Who said it’s harder to repeat?
The prevailing wisdom is that it’s harder to stay on top than it is to get to the top. When you win a championship it’s harder to repeat. If you are the leader in your industry, it’s harder to stay on top than it was to work your way to the top. What a bunch of garbage. Yes, it’s hard, nothing is guaranteed but it’s nothing like the effort it takes to climb to the top and make the first breakthrough.
When you get on top you are not plagued by the doubts and insecurities of those who never made it. You have proven to yourself and everyone else you’re good enough. You’ve developed a proven championship team. The mentality of your organization has changed. The expectations of your organization have changed forever and people perform up to their level of expectations.
You’ve learned valuable lessons that only those very very few who’ve made it to the top know. You know pitfalls to avoid. You know ways to compress time frames. You know keys to look for to maintain momentum and which ones to avoid to get off track. You have training and insight that all your competition lacks. Of course, there can be some satisfaction and some let off in intensity due to having reached the top, but that’s a small challenge compared to all of the advantages you have.
Who would you rather be?
If you’re running for president would you rather be Obama with no challengers soaking up all of the Democratic contributions, building your war chest, using the power, prestige, popularity that goes with being the incumbent? Or would you rather be a Republican challenger? If you were a country, would you rather be the United States, the clear cut #1 super power in the world—even in spite of our recent problems, or another country having to work your way up the ladder? Do you really think it’s harder for the US to stay #1 than it is for the other countries that are trying to grow and develop to this level?
If you’re a hamburger franchise would you rather be McDonald’s or Burger King? Somehow it doesn’t seem to be that hard for McDonald’s to stay #1 in their industry. The same can be said for Coca-Cola, Walmart, and a vast array of industry leaders.
The same goes in entertainment. Would you rather be Tom Cruise or one of the dozen or so other prominent leading men? If you were a professional sport would you rather be the NFL or would you rather be the NBA or the NHL? Who do you think has the better odds of holding on to the #1 position in professional sports, the NFL or maybe you think major league soccer can explode up the ranks to #1? Do you think maybe it’s easier? It’s easier for major league soccer to overcome the ranks of football because they don’t have the pressures and spotlight of #1 on them all the time? Most people would bet on the NFL.
It’s worth a million times more than you think
Until you get there you can’t imagine how great it is to be on top. There is no way you can appreciate the advantages, the momentum, and new possibilities and Rewards! There’s no way you can know the lessons that you will learn and the lessons you’ll teach yourself on your way to the top. The effort of getting to the top will teach you things you could never learn any other way. From the top of the mountain you can see things that no one else can see.
You can see new opportunities. You can see clearly a variety of ways to improve. You also have the advantage of knowing that you won in spite of not being even close to perfect. You have the benefits of the things that worked well that you can go to and use again but you also have the benefit of seeing the areas that you can improve and get more help from next time. Of course there are going to be challenges but you tell me, does it really seem like it’s harder for the top dog to stay on top than for the little dog to fight his way to the top. It’s worth the price because the view from the top, the benefits of being on top, are beyond your wildest dreams. Trust me.
Once you get to the top of the mountain you are not opening the door to a whole bigger nightmare of problems that you’ve ever faced before in your life. You’ll have problems, but nothing like you faced getting started.