Why Doesn’t Everybody Achieve Success?
Everybody wants it, but hardly anybody can pin down exactly what it means.
Success is highly subjective.
And when asked how success is achieved, most books repeat the same two elements like it’s the gospel truth.
So why aren’t more people who read these books becoming successful?
There are two mantras found in practically every motivational book can actually be counter productive to an entrepreneur.
What happens.. and maybe this has happened to you too…
…You read a motivational book.. feel great, uplifted.. you feel excited.. you’re going to storm it and succeed.. this time. But within days.. possibly even hours of reading the book, the high begins to wear off…
You slowly return back down to Earth.. and the motivation is gone.
Over time you’re more frustrated than before, and still no closer to achieving success.
You feel worn down again, but the books told you everything you need to know..
…The road to success had been laid out for you.. simplified and boiled down.
So what gives?
The books told you that all you needed was:
- A positive mental attitude
- And to working long hard hours
As if by magic, just those two ingredients alone will enable you to manifest your dreams.
Those books forgot to tell you something.
And it doesn’t help entrepreneurs to deal with the reality of the situation.
The Cold Hard Reality
In business, nobody really cares about your work ethic or your positive mental attitudes.
In the real world, whatever market you’re in, it’s likely to be full of predators.. even sharks might be swimming around trying to take a bite of whatever they can get their teeth into.
For most, a positive mental attitude is misunderstood. It can’t just happen instantaneously – that’s not authentic. And anything less is fake and most books teach you how to fake it.
A genuine positive mental attitude comes from being good at what you do because you have the self-confidence to support the attitude.
How do you become good at something? By repeatedly doing it.
Being good at what you do is required if you want to become successful.
It’s a cycle.
- Practice repeatedly
- Become good at it
- Build confidence
What all this means for you:
- You don’t have to work long or hard hours
- You don’t have to appear to be extrovert or ‘salesy’
- You don’t have to ‘fake it until you make it’
There’s another thing those books never told you about when it comes to rejection… and how you can use it to sustain your positive mental attitude.
Listen, everyone gets knockbacks, and sometimes even customers behave maliciously.
I experience it too from time to time.
It can demotivate you and the disappointment can be hard to shake off.
But here’s what you haven’t been told yet:
- No single deal is vitally important
- Failure is an integral part of success
By anticipating short-term setbacks, expecting and accepting they will happen, it protects your long-term positive mental attitude.
The ability to quickly move onto the next deal gives you a kind of mental toughness that you need to compete with the sharks and other predators.
Someone doesn’t like your product? No big deal. Refund and move on. It’s helped to you give more time focusing on those who value your stuff.
Your JV partner got a better offer at the last minute? So what, it’s freed you up to work on a new project.
This way you’re essentially dealing with the law of averages as you prepare for long-term success while anticipating short-term failures.
Working Hard or Hardly Working?
Another myth that you’re likely to find, is that hard work alone leads to success.
But think about it. Working long and hard hours… what does that actually mean?
To you, it might mean working from 9 o’clock in the morning, until 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
To entrepreneurs who follow ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ philosophy, working long hours might mean working 8 hours per week.
It’s all relative.
Look at sports.. most professional sportsmen and women work for short but intense periods.
There’s a very good reason for this, and one that we can learn from.
Should they work for extended periods, sportspeople can mentally and physically exert themselves, to the point of not only being useless but damaging the team’s ability to succeed.
This is also true for us mere mortals.
By working long hours we can easily, and without realizing it, go beyond the point of optimal functionality. Mistakes can happen.
We all know people who spend year after year working hard for someone else, barely recognized for their loyalty and commitment and certainly never rewarded with riches.
So we’ve established that hard work alone does not produce success, and having a positive mental attitude alone does not produce success.
They are essential components of success, but only when combined with practice, self-confidence, and the ability to quickly move on from disappointments.
But there’s still one more thing you haven’t been told about.
And that’s the very word all the books use; motivation.
Motivation is Misleading
Motivation is not your friend. It asks you to do something, it asks you to make an effort. If you want to.
It gives you a reason, to not do the work. It gives you an excuse. It holds you back
“I’m just not feeling motivated today”.
It’s best friend is called procrastination.
But what happens if we replace the word ‘motivation’ with ‘discipline’?
We see the action we need to take very differently.
Discipline doesn’t care how you’re feeling. It doesn’t care if you’re having an off day.
Discipline demands that you show up and do it regardless. It demands you get the job done.
It tells you to put everything else aside and focus on what you need to do.
Discipline makes you good.
So what if our cycle for success looks like this:
- Work hard
- Get good at it
- Gain self-confidence
- Have a positive mental attitude
- Ability to bounce back quickly
Each component builds on the last and in its entirety, you have all the elements needed for success.
Ultimately though, in my opinion, success is a moving target. Once you reach one milestone you realize there’s a greater one to achieve.
Maybe for that reason, some of the most successful people I know don’t consider themselves a success, yet they apply each of the six elements in the cycle every day to continue to grow.
So, hopefully, you’ve found this useful and you will use it to achieve whatever success means to you.