Achieving success can mean a lot of different things. Maybe you’ve secured a dream job that will keep you secure for years to come. Maybe you’ve just left a job with the financial freedom to move on to whatever you’d like. Or perhaps you’ve made a deal or cashed in on an investment that will keep you from having to worry about work or finances for the foreseeable future. Whatever the case, that feeling — that you’ve succeeded — is unlike anything else.
It is still important though not to view success as an end to responsibility, or a finale in your professional and/or financial life. Success is not necessarily permanent, and unfortunately, it’s not at all uncommon for people to squander it for one reason or another. Part of making sure this doesn’t happen is simply remaining responsible and handling your success with care. But to help you ensure that you avoid this fate, we’re going to highlight some common mistakes you should try to avoid.
1. Neglecting to Celebrate
Some of the best advice when you achieve significant personal success is not to be too loud about it! Humility in success is something that’s often discussed as an essential attribute for successful business leaders; it helps to instill culture and keep teams on the same page. But this is generally good advice for others, too. A lack of humility in success is a way of taking that success for granted, which ultimately sets a risky mindset.
At the same time though, it’s important to celebrate your accomplishments. While maintaining humility, you should stop to commemorate whatever achievement or milestone it is that you define success by. Enjoy it, cherish the feeling, and reflect on what got you there. There are two real reasons that this is important to do. One is that it feels good, and you’ve earned it! Rewarding yourself with a celebration is a good way to incentivize more success, psychologically speaking. The other reason, somewhat similarly, is that by stopping to celebrate, you’ll mark the occasion in a way that’s easy to build on. If you simply drift onward following success, the feeling can set in that you’ve accomplished everything you need to. If you set the occasion apart, you’ll be able to look at it as a point between past and future — and start planning your next achievement!
2. Forgetting to Save
Presuming your success has something to do with your financial standing, it can be all too busy to take it as an excuse to stop saving. This doesn’t mean you won’t be keeping the bulk of your money in the bank for when you need it. But notable financial success can take away the urgency to investing long-term savings plans that are specifically designed to protect and grow your finances. If you’re financially “set,” it may just not seem necessary to bother anymore.
But the truth is that there’s no reason not to save, even if it’s only by way of a simple effort that leads to modest financial growth. In terms of pure savings, something as simple as investing in certificates of deposits on a regular basis can help you to put away small chunks of your wealth, and withdraw them with interest. CDs are designed to be left alone for a set amount of time, but return higher interest than ordinary savings accounts as a result — and if you’re financially secure, you can likely afford the longer commitment. On the other hand, if you want to focus more on growth potential and assume some risks, you can also continue to explore options like investing in mutual funds or indexes — both of which function somewhat like automated portfolios designed to reduce the likelihood of net loss.
Really, there are a lot of specific options. But the point is that you shouldn’t stop saving or investing merely because you feel you’ve “made it” financially. On the contrary, when you have some money to spare it’s arguably the best time to set that money aside to grow it even more.
3. Casting Your Resume Aside
Success does not necessarily mean you will be leaving your career or starting a new one. In fact, in some cases it might mean that you’re just getting started where you are — stepping into a dream job, or assuming a major promotion. Nevertheless, it often marks a shift at least in your professional outlook — if not your job itself. And as we’ve alluded to when discussing changing careers in the past, it’s important to keep your resume up-to-date at a time like this.
In other words, don’t look at your success as an endpoint that renders past experience moot. Instead, assess your resume (or other work-related profiles you may have), update them as needed, and highlight whatever achievement or success has you feeling changed. It’s an important way to get the most out of whatever position you’ve reached or achievement you’ve made, and in the end, you never know — updating based on one major success may just help lead to the next one!