How to carry yourself when you become a success

By: IRENE NJOROGE-KRISTIAN

For many people, achieving success is a dream come true. After years in the doldrums of hard work and strategising, your ship finally sails in.

This could happen in several ways: Maybe you have become a celebrity, or perhaps you have received a coveted appointment in politics or in the civil service.

It could be that you have “fallen into things”, as the Baganda would aptly describe your good fortune. Whatever the case, with changed circumstances come changed attitudes from all and sundry.

Suddenly, everyone wishes to make your acquaintance. You are now the flavour of the month and this can be quite overwhelming. To find a balance, it helps to learn how to handle all this. Here are some pointers:

1. BE GRACIOUS

People will come out of the woodwork when you become very successful. Even those who would not give you the time of day when you were down and out will now look for you.

Most people do not mean any harm. All they want is some form of guidance and inspiration from you. They too, would wish to sit where you are now sitting.

A huge majority require help in the form of money and work. They hope that you can connect them to jobs and contribute to fundraisers.

Talk to everyone as nicely as possible, even if you are not in a position to assist them. Being courteous is important because any disrespect will never be forgotten. It will be held against you for a long time to come.

2. MANAGE YOUR TIME

When success comes, time disappears. Your days will be crammed with appointments as you try to make hay while the sun shines. Phone calls and visitors will overwhelm you.

If you can afford it, hire a personal assistant to screen your would-be visitors and your emails. Have your PA take all your calls and schedule appointments.

If you get to your office and find a crowd of people waiting anxiously to see you, you may not get any work done if you try to talk to everyone. Develop a system where you can attend to them without ignoring anyone.

3. SCANDALS

One of the pitfalls of success is that all sorts of scandals will crop up. People will say outrageous things about you, things that could cause you to have sleepless nights.

Do not be surprised to hear absurd stories such as how you have adopted alternative forms of worship in order to grow rich. Others will border on how much you have stolen or conned people, while others will scrutinise every little detail concerning your talent, work or services.

Deal with this by taking it all in your stride and understanding that success sometimes comes with its share of drawbacks.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION