I’ve been on this entrepreneurial journey for going on a decade now. About seven of them were years of complete and utter failure in my pursuits…. Well, not complete failure. I did have the opportunity to learn from these failures. It forced me to examine my life and the way I was operating.
A few years back I had the opportunity to be on a call with someone who I believe typifies an entrepreneur and leader. This someone that I was listening to on the phone was Mr. Holton Buggs. Besides being the top earner in the Network Marketing industry for the past four years, he also invests heavily in real estate and retail with his wife Earlene.
On the call Mr. Buggs spoke about his addiction to failure in his earlier years in business. It got me thinking about how, in my life, I showed tendencies to this addiction; this addiction that I am sure many of us suffer from.
So let’s explore these signs, shall we?
You Choose Entertainment Over Education
When I say education, I do not speak of degrees and diplomas. I speak of putting yourself in a position and environment to learn. You can learn from someone who is further along your desired path than you are or you can read books and in personal development by paying big bucks to attend conferences.
In the Caribbean, most people love a good show. We are natural partiers so I know how difficult it is for the average person to forego a lime on the avenue, or clubbing in Zen, or even just to sit at home and watch Game of Thrones season premier instead of using that time in the ways I described above.
I posted on my Facebook page a few days ago, an image that alluded to the fact that the average person would rather spend an hour a week watching Empire but won’t put aside twenty minutes a week to build their own. I have found that to be true. We are often so caught up in what’s going on in the world because its “trending” that we don’t take the time to work on our goals and dreams. Those who are addicted to failure spend more of their time minding everyone else’s business rather than their own; they would prefer to be entertained rather than educated.
You Blame Others For Your Failure
In recent times, due to the increasingly difficult economic climate in the region, we have seen a large number of people being retrenched from jobs they worked at for many years. Most people based their entire livelihood on the job they had.
Many of them took to the newspapers and media houses to express their disgust and despair. A lot of these same people had ideas outside of their jobs that if they had acted upon, they may not have been in the position they are in currently; and now they blame their former employers for their demise. At the risk of sounding insensitive, my mother always told me that she didn’t care what other people did, what she was most concerned about, was how I reacted to what was done to me. She always said, “Never be the victim”.
People who are addicted to failure blame others for their shortcomings.
You Have Dreams But Set No Goals
When I was a young boy, I had a dream of becoming a Computer Engineer. That title just sounded good to me. I was always told that engineers make a lot of money and computers were just becoming popular so I figured that would be the career to make me very successful and wealthy. My parents supported me in that dream.
“Work hard in school and your dreams will come true” they said.
I often thought of how proud they would be of me. It was a great dream. The problem is there was one major gap in my plan. That was my dream but I did not set goals to get me to realize that dream.
I believe it was Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers who said he has a book of hundreds of goals written, with dates of completion. He attributed a lot of his success to this practice of setting clear and definite goals, as do many highly successful people.
Tony Robbins says “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”.
Properly set goals act as a compass on a long journey. Without a compass, we are destined either to not reach our destination, or to take the longer, more difficult and less fulfilling path.
You Are Afraid Of Making Mistakes
As a teacher I believe this current generation lacks character; the type of character that our elders possessed. I would call a student to the board to try a question after the lesson is taught and the student, more times than not, would say that they didn’t want to try. The reason is always the same: they are afraid of making a mistake.
Many of us don’t experience any significant successes in our lives because we are risk averse. We abhor mistakes, when in truth, we should embrace them. When we make mistakes, it means that we are moving forward. It means we are one step closer to success, provided we learn from them.
Paul Martinelli, president of the John Maxwell Team, encourages his students to “build their wings on the way down”.
Mistakes are inevitable. The more we try to avoid them the greater the delay on our successes and the more eminent our failure becomes. Get comfortable with making mistakes. This is the only way for us to really get out of our comfort zones and closer to the success we want.
You Spend Time With People Who Are Going Nowhere
Think about the people you spend the most amount of time with. If these people are not stretching you mentally, spiritually and physically then you are in the wrong company… that is if success is what you want.
Most of us believe that environment is something we have very little control over. I beg to differ. We can, and should control the people we allow around us on a regular basis. Les Brown puts it this way “If you run around with losers, you will end up a loser…unconsciously”.
John Maxwell refers to this phenomenon as the ‘law of the Inner Circle’. This law basically states that a person’s potential is determined by the people who are closest to him or her.
Humans are like sponges, whether you want to believe it or not. You learn by osmosis. It follows then, that if you spend a lot of time with those who have no vision for their lives, or those who are just comfortable with living each day as it comes, you will eventually, if it has not already happened, live your life the same way.
These are some of the habits I have found in my own life and by observation the lives of others that result in failure. So now is your opportunity to start rehab. Don’t tackle every area all at once, you may go crazy, but start.
Wishing you all the success until next time…