The Long & Winding Road: ‘Catastrophic success’, I wish…or do I?

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Someone once asked me if winning the lottery would change me. I replied that ‘ not winning it has changed me!’ 

Within all of us is the desire and belief that we can experience sublime success at some point in our lives. Many would also hope to be able to recognise that ‘sublime success’ when it appears, as we tend never to be satisfied with what we have. 

The same person who asked me if a lottery win would change me, also went on to ask,’ What would you do with all the begging letters?’… in a flash, I replied that I probably would continue to send them!! 

It is a fortunate person that is able to be happy in their life and also be aware of it….. 

Take a look at this story about a catastrophic success , all brought about by being good at what you do, having a great product and giving people what they want……. 

American Giant: The problems of being an overnight success


It is a double edged sword we wield in social media, the blade so potent it can destroy as quickly as it emboldens. On occasions such as the one above , it has not only built up a company but brought it down with the same message. This is a lesson for all of us as we strive to engage more and more people, across more and more platforms. When the genie is out of the bottle , like a fire, it has no boundaries and will go where it pleases. 

Given the fact that , deep down, we do not want to engage with everybody, we should embrace the people we do engage with and strive to make their experience better before we cast our aspirations farther afield and risk being stripped bare of our essence. I would rather have 100 regular clients than 1000 ‘fair weather’ clients who will drift from opportunistic deal to opportunistic deal, paying scant regard to the value and expertise you have and instead only shopping by bottom line number. 

Exposure is wonderful in business but it must be treated like prescription drugs and used only as directed. Some months ago, I featured Alicia Dunams (Twitter : @AliciaDunams) talking about the value of niche marketing and this story of American Giant certainly highlights the dangers of being a ‘catastrophic success’. 

As they say ‘ be careful what you wish for…it just might happen!’ 


see you on the long and winding road…… Patrick 

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