Recently I was listening to talk radio on the way to an appointment with a potential new client. The radio host said “we don’t search out ways to fail, as we already know how to do that.”
But, we do search out ways to succeed because that’s what we want to do. Especially in America, there are examples everywhere that we can see, both big and small, of people succeeding. That’s so true. We have it pretty good in America even though many complain and have that all too common disease, “yea but…”
Here are five sure fire ways to fail. I know all too well about these five.
Failing to Plan – I’ve read it was Benjamin Franklin who first said “failing to plan is planning to fail.” I know this to be true both through observation and sadly, through personal experience. Just this week, Cathy (my wife) and I had planned a get-away and because I didn’t check to make sure the plans were solid and all affected parties were clear, I had to cancel at the last minute. I was (ok… am still) pissed off about it. I am sorry Cath!
Not asking for what you want or need – Too many times I’ve seen where a client or even myself was more of a professional visitor and didn’t ask for the sale or what the possibilities were of working together only to see the competition step in. One thing is for sure, if you don’t ask the answer is always no.
Taking too long to act – This one is similar to the one above except it’s more about making a decision and then taking action. Napoleon Hill said in his seminal book, Think and Grow Rich, “Well done is well said.” Procrastination is a killer and translates into giving up on the most important person in your life… You! According to Hill, one of the most common reasons people fail is because of procrastination. He says that it is important to avoid procrastination and take immediate action. Most people will wait and refuse to do things immediately, which causes them to lose motivation and eventually, fail in their venture.
Giving up on your dreams, your plan or your course of action – When I offer my Think and Grow Rich Journey the first assignment is to read the chapter (Chapter 9) on Persistence fourteen days in a row. If you miss a day, you get to start the count all over again. Fourteen days in a row!
Persistence is an extremely important factor that will determine your success and riches in life. Hill says that it is an important habit or practice you need to develop to build faith and succeed in your endeavors. There are a couple of examples given by Hill to show their will and determination in handling difficult moments. One is none other than Thomas Edison, the famous inventor who invented light-bulb. It’s said of Edison, he tried (failed) to make the light bulb 10,000 times before he succeeded.
Choosing not to embark on continuous learning – What you were good at doing yesterday most probably can be done better when you learn news ways of doing, new beliefs and gaining more feedback. With a growth mindset you believe you can continue to learn and grow. With a fixed mindset you believe you’re as good as you’re going to get. What got you where you are now will get you to where you want to go… and that’s absolutely not true. What got you here, rarely will get you to where you want to go.
How do I know about these five? Being completely transparent, I’ve been a student of them and still struggle with some of them from time to time. Writing this is as much for me as it is for you. Hold me accountable to removing these five sure fire ways to fail from my life as you endeavor to remove them from your life too.