Why People Fail
The New Year is just around the corner. It’s the time of year that thousands of entrepreneurs around the country map out new ideas, create new business plans and commit to future projects. They have the best intentions and lofty hopes and dreams. For a select few, not only will they create their battle plans for the future, but they will also execute them. They are the top 3% in their fields. The few that actually do. They will be the ones at the end of the pending year that have reaped the most benefits and made the most money.
So where do the other 97% go wrong?
I’m of the opinion there are two types of people in that 97%.
The first group are the ones that actually do start and try to implement their newly founded ideas, but they get stuck or hit a road block within the first couple of months and they quit or they get distracted and focus their time and energy on other projects.
The other group, which I feel makes up the majority of the 97%, simple don’t even begin.
Yep, I said it. Most of the goals and news years resolutions in this group of people will fail because they don’t even take the first step. One reason people procrastinate and don’t follow through is that they think everything has to be perfect. They feel they need to read one more book, do just a little bit more research, get a little better understanding, before they are ‘ready’ to take action.
Starting is the first most important step.
Listen: everything has a beginning. It doesn’t matter what it is in life that you are attempting to do, there has to be a first time. And no matter what you are trying to do, you’re probably going to be terrible in the beginning compared to where you would like to be, in say a year.
Think about something in your business that you do on a regular basis today, that you were terrible at when you first started. If you are a loan officer, can you remember the first time you had to explain a HUD–1 to client? Remember the first time someone asked you what YSP stood for?
If you are a Chiropractor, can you remember the first time you had to give someone an adjustment? If you’re a financial planner, do you recall your first client presentation? My hallucination is that you weren’t as proficient then as you are today. But you did it anyways and with time you improved.
If you have children, do you remember when you were teaching your child to ride a bike? When they first got on the bike they were terrible, but they had this drive, want, desire to master that skill. Every time they fell off the bike they would just get back up and try again and eventually it became something that they didn’t even have to think about.
Kids have an innate belief that serves them well when they are trying new things and that is: Mistakes are part of the process. If they make a mistake they don’t generally care. They know what they are trying to learn and stay focused on that outcome.
… You’re going to make mistakes.
I could list pages and pages of examples of mistakes that I have made over the years as I have attempted new things. I have sent out the newsletter on the wrong day. I have sent them out with links to old posts.
One of my all-time biggest mistakes is I sent out an e-mail for a 3 day seminar with the wrong date and we had two clients fly in from Texas for the wrong weekend. That’s right, I was working out in the morning and received a phone call from Roberto explaining he had just received a call from a couple of our clients asking, “where everybody is… we’re at the hotel?”.
MAJOR, MASSIVE MISTAKE.
Roberto and I ended up delivering the whole 3 day seminar Influencing From the Front, privately, for just those two people.
Now, am I saying that you should not be careful and implement checks and balances to minimize your mistakes? Definitely not! I hate making mistakes, but I have adopted the belief that no matter how careful I try to be, I’m still human and I am going to make mistakes.
Am I saying that you should accept mediocrity when you are working on new projects or learning new skills?
But what I am saying is that it’s not reasonable to think that when you are first starting out that you are going to be excellent. Accept this. Embrace this and you will begin to take that all important first step and increase your likelihood of following through.
Which brings me to my final point: finish what you start.
There is an old saying in real estate investing that says, “The money isn’t made when you sell the property, it’s made when you buy the property.” One reason that the 97% fail at following through with their goals is because they haven’t careful thought through the significance of those projects and how they fit into their overall strategy and business purpose. You must carefully decide what is the most important goals and objectives for your business and then take massive action to achieve them.
Often times and business owner will start out doing something and when they have limited or no success, they simply say, “oh this doesn’t work” or “i’m not good at this” and they begin looking for the next magic bullet.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Once you have clearly defined your goals, work ruthlessly and diligently towards executing them. Be extremely cognizant of your unconscious desire to deviate from your plan to try something different that may throw you off track. There are many routes to your destination, but if you are continually changing routes, it will take you longer to get there and you may get lost en route. By thinking strategically long term and having the mindset of finishing what you start, you will build the foundation for long term success.
A perfect example of this is when we decided Influenceology needed to incorporate video marketing into our marketing mix and begin to position ‘video marketing’ as nothing more than a presentation on video. When we first started out we didn’t know what equipment to use. We didn’t know how to edit the videos, where to host them… What kind of videos to produce etc… but we did know long term, videos and video marketing was important to us, so we didn’t get it right, we got it going!
Here is one of the first videos Roberto ever made: Early Video of Roberto
Here is one of the first videos I ever made: Early Video of Jeff
It doesn’t matter which group you fall into (hopefully, you’re part of the 3%), this new year commit to taking that first step, a body in motion, tends to stay in motion. When you do take that first step, realize that mistakes, failures and slow starts are part of the process. Use your vision to keep you on task so that you aren’t distracted and pulled in another direction. If you do this, you’ll have your best year yet… and you deserve the best!
Loving living giving large,