How Being a COO is like Riding a Rollercoaster

How Being a COO is like Riding a Rollercoaster

No matter if you’re the COO of a small business or a huge one, it’s going to feel like a rollercoaster. Even if your business seems steady, there are always going to be ups and downs, either with the company or with getting your work done.

Not to worry, though. The most terrifying roller coasters have the most peaks and are often the most memorable.

It Excites You

Even before you get on a roller coaster, you’re jittery with anticipation and excitement. Starting a new business and/or taking up new responsibility should feel that way. You look up at the steep drops and loops of the roller coaster, knowing exactly what you’re in for, and still excited to go for it, even if it scares you. New businesses, jobs, and responsibility should scare you. Being able to push yourself forward in the face of the terrifying ups and downs you know are inevitable shows a strong foundation for new business and a COO.

“Some people will think that you’re crazy to start a new business and they will be correct. The safe and rational thing to do would be to never take a risk and work for someone else for the rest of your life. // Did you gag as you read that sentence? That’s because you’re an entrepreneur and risk-taking is in your blood: You can’t live without it.” – Entrepreneur

Being a COO taking up all that responsibility is a risk. The most successful COOs look at the risk in the eye and get straight on the rollercoaster.

The Ups

At the highs of the rollercoaster, you feel like you’re at the peak of life—and business. You can see the world around you. Everything is in perspective. You get a taste for how great things can be. This is called informed optimism in your business. It’s when you start feeling confident and energized to keep trying and working harder.

“Being optimistic obviously doesn’t mean seeing rainbows 24-7. Everything won’t always be great. But optimism helps us see new opportunities, learn from different situations, and keep moving.” – Entrepreneur

Optimism is vital for a business, but that doesn’t mean things are always going up. The important thing for a COO to do is to try their hardest to be optimistic even when the up of the roller coaster starts to shift and you can see the steep way down.

The Downs

Just like every business has its ups, it also has its downs. As a COO, those downs hit especially hard. A successful business doesn’t mean not going down sometimes, it means learning and making your way back up again.

“As is often stated, in business and in life, we learn more from our failures than our successes. Mistakes help us gather useful information. Information that is necessary for our continual growth and the growth of our business.” – COO Alliance

Mistakes and downwards trends in your business can feel stressful, but without lows, you don’t get highs. A steady rollercoaster is a boring one.

You Want to Go Again

The best rollercoasters are risky, terrifying, and filled with up and downs, but they’re also the ones that you want to go on again.

“Once you’ve built your first successful business, like your first rollercoaster ride, you’ll just want to have another go.” – Inc

Being a COO should feel like a rollercoaster. The best ones don’t let that scare them into stopping, they let it inspire them and drive them.
Remember, when riding a rollercoaster, one has two choices:

  1. They can either hold on for dear life and scream.
  2. They can wave their arms in the air and laugh.

No matter what, you’re still on the rollercoaster. You can’t quit, you can’t get off, so do your best to enjoy it, even if that takes a lot of effort.

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and had been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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