It is wonderful to be successful, to win the game, to land the contract, to get the promotion. It gives you a warm glow inside, a feeling of satisfaction to savour and enjoy and that is how it should be. If you are successful you are entitled to that feeing – it is healthy and it is important to celebrate success.Winning again and again can reinforce our belief that we have been doing the right things, making the right decisions and getting the just rewards for our efforts in return. Logically we look to repeat the magic formula that has been working for as long as we can. “Happy days! Long may it last!” we might say.

However, once this mindset becomes the norm, we are in mortal danger. All products, all services, all teams and all businesses have a natural life cycle that involves a rise to a peak, followed by stagnation and ultimate decline to oblivion.

There are no exceptions, the life cycle might be longer or shorter, but in the end it is just a matter of time. The only way to avoid the inevitable slump is to kick on to something new and different – a new strategy, a new product, a new market.

The tricky thing is, the right time to kick on to something new is when you are still rising and enjoying full success BEFORE the peak and not after the peak when stagnation and decline have set in.

This is not as easy as it sounds, because while you are enjoying repeated success you are not naturally inclined to change what has been working well to something new, something uncertain, something risky. Nonetheless you must.

This is precisely the right time to launch that new product, to move into that new sector, to change the way you do business. So my advice is to take stock of your business as it is today, and if you find that you are still winning on the basis of the same products, services and sectors as you were three to five years ago, then it might be time to consider kicking on soon.

It is the right time precisely because the success you are experiencing means that you still have the resources and the momentum to weather the inevitable teething period that comes with the launch of any new initiative. Wait too long and you might find your business in decline while someone else has moved into the space out of left field before you even have time to realise that it has happened.