I marvel at how the athletes do it.
As a sports broadcaster and sideline reporter I’ve covered professional sports teams for almost 20 years. I’ve been in the middle of post-game celebrations and conducted the post-game interviews after some of the biggest wins in Seattle sports history. And I just recognized there’s an entirely different skillset needed to win versus compete.
Perhaps it’s also why I finally realized I struggle with success.
I’ve always been the grinder. I pride myself on being able to outwork the competition and outlast everyone else. That’s the kind of talent needed to compete. It’s also the kind of mindset that will inspired you to push the boulder up the hill without knowing how far you need to go. It’s the what allows you to ignore the fact that you’re exhausted and hang on to the belief that someday it will all be worth it.
But what happens when all that hard work starts to pay off. What do you do when good things happen to a hard-working person like you?
I’ll tell you what I did. I freaked out.
As a business owner, I’ve experienced more success in the last three months than I have in the first eight and a half years in business. It’s everything I always wanted – minus feeling sick to my stomach when a new client inquires about hiring me or gladly says yes to my speaking fee.
I actually found myself wishing I could just keep pushing the boulder up the hill. Not because it was easy, or because I wanted the continued challenge without any payoff, but because it was familiar, comfortable and kept me from feeling like a fraud.
Here’s what I discovered on a personal level – you have to be prepared to win.
If you’ve been grinding hoping for success, here are few things you need to know when the wins start to pile up.
5 Ways to Respond When Good Things Happen to Hard Working People
- Acknowledge your expertise. You might feel like a fraud, but your resume says otherwise. You are not an overnight success. (No one is.) You’ve spent years developing your skillset, knowledge and expertise. Be confident in knowing your success isn’t an accident.
- Continue to do good work. Don’t let the start of your success be the end of it. Don’t quit or pull back from what you’re doing because success feels uncomfortable. You don’t have it all figured out. There is still plenty of work to be done. (Unless you’ve already made all the money your bank account can handle.)
- Be grateful. Success is what you wanted, and it’s benefitting others. Maybe your success means you can pay off student loans, support your family, influence a community or generously give back to your community. Whatever the impact, you make a difference in this world. Be grateful you’re in this position.
- Recognize there’s more to learn. Just because you’re thankful or grateful that hard work pays off doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Being the “expert” the guy or gal in charge doesn’t mean you have all the answers and won’t make a mistake. It means you’re the one with the skills to figure it out, so don’t shy away from your success.
- Affirm your success. When someone congratulates you on your success and you say things like, “It’s not a big deal.” Or “Oh, it was nothing.” Or “It wasn’t that hard.” You’re lying. You can only lie to yourself and to other people for so long before it catches up to you. You feel like a fraud when what you say about yourself doesn’t match what people say about you.
Learning to be successful is just as important as the work that made you successful.
Athletes make success and winning look easy. It’s not. Develop a success statement now. Start planning for how you’ll take responsibility for your accomplishments. Stop looking for busy work to occupy your time because it’s easier than taking meaningful steps that lead to success.
Good things do happen to hard-working people. It’s called success. It goes hand in hand with winning and it’s part of being a leader.
Jen Mueller is a badass at business communication and the founder of Talk Sporty to Me. She’s also the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks and a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. Jen’s experience inside professional sports locker rooms gives her a unique take on business communication. The conversation strategies she provides take the guesswork out of effective communication and make every conversation more productive. Interested in hiring Jen for your next conference, training session or keynote? Send her an email: Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com