Be great without acting like it

There is a pitfall with being successful that is very dangerous because most never see it coming. It’s subtle at first and sneaks in under the radar with the success itself. Sure, for some it’s already latched itself onto it’s host far before the success, but that is not its usual way.

What is this parasite that threatens to destroy you professionally and personally?

Pride!

If you ever reach a moderate level of success, be very careful. If you reach great success you better be looking over your shoulder every chance you get.

Pride will trick you into thinking you are the smartest person in the room. You will begin to think that there is no reason to take advice from someone else and that your success came solely from your own abilities with no outside wisdom. It will tell you all the things you want to hear about yourself.

Worse yet, some will start feed this pride. When in groups of other people you will find that everything you say is true and every joke you make is hilarious. People will hang on your every word. It will feel great but it won’t be real.

Last week I returned from PressNomics, the WordPress business conference. It was an amazing event with lot’s of knowledge being shared on and off the stage.

My biggest take away? I don’t know nearly as much as I sometimes think I do. No one does.

We’re all on a journey. We may be at different stages but in the end there wasn’t a person there who could claim that they had nothing left to learn. The rock stars were learning just as much from the newbies. Those who didn’t recognize that got so much less out of the event.

It’s created a new goal for me this year. I want to surround myself with people who have gone farther than I have but have retained their humility.

Stay humble, go far, remain amazing. 🙂

Who would you like to leave a shout out for that exemplifies success with humility?