Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.
That's a quote from the The Color of Money, a film about the art of hustling and earning a living in the game of pool. And it makes an interesting distinction that applies to your work on the social networks.
Winning is indeed seductive because it happens when you are least expecting it. It seems to just happen on its own. That's the seduction. What gets us into trouble is expecting it to magically happen again.
The results you achieve through your social networking and marketing will often have this seductive quality. They may happen very quickly for you, and they may seem to materialize out of thin air. My suggestion is to avoid this seduction if you want your winning ways to continue.
Winning Changes Behavior
It is certainly fun to win, and we all deserve to get a lucky break every once in a while. Yet, once you get accustomed to winning, it is easy to forget what made you a winner in the first place. And so you fall into what I call the entitlement trap.
The challenge with winning is making the winning streak last. There are probably many ways for accomplishing this, but the most reliable one is by working hard and persevering after others have given up. Beyond that, it always helps to take a look at how you got there.
Analysis and Study Creates More Winning
When I score a win with my social networking or marketing, I like to go back and trace the activities that made it happen. For example, last week I learned that this blog was ranked in Technorati's Top 100 Small Business directory. That naturally suggests I am doing something right, but what exactly?
This means doing some homework, or at least take a moment to contemplate. I enjoy celebrating my successes, but part of that celebration is a process of determining how I achieved that success. This is valid for any success at all, which should include every piece of new business that you score, as they are technically all wins.
Use the Seductive Forces Effectively
There is definitely a cause and effect relationship to everything that happens in this universe. Sometimes the cause is hard work. Other times it may as simple as having the right intention that gives you the focus to notice what is most relevant.
Seductive forces can cause us to lose our focus on what matters most, such as confusing the number of followers or fans with meaningful interaction and engagement with real people.
A better plan is to simply recognize the seduction and use it for what it is – an indication that you are on the right track. Now determine how to use that energy to build on the current successes. That will keep you sharp.
And then you'll be able to enjoy the seduction, as opposed to getting distracted by it.
What matters most to you and your business? If you keep your attention on that you will achieve better results and appreciate them more.
And that alone will make them sustainable.
Whether you win or earn them – they are successes all the same. The important thing is to make the distinction, and not be seduced into falling into any traps that will undermine your future success.
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Until tomorrow, Jeff
Photo Credit: Chicago.metromix.com