I have now met and mastered most of the situations caused by starting my new business, I earn more money than ever before and feel on top of my world.

As a result, I am faced with two new challenges: complacency and affluence. These two challenges are most serious, because they are so subtle and practically undetectable. Their undetectable nature comes from the way these challenges slowly creep up on me, disguised as other things.


It disguises itself with self-satisfaction, a feeling of being unbeatable, thinking I know all the answers. After all, I have beaten the odds.

To bring me back to earth, I should remind myself of how I started this business. Who can tell how many "Me's" are, at this very moment, doing what I did then and evaluating Me as their future

competitor? Can I afford not to look over my shoulder? Do I do everything so well that I am invulnerable?


I am making a sizeable profit and indications are that this will continue in the foreseeable future. I am respected and sought by my peers in business; they want me to join sports and social clubs, to head charity drives, to give for this or that worthy cause. I can now get credit easily from my banker. There are also the increased demands of my family and finally my feeling that I am entitled to the good life.

My personal needs

Have I reached all my personal goals, set down years ago, or are there some I have not reached yet? only I can answer this.

If not, how soon can I reach them and were they realistic to start with? Should I now change them or be patient until I reach them? Can I really afford the good life as I now see it or should I proceed one step at a time, as I have done up to now? If I indulge myself, what happens to my business? Can I afford looking, both, after myself and the needs of the business?

The needs of my family

Given what I know of my success, are my family's expectations in line with what I can truly afford? Have I bragged too much, in front of my wife and children? Do we, as a family, really need a second car and does it have to be a Mercedes? Can we, as a family, afford a second house or could we rent one first, to see if we really like it? How old are my children and when can we expect them to leave the house and strike out on their own? Do my children each need a car to attend university? Does my wife really need this second or third fur coat? Have I lost their cooperation? Has it been replaced by greed?

My business needs

Here I run into peer pressure of a special kind, because it is usually coated with flattery, a very insidious way to manipulate me in such a way that I do something they want me to do but which I may not want to do. Do I really like tennis, golf, sailing? Do I absolutely have to join a sports club?

How many social clubs can I join and effectively represent my business? What social clubs have members that can be useful to me in business? In choosing a club to join, do I seek prestige or business contacts?

Charities: which ones transfer more benefits to the cause they represent? How much of my dollar is lost on administration? Do I have a business and personal budget for charities? Do I stick to my figure? Am I able to say no? I must remember that it is easier for people who flatter my ego to tell me how and how much of my money to spend, they tend to over- evaluate my spending powers, as it makes them look good, at my expense.

When faced with problems of affluence, I must always remember my duties to my business. Can I evaluate the results of my sales going down by 10%, 20% or more? Do I have enough reserves in money or credit to face a downturn, however temporary? Can I face several years of adversity?

If this happens, will my newfound friends come to my rescue or will I be an "also ran" to them? How will my banker react, will he help or pull the plug on me?

From the foregoing, I can anticipate another set of problems and challenges as I succeed.

These questions are true ones I will eventually have to face and I should prepare for them now.  My business, my family and myself are the three priorities I must never forget. To avoid later problems, I must always have them in mind and tailor all my decisions to minimize future friction, in one or more of these areas, as they are my most precious assets in this life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.