Like Riding Wild Horses: How to Cope with Crazy Success

My client’s business was exploding – in a good way – but it didn’t feel like that to him. To say that he was overwhelmed was a massive understatement.

Customers, orders and opportunities were coming in so fast he couldn’t keep up. Fear of dropping the ball and letting people down drove too many of his decisions. He needed help. And fast. So someone sent him to me.

And I got it.

A few years ago my own business felt like that; like a herd of wild mustangs running full out across the plains. I loved the energy and the excitement of it all, but I had to learn how to manage all that energy – or I would have been trampled.

He too had to get a handle on the wild herd his business had become. Or that rapid growth (more employees, more customers, more demand) was going to run right over him.

We started with the four pillars of coping with crazy success.


This is your Power Source.

When you have that harried, crazy, everyone-wants-a-piece-of-me right now kinda feeling, you have to find a way to come back to center.

And the more successful you are, the more important this is.

This is your oxygen. This is your secret weapon.

This is you leading you.

And in turn, leading your company.

Here’s what that could look like.

1. A quick morning routine that helps you prepare for the day energetically.

Do something simple. Stand straight up when you first wake, feet grounded on the floor, and do a couple of seriously delicious and mindful stretches. Take 3 deep belly breaths, all the way in and all the way out.

As you do, close your eyes for a sec, and set an intention for the day. How do you want to show up in your business today?

This is more than what you want to do. Who do you want to Be?

2. An evening routine that does the same.

This can be simple too.

Take 15 minutes before turning out the light for the night. Go over your planner/digital task list and think about your time the next day.

What is the #1 thing you need to do? Once that’s done, what is #2? #3? (Keep it to three.) 

Then, repeat your big stretch (especially around your head/neck/shoulders/upper back) and do a couple of nice deep breaths before you climb under the covers and turn off the light.


Wanna spice it up?

On your planner/digital task list write ONE thing you feel good about from that day. Just one. And mean it.

3. Having a kind of “emergency brake” that helps you slow things down when they’re going too fast.

Whenever you’re under intense pressure or feel yourself fighting tears or wanting to snap at someone – give yourself 30 seconds, perhaps a full minute, before you take action.

Stand or sit straight up in your chair. Plant your feet firmly on the floor. Notice the earth supporting you under your feet.

Pause before you speak.

Take two long, deep, slo-o-o-o-o-w breaths (no one knows you’re doing this, so you can do it even when you’re with other people).

Come back into your body.

Notice this, feel it, and reclaim your power.

Then move forward into whatever it is that you need to decide, say or do.


One of the most effective and important things you can do is to be super clear with clients about what you can and can’t do, and about what they will and won’t like about working with you.

When I was the Family Therapy Director at a long term residential treatment center for teens, I always had a conversation with parents before admission about what they would NOT like about treatment and having their kids there.

As hard as it was to hear, they appreciated that – a lot – and told me, because they knew what to expect and how to prepare.

You may need to tell your clients what they won’t like about working with you.

Yes, working with you is a major investment because you put a lot into it and are seriously good at what you do.

Yes, working with you may mean they have to wait a few weeks – or even months – because you are in high demand, and you don’t rush. Every client you have gets the same outstanding service.

But you also need to tell them what they will like about working with you.

You put a lot into it and are seriously good at what you do.

You take outstanding care of every client and customer you take on.

See how that works?

Communicate with your customers, even if you have to tell them something they don’t want to hear. They will appreciate your honesty and your clarity.


We don’t talk about this much because so many of us are high Quick Starts who shoot first, aim later.

Risk? What risk? Who cares about that?

You do.

Being a responsible business owner means making sure that you are managing risk to a reasonable degree, whenever possible.

And if your business is growing really fast, it’s even more important that you slow down and take care of basics.

  • Do you have redundant systems in place so that if something breaks (your computer dies) you have other ways to get things done?
  • Do you have SOP’s (standard operating procedures) written down so that if you lose an employee or someone’s out for a while, you’ll still know where to find your passwords and how to get your statements out? (Or other critical info you need to to access…)
  • Do you have the right legal docs in place to protect you, your clients, your team, your work, your property and yourself? Contracts? Written letters of agreement? Forms? Insurance?

You must think about risk and have protection in place, at all levels of success.

If you don’t, that is a disaster in the making.


The more successful you are, the more critical your team becomes.

Having the right people on board, and in the right role will make an enormous difference in your ability to manage success.

But you can’t do this on the fly. You can’t just wing it. I’ve seen countless examples where business owners hired friends, relatives, or someone they just thought ‘seemed nice’ to do important work.

And it didn’t work.

Hire slow. Fire fast. And make sure you hire people with the right personality, mindset and skillset for the position they’ll have.

One of my favorite books, Good to Great, does a great job of explaining what a difference having the right person in the right role can make to the success of a company. If you haven’t read that, check it out.

If your business is growing so fast that it feels like a herd of wild horses, rein them in slowly but deliberately. Prevent a disaster – so you can actually enjoy the ride.

You may also like:
One Thing You Do Too Much (& Why You Need to Stop
Does Your Business Make You Happy?
What Systems Can Do for a Creative Like You
Watch What You Think. Change What You Get.

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