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There are many reasons why success took its time for me. Nearly all the reasons were my own fault.
Interestingly however, I have recently noticed that many others stumble with some of the very same issues. Thus by learning to overcome these problem elements we all have a much greater chance of success or increasing our current rate of success.
It was only after I finally tasted success, that I was able to look back and actually see what had been holding me back. By reciting them here, perhaps it may help some of you to clearly see certain obstacles that may be holding you back too. As only when we clearly know what the problems are, can we apply an effective solution.
Here are 10 ways I sabotaged my success:
Whenever I needed advice, I asked around. I’ve never been shy of seeking anyone’s opinion. The problem is, often the avenues I used to ask such questions led to far too many answers. That often confused me and actually slowed my work down as I was dealing with information overload.
Asking a question on a forum, for example, can bring you scores of replies, but you cannot really trust any reply as none of them really know YOUR business.
Of course you can make a success of yourself without a mentor, but be prepared for it to take perhaps 3 or 4 times longer. I tried to plough through the world of online marketing on my own before I accidentally found myself a great mentor. What this guy taught me within six months, changed my life and success story forever.
This is indicative of what I like to call ‘the entrepreneur’s curse’. The problem with me being both creative and an entrepreneur was that I could not seem to finish anything, as I could always dream up a hundred other great new projects.
The problem was that because I had so many projects on the go at once, none of them received the dedication they required, and naturally many of them fell below par. That is until I learnt to focus on one thing and do it well.
Half finished products got me nowhere as I could not sell them or do anything with them. They sat there, waiting to be forgotten.
That is until my mentor instilled one very important habit – the habit of finishing something. It’s contagious, once you feel the relief and exhilaration of completing a product, you cannot wait to finish another. Then it is not only the starting of a creative idea that excites you, but looking at the finished product too. I guess it would come as no surprise, that when I learnt to finish things, success came knocking at my door.
I cannot tell you how many times I almost stalled when creating my flagship product: The Online Marketing MBA.
It is a mammoth six month course so I had ample opportunities to start something else and forget about it. Each time I found myself doing this however, I forced myself to get back to finishing what I had started.
Teach your brain consistency and it will start trying to work with you. Keep teaching it the opposite, that you can avoid finishing something by starting something new, and you will only learn to make it harder and harder for yourself to ever finish anything. Start setting the good habit now.
I often used the excuse of perfecting things to stop me from completing projects. Just make it ‘good enough’ and FINISH IT.
I was always so good at asking for advice, but strangely I would never use any of the advice I received. I liked to make excuses as to why their advice would never work for me, such as ‘they already have a bigger list’, ‘he is already well known’ and so on. It took a very confrontational encounter with my mentor for him to kick my butt into action and stop me from making excuses. Sometimes you become so blind to the obvious.
If you trust the person, then try their advice…
Interestingly I always longed to be successful, yet I would keep making excuses so that I would not have to try too hard. This naturally made it very difficult for my to become successful until I learn that I have nothing to lose by trying.
If I failed then I would be exactly where I was now, but perhaps richer with the experience and knowledge I may gain. In the best case scenario I may even actually achieve success.
It’s bizarre. Once I cracked it, I could look back and see how much easier my journey could have been. I had this ‘it can’t be that easy’ attitude, which always kept me back from reaching my potential.
I would spend so much time getting distracted and actually doing nothing. I had to admit, I was just too lazy.
I still have to fight this today. It’s much easier to control but the laziness is still hiding there somewhere. Even this article has tested me, yet only by forcing myself to do something, will I teach my brain that laziness has no place in my life any more.
Working hard is not the same as working smart. I often pretended I was working yet the most important jobs always found a way of being avoided. I lost track of what was important, I would be working, but not on the tasks that were most important for my business success. I totally neglected to prioritize.
The best athletes in the world have forfeits if they miss training, and a coach who measures their performance and tells them off if they are slacking. A boss always keeps on eye on their employees to ensure they are also conforming. Yet I, for some reason felt I could do it all alone, until my mentor kicked my butt and showed me how productive I really could be.
I hope you find these tips useful. Remember, the road to success is supposed to be a little challenging, it makes us respect the journey once we finally make it.
Nobody has an easy ride in life as we all have to face challenges. The successful identify those challenges and tackle them head on, whilst perhaps the unsuccessful sometimes allow those challenges to get the better of us.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, and perhaps encourage you to share this with a friend or even bookmark/tweet this for your readers too. Who knows, you may help someone else’s day become that much more successful.
Oh yeah, number 10:
Take the first step and start doing something. It’s crazy but everything always seems to fall in place. Just get started… yes, NOW.
Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC on Flickr.