What does it mean to “win”? Winning for you probably looks drastically different than winning for me. When my career was in it’s infancy, winning meant selling a company for profit. Today, anything less than a $100 million sale is not good enough. As I grew, gained experience, and learned through failing, I developed new standards and new expectations for myself. My perspective shifted.
Every time I start a new business, I stop to think about what I want the employee’s perspective to be. If I do not set up the right corporate culture from the beginning, then I am destined for disappointment and my employees are sentenced to a stressful working environment. When it comes to perspective, I tend to think that less is more when it comes to information.
When I started Currency Capital, an online lender to small and medium-sized businesses, my employees were told to not to research the competition. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it was actually a strategic motivational decision. The product we were selling and supporting at Currency Capital was vastly superior to the competition, and I did not want my support staff taking their foot off the gas. I did not want them to get cocky and complacent. I wanted us to stay hungry, to feel the need to constantly prove ourselves, and to never, ever, rest on our laurels. Therefore, I intentionally did not let them know how good we were.
By never letting my staff realize that we were miles ahead of second place, I kept their standards high and Currency Capital grew rapidly. I have always said that success comes from putting your head down, dedicating yourself to the work, and doing your best. Once you’re in first, never look back. Keep working at the same pace that got you there is the first place.
Keep your perspective in check.