Whoohoo! You did it! You landed that big client. You made the deal. You got the contract and they paid you what you asked for with zero negotiation. You have a brief moment of elation and then … it’s weird. You can’t explain it. You just don’t feel pumped … you start questioning not only the deal but your whole business, maybe your whole life. What happened?
It’s overwhelm. You are overwhelmed. The reason that we often don’t recognize it as overwhelm is because we have come to associate overwhelm with only negative events and emotions. It’s important to make this connection so we don’t end up discouraged by our wins.
Here are some observations to help you recognize overwhelm and work with it to enjoy your successes.
The Adrenaline Drop: It’s like on your birthday and you have the second piece of cake because … it’s your birthday and then you have the sugar crash an hour later and say, “Why did I do that?” It’s the same thing with positive overwhelm. You work so hard and exert so much adrenaline to make the deal happen that you crash once the contract is signed. To avoid the crash, create a celebration around your win. Go out to dinner, have a dance party in the living room … whatever creates a positive closure to the process of reaching your goal.
Where to Start Paralysis: After your celebration, you realize the 15 things that need to be completed right away and it’s difficult to know where to start. You find yourself in buyer’s remorse and think, “What was I thinking, this is too much work?” Knowing that it’s normal to feel a temporary paralysis when you reach big goals can help. Accept that it’s time to work and know that you control the schedule. Once you feel confidant in your leadership, the first step shows itself.
Leapfrogging Goals: Most of the time clients fly past the original goal to 3 steps higher. A software company owner I work with is a great example. He developed the product and began to sell it, he landed a contract that had him leap over his original plan of individual sales to directly searching for a commercial space, 2 new employees, and a small business loan. Can you say positive overwhelm? Revising plans is part of being an entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to seek help at these points. Hire a coach, find your local SCORES office, and/or consult professional services like legal or banking.
Stepping Back: Once the positive wins start rolling in, it’s easy to get carried away. Stepping back during the craziness of good fortune can keep you grounded. Ask yourself, “This is so awesome, but is this what I want?” Or, “This promotion is too good to be true, but will the added responsibility keep me from growing my side gig and eventually running my own business?”
You set the rules for your business and career, if too much of a good thing shows up too fast, you can adjust the speed. You can say no to a contract, you can create waiting periods for new clients, and you can negotiate deals with your best interests at heart. And, continue to celebrate your success along the way.