We all work for that moment in our careers where we can just say “I am finally proud of what I’ve done! I have really succeeded in life!” We’re aware that we’ve surpassed our parents’ expectations, we’ve impressed our friends, we’ve amassed considerable wealth and we’d be more than ready for any class reunion. However, being content doesn’t mean being complacent. Just because you’re happy with business, doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. In business and life, you are either growing or dying.
As business consultant Victor S.L. Tan says, “The greatest threat hovering above an organization today is not the competition. Neither is it the increasing demands placed by customers. Nor is the pace of change brought about by globalization. The greatest threat to the survival of organizations today is complacency of people inside organizations. It is the number one enemy…”
The complacent American thinks that he DESERVES a cushy retirement because he worked hard his whole life. When he hits 65, he expects that he can just retire on a pension and enjoy the same standard of living he had before – only, now, with more free time! This complacent American is DEAD WRONG. He will not be taking trips to Vegas, eating steak and lobster for dinner, and driving a Maserati off his piddly pension. Today, one’s pension only makes up 17 PERCENT of total retirement income. Social security will cover a third. More importantly, investment earnings and acquired assets compensate for nearly half a person’s retirement income. So, in other words, if you haven’t been running the wheel and socking away supplies like an industrious hamster all along, you’re absolutely SCREWED. We’re talking Bill Clinton caught in the White House with his pants down screwed. Even after you’ve hit the top of your career, you need to always be growing your investment portfolio and looking for new irons to put into the fire.
The complacent fitness trainer may feel perfectly busy with the current client roster. Complacent Fitness Trainer has a good amount of referrals coming in and just focuses on the day-to-day operations of the business. Meanwhile, Complacent Fitness Instructor’s competition is busy writing books, making DVDs, recruiting new prospects, creating websites, internet marketing, holding fun promotions and running fitness boot camps. It’s no secret that one day Complacent Fitness Trainer will wake up and see that all his prospects have left to the competition. The economy might falter a little more and suddenly his clients are dropping like flies. His referral stream could dry up at any minute because people are fallible, after all. If you’re getting out of bed on any given morning and your first thought is not “HOW CAN I GROW MY BUSINESS TODAY”, you’re slowly dying.
You might say, “Well I didn’t work my ass off to keep up at this break-neck speed! Can’t I ever just relax and enjoy what I’ve earned?” Sure, you can take your vacation during the year. You can retire from your current job one day. But don’t let that slow you down. The goal is to work your butt off to get as many revenue streams flowing as possible and, even when you think you’ve achieved all your goals, to find new endeavors that will supplement your income. Many people “retire” but continue working for non-profit organizations, special event fundraisers, write books or sell videos. What do you see for your future? Are you living like Mike Tyson on the streets or are you living like Manny Pacquiao as an influential Filipino congressman?