were people who somewhere along the line developed some sense of worthiness and felt they deserve the position they occupy until they completely lose sight of the fact that the position they occupy is in itself a means to an end, a stepping stone to other achievements but somehow, they have altogether allowed it stop them right in their tracks.

You own your own company? Great, but don’t celebrate yet. You are not 20 yet and you have become a millionaire? Don’t celebrate yet. You graduated at age 15 and got a great job? Thank God for your life but don’t celebrate yet. You made this software and you are now a multimillionaire? Don’t celebrate yet, someone made the computer on which it runs. You have assumed the position of the CEO of a fortune 500 company before age 30? We are glad for your achievements but don’t celebrate yet. Do not celebrate yet, lest you think you have known it all. Do not celebrate yet, lest you think you have arrived and think there are no more grounds to conquer and sleep on you oars and tidal current promote you to irrelevance.

Time has a way of making us think that not only are we in control and will be in control forever. It has mastered to finish, the art of promoting people albeit to irrelevance in a world moving at a speed faster than that of light. Success is sweet and laudable; everyone wants to succeed, but there’s another side to the success story. There is the tendency, not just to abandon our oars but burn it with the ships once we catch a glimpse of the Promised Land forgetting that beyond the promised land, far into the vast horizon surrounded by non-navigated and unexplored seas lies in immeasurable expanse of country yet to be explored by the compass of any mortal.

In October, 1908, Ford introduced the Model T. He had done his homework well and had taken his time to make it far more advanced in technology and design, easier to repair, more innovative and most of all cheaper. He knew quite well that the average working class American needed an efficient car but most often could not afford it, so he gave them the model T.

It was a phenomenal success. In just a few years, about half of the cars on American Highways and elsewhere came from Ford. He had produced over fifteen million copies of this easy-to-drive car and had begun to think that the model would last forever. While his competitors were busy building faster, more durable and better cars, Ford was too busy basking in the euphoria of the success of yesterday, not realizing how little its relevance is to the present. When after two decades sales began to decline massively, ford decided to improve on his success of yesterday and give the world an improved version of the model T but it was already late as he had lost his coveted number one motor company position to his competitors.

Today Apple Inc., despite the fact that it rules American and European markets with its range of devices cannot afford to close its eyes for a second. It has learnt the hard way that the fact that even though they sell more i-phones far more than the number of babies born in the United States each day, they have never for once declared themselves winners of the competition and went to bed. Have you wondered why they keep improving the on the i-phones, i-pads and the rest, constantly adding features that make them really hard to ignore?

In the early 2000’s, Nokia introduced the four digit series: 3310 and the likes. Its introduction was greeted with so much welcome, for these were the days when all you did with a phone was make, receive calls, send and receive SMS. Nokia had taken its time to make sure the phones were durable. So durable were they that they could fall from a two-storey building and would still be in perfect working conditions. They did not stop there, it made sure the phones were water-proof and the batteries lasted far longer. This endeared Nokia to the African GSM market and ensured it swiftly rose to the number one position, making Samsung and others stand very little chance of competing with Nokia. But Nokia was soon carried away with its position that it soon forgot to go back to work; the GSM world was fast advancing beyond the calling and texting phase and Nokia had not come to grips with that.

Before they could say jack, Samsung and others flooded the market with far more advanced smart devices beside which the Nokia range of products could bear no comparism for it had become obsolete. Realizing the economic meaning of the position in which they have put themselves, Nokia had to go back to the drawing board and make necessary amends, lest it goes under.

With competition getting more than fierce as the days go by countries battle with other countries for supremacy and security, companies with other companies in order to survive and graduates all over the world apply for the same job in Dubai, it is beginning to take a brand new dimension.

No matter how high you have attained in the heights of success sublime, congratulations, but except you have already made your bed in the cold heartless chambers of irrelevance and nothingness, then you may spend less time congratulating yourself and dwelling on glories that would fast fade away should they not be sustained just like the broken chords of a piano, knowing full well that it is even harder to maintain success that to attain it.

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Ifeanyi J. Igbokwe is a life coach, writer and motivational speaker with a focus on corporate and personal growth.

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One Comment

  1. fred says:

    you are not correct about nokia they arre still the phone leaders worldwide

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