Owning and managing a business can be like riding a roller coaster. It's fun, thrilling, and occasionally makes you want to throw up. And just like a roller coaster, there's a sign of danger you should always look out for. No, it's not the "Keep your hands inside the vehicle" sign. It's the "I'm happy with how everything is going" sign. Yes, you, the boss, saying those words, can spell trouble.
You might be thinking, "What's wrong with being happy?" Simply put, a company that isn’t improving is dying. “Everything’s fine” means everything is not fine, because as an owner, you are not hunting for ways to improve it.
In business, the only thing that doesn’t change is that everything is always changing. Customers' tastes evolve, technology zooms ahead like a rocket, and market trends can flip-flop more than a politician during election season. Staying content means you're standing still while everything else is zooming by. Before you know it, your business might end up looking like a dinosaur at a techno dance party.
If you're always happy, it might mean you're wearing rose-colored glasses. Maybe you're not listening to your workers when they complain about the coffee or not taking your customers' feedback seriously. Or perhaps you're ignoring little problems, which are like gremlins: if you ignore them, they’ll multiply and cause chaos.
Moreover, if you're always singing "Don't Worry, Be Happy" at the office, your employees might start taking it literally. They'll stop trying to improve, be creative, or go the extra mile because, hey, the boss is happy, right? You don't want your team to turn into happy, lazy couch potatoes.
But don't get it twisted! It doesn't mean you should always be grumpy or panic at every little thing. You're a leader, not a drama queen! Celebrate victories, appreciate your team's work, and have a good time. Just remember to balance it with a bit of "healthy dissatisfaction." Keep an eye out for new opportunities, be ready to adapt, and encourage your team to do better.
Nowhere do I observe this pie-in-the-sky complacency more than with some of my clients’ online presence. They’ve got a sleek, new site and the leads and inquiries keep rolling in, so they are happy as a clam. The fatal error in this line of thinking is that just because things are going well today doesn’t mean that they’ll be going well tomorrow.
Remember that your business lives and dies by its Google ranking. As of 2023, Google accounts for some 94.92% of all online searches in the US, making it the leader by a gargantuan margin. Google uses a monstrously complicated algorithm to deliver the highest quality results to queries, prioritizing sites that have well-written, relevant, geotargeted, functional, and recently updated content. The sites that best meet these criteria are pushed to the top of the search results, while the rest languish in the graveyards of the second and third pages of results. In fact, a recent analysis showed a pitiful 0.63% CTR on sites appearing on the second page of Google search results. Compare that with the fact that roughly a quarter of searchers click on the first result of a Google search and you’ve got an idea of the stakes of happy-go-lucky contentment with your business.
I can imagine some of you blanching at these numbers, and if so, good! Hold onto that feeling of uneasiness because that’s what will keep you competitive in the shockingly cutthroat world of Google ranking, and subsequently, online business.
To wrap it up, being too happy can lead to trouble in business. It's a bit like thinking you're a great singer because your shower tells you so. So go ahead, be happy, but don't let it turn into complacency. Keep innovating, listen to feedback, and remember: a little dissatisfaction can go a long way! This way, your business will keep rocking and rolling, just like that roller coaster!