The difference between managing current success + maintaining success.

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I brought in an entirely new team this year at Cleveland Flea. We have HUGE goals. Which required that I get more specific and more committed.

As I became the boss of a bunch of new badasses, it also struck me that I needed to think through what their own issues might be. Listen– we all have issues. Even super talented people. Especially super talented people.

One theme that kept coming up over and over is Mindset. Specifically The Entrepreneurial Mindset. My team was just not used to being personally responsible for financial consequences this big. If they posted the wrong instagram image, it could result in much bigger consequences than they were previously used to.

They were fans of the flea. They had NO idea how the inner workings kept that image going.

They were now in charge of Maintaining Success, not merely Managing it.
What’s the difference? It’s all about growth and personal responsibility.

  • Managing = being in charge of (a company, establishment, or undertaking)

    • In this case, success would be given to them and they’d just keep current success from starving or falling down a well. That’s not growth. That’s being the same. And you can’t be the same in a changing market. You have to continually improve.

    • The same success over and over.

  • Maintaining = causing or enabling (a condition or state of affairs) to continue.

    • In this case, they’d be causing or enabling success to continue. Success requires new goals. More money. Getting better all the time. They would have to become experts in our own version of success– requiring the setting of financial and operational goals and tracking their success toward them.

    • More new successes, continually.

For businesses to continue and thrive, growth is required. So, how do we engineer this? I help my team set goals (both personal + professional) while I’m helping them get good at the technical side of business. They’ve got to practice not taking things personally (they will do things wrong that have big consequences) and they must embrace a positive-focused Entrepreneurial Mindset. If you’re just starting out, making sure growth is more important than perfection is key, too. There will be a lot of things you’ll do wrong that might result in financial loss. Or emotional pain. Categorizing this as growth instead of failure is crucial to being able to move forward toward your own Big Creative Life.


Stephanie Sheldon