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Why People Fail

I have been putting a lot of thought into why some people succeed and others fail. It’s easy to put success down to luck or natural talent, but while there will always be an element of that, it does not seem to be “the answer”.

There seem to be some ingredients that a lot of folks miss. Education is important, but not in the formal qualification sense but more in the continuously learning sense. We tend though to focus just on the knowledge, there is a gap there that needs to be filled and that is where I think the big gains are made.

This has been on my mind since I started talking to Melani about the Mojo Marketing Action Plan coaching and course we are about to run as the entire project came out of a desire to give our customers the best possible tools to make sure they make progress and achieve their goals.

While this is going over in my mind, my wife asked me to join her to watch the latest “The Biggest Loser” on the telly. Now, my wife loves reality TV, but I have to believe there is also a not-so-subtle hint whenever she gets me to watch something where people take exercise, eat healthily, and lose weight. Uh-huh, message received, loud and clear.

This is the third season of the show we are now enjoying. This current show is the Australian version from last year, and I am watching every day, and I am starting to see trends in the people who succeed and who fall behind. Each factor I believe is reflected in life outside of fitness and weight loss.

Here are some key reasons why people fail, learned from watching the Biggest Loser:

  • Willingness – If you want to do anything unfamiliar or where you have previously failed, you need to be willing to accept advice and do what it takes. There are no silver bullets, be they diet pills or magic “million dollar copy and paste formulae”. Instead you have to do hard graft and initially see very few positive results. Not many people are willing to hear this, let alone put it into action, but it is true.
  • Lack of self-belief – When you are constantly telling yourself you can’t, couldn’t, don’t deserve, or whatever, then you get what you think. You either have to believe you can, or at least suspend disbelief! Once you start making progress, no matter how small, you can start believing what you set out to do is possible for you, so the sooner you get started the sooner you get some momentum.
  • Blamestorming – Constantly the contestants find all kinds of reasons for the situation they are in, or get into, but it always seems that it is only towards the end, when they have lost massive amounts of weight and gotten really healthy that they accept they were in the driving seat all along. They put the weight on, they lost it. Now if you look at the business world and around social media, how many people are using similar excuses. It’s not me, it is … fill in the blanks. Only you can do the things that are required to change your situation.
  • Sheep versus Shepherd – So you need to take advice, and take advice from the right people, but all too often we see people get taken in by people who do not have your best interests at heart. Over and over the “bad guy” contestants get their team mates to ignore their coaches, take the fall, do stupid stuff, gang up, or get stabbed in the back. Part of taking responsibility is knowing when you should be lead, when you should lead, and when to say “no”. Evaluate, ask questions, weigh options, trust but verify. Another way people fail with this is friends and family who give you permission to give up, encourage you to do self destructive things, and lead you back to bad habits. Remember people resist change, even when that change is good for you.
  • Execute – All the competitors on the Biggest Loser get the same advice and knowledge, but when left to their own divices many fall back into old patterns. Knowing is not enough. Having ability is not enough. That extra press up is not going to kill you. Writing one more article is not that difficult. It’s not just about duration but what you do in the time. One of my friends told me he had been writing a screenplay for the last two years, but later he admitted he had only written the outline and the first 25% of the pages in draft. How many ideas do you have waiting to be put into action? Thinking about it doesn’t get it done, you have to execute, even when it is uncomfortable. Especially when it is uncomfortable!
  • Closed mind – One thing that guarantees failure before you try is to decide that an idea is unfamiliar so it can’t possibly work. Your existing approach has not worked but that is a familiar concept so we will hold on to it and reject anything else as foreign, see how that works.
  • Over-competitive – A bit of healthy competition is good, it can lift the game for everyone, but sometimes it is taken to silly extremes. Last night’s episode saw a guy stab his own brother in the back for a reward. When it comes to future challenges, do you think he will get the full trust of all the other players? There is a difference between determination to succeed and needing to win at all costs, especially when it comes to the long-term game rather than the immediate battles.

Look over your successes (or lack of) and consider if any apply. I know there are times when I have given up too soon, switched and changed, blamed outside influences rather than look at my own input, etc. But on the flip side, when I have achieved what I set out to do I have had the right mind set and kept with it. Funnily enough just before writing this article I was on a client call and we worked out I had been writing for the web daily for 16 years. I might not be the world’s best writer but I have certainly stuck at it!

Critical Success Factors

  • Decide now – Make the decision, KNOW what you are going to do. As Yoda says, “Do, or do not … There is no try.”
  • Gather resources – Once you know what you are going to do, find out how to achieve that and gather what you need.
  • Staying power – Stick with it, and know in advance that you are going to give it your best shot.
  • Suck it up – When it gets tough, keep going.
  • Be good enough – You don’t have to be the best, just do good. Perfection is not necessary.
  • Be good – Another aspect of being good is being awesome to other people. Even the people who feel diminished by your success or hate that you are reaping rewards. Rise above it.
  • Progress – It’s ok to compete with others, it is essential to compete with yourself. Motivate yourself, benchmark your own progress. Do better than your personal best, then beat that.
  • Get coaches and partners – Some people manage to achieve great things in isolation, but most of us do better when coached and they have the support of team mates or partners.

As I said earlier, Melani and I have put a lot of this thinking into designing our new course to contain all the elements you need to make sure your next business, service, product or program launch is a success, but these elements are important to any project that you have in mind.

What do you think? Anything I have missed? Agree, disagree? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments …

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Comments

  1. Chris,

    good insights. I think everything you mentioned is right on. I read in the Magic of thinking Big about the failure diseases: Excusitis, Procrastination, and Detailiis. I think most things can fit into those categories. the difference to me between failure and success is in the choices we make and the commitment we back them up with. This for me comes down to knowing what I want and why I want it. If I can answer those questions it makes the other ingredients easier to work. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chris,

    good insights. I think everything you mentioned is right on. I read in the Magic of thinking Big about the failure diseases: Excusitis, Procrastination, and Detailiis. I think most things can fit into those categories. the difference to me between failure and success is in the choices we make and the commitment we back them up with. This for me comes down to knowing what I want and why I want it. If I can answer those questions it makes the other ingredients easier to work. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Chris, my wife pulls me into watching the Biggest Loser as well. I guess that is the message isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    I agree with all of your points, but the one that I see the most is Blamestorming. Oh my…it’s disastrous. Too often do we have a tendency to look away from our actions and place the blame elsewhere. (Michael Hyatt talked about something similar the other day) Often it our actions that cause others to do wrong…

    Either way, we owe it to ourselves to view our self externally. Take a step back and humbly re-analyze our decision…

    Great post chrisg! It’s a great reminder.

  4. Chris, my wife pulls me into watching the Biggest Loser as well. I guess that is the message isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    I agree with all of your points, but the one that I see the most is Blamestorming. Oh my…it’s disastrous. Too often do we have a tendency to look away from our actions and place the blame elsewhere. (Michael Hyatt talked about something similar the other day) Often it our actions that cause others to do wrong…

    Either way, we owe it to ourselves to view our self externally. Take a step back and humbly re-analyze our decision…

    Great post chrisg! It’s a great reminder.

  5. I think people fail because they get in the dip (yeh love Seth Godin), and ultimately never decide to stick something out.

    Things are always fun in the beginning, but when they start to become boring or we realize it actually takes some hard work, most people quit. I think it just comes down to picking 1-2 things and sticking to it and mentally deciding that your going to follow it through to the end, no matter how hard it becomes or how much you may want to quit at a certain point.

    I really liked your point about progress and just sucking it up too:)

  6. I think people fail because they get in the dip (yeh love Seth Godin), and ultimately never decide to stick something out.

    Things are always fun in the beginning, but when they start to become boring or we realize it actually takes some hard work, most people quit. I think it just comes down to picking 1-2 things and sticking to it and mentally deciding that your going to follow it through to the end, no matter how hard it becomes or how much you may want to quit at a certain point.

    I really liked your point about progress and just sucking it up too:)

  7. I love the “itis’s” from Chris above πŸ™‚ And agree that it comes down to choices. The choices we make during the day, every day. If we want instant gratification, we’ll usually choose incorrectly. If we keep our long-term goal in mind, we’ll make better choices. Keep the dreams and desires strong and fresh in your mind, and you’ll consistently make the right choices.

  8. I love the “itis’s” from Chris above πŸ™‚ And agree that it comes down to choices. The choices we make during the day, every day. If we want instant gratification, we’ll usually choose incorrectly. If we keep our long-term goal in mind, we’ll make better choices. Keep the dreams and desires strong and fresh in your mind, and you’ll consistently make the right choices.

  9. Chris,

    This article is a great reminder that we all have the ability to succeed inside of us – we just have to want it – and we have to want it more than we want to stay comfortable and continue to do what we know. I don’t think people want to fail at their endeavors whether it be their business, losing weight or a successful relationship – it’s just that they want to be comfortable more.

    I love the part about blamestorming too. I think it’s fascinating that when people are doing really well they rarely have trouble taking responsibility for their success. They talk of their hard work and sacrifices and everything they did to make it happen. But when they aren’t doing well it’s suddenly someone else’s fault. Both can’t be true at the same time. But, naturally, the best part about that is that once you realize you are 100% responsible for both you also realize that you have all of the power. How liberating is that?

    I also love The Biggest Loser. Before and after shows are my fave!

    Looking forward to getting into all of this with you during our upcoming course:)

    Melani

  10. Chris,

    This article is a great reminder that we all have the ability to succeed inside of us – we just have to want it – and we have to want it more than we want to stay comfortable and continue to do what we know. I don’t think people want to fail at their endeavors whether it be their business, losing weight or a successful relationship – it’s just that they want to be comfortable more.

    I love the part about blamestorming too. I think it’s fascinating that when people are doing really well they rarely have trouble taking responsibility for their success. They talk of their hard work and sacrifices and everything they did to make it happen. But when they aren’t doing well it’s suddenly someone else’s fault. Both can’t be true at the same time. But, naturally, the best part about that is that once you realize you are 100% responsible for both you also realize that you have all of the power. How liberating is that?

    I also love The Biggest Loser. Before and after shows are my fave!

    Looking forward to getting into all of this with you during our upcoming course:)

    Melani

  11. Lack of execution is the one I see most often on my travels working with new and learning bloggers.

    Over time it’s dawned on me that you go through phases with all kinds of businesses, and the problem occurs when people get stuck in a phase and don’t move on.

    An example – when I first started a real estate business years ago, around 80% of my time was about getting portfolio to sell. Three years later, we’d reached the point where people were coming to us to sell their houses, so we moved to 0% effort in that direction.

    Applying this to an online business, I see people stuck forever in the traffic building / commenting / guest posting phase, and never moving to the create stuff / sell it / make money phase.

  12. Lack of execution is the one I see most often on my travels working with new and learning bloggers.

    Over time it’s dawned on me that you go through phases with all kinds of businesses, and the problem occurs when people get stuck in a phase and don’t move on.

    An example – when I first started a real estate business years ago, around 80% of my time was about getting portfolio to sell. Three years later, we’d reached the point where people were coming to us to sell their houses, so we moved to 0% effort in that direction.

    Applying this to an online business, I see people stuck forever in the traffic building / commenting / guest posting phase, and never moving to the create stuff / sell it / make money phase.

  13. Personally I think the biggest reason is lack of follow-through. So many people have plans and ideas which change at a whim because something else comes along. If you decide to do something, just do it – don’t allow yourself to quit because you lose focus.

  14. Personally I think the biggest reason is lack of follow-through. So many people have plans and ideas which change at a whim because something else comes along. If you decide to do something, just do it – don’t allow yourself to quit because you lose focus.

  15. STOP THE MADNESS Ah there that feels better. Chris i enjoy your work and think the post is a wonderful observation. I can not and don’t refute a word you say.

    What’s unsaid is Life Happens and we don’t fully appreciate its impact on our situation. An entire industry, billions and billions of dollars are poured into what I call the inadequacy industry. Those who sell telling others who want to buy the miracle of “success” by some definition set by whom? You? Me? People magazine? right ( this is a snarky right to be read with a Robert DeNiro snicker)

    Success as we practice it is a class system. I love Seth Godin, I think he is right on about having a remarkable product to get noticed, to build loyalty. Are there 6 billion remarkables in the world? No, what should we do with the rest?

    Today’s success may well be tomorrow’s failure, Bernie Madoff ring a bell.

    Hell social media has made instant successes out of many and the always present, always on demand to keep up with it.

    I’m not here to pontificate for that would be an hypocrisy. I’m here to say here’s what I’ve learned about me and the term success. These rules apply to me because I choose for them to, if others agree or disagree matters not they have their own idea of success.

    1) I define success thank you

    2) The starting point for my definition of success is my death bed (I thank Stephen Covey for this, the whole what’s on your tombstone thing)

    3) Goals and plans are terrific, especially if you are OK with the stuff you choose not to do when pursuing your goals.

    4) There is a correlation between happiness, your job and your definition of success.

    5) My Success is not relative to others – that’s perception

    6) Success exists all around us, I try to search it out

    Now that I’ve completely was distracted by this post and took 30 minutes to comment, I must get back to pursuing my success – Execute, yeah that’s important for success.

    All the best, have a good weekend.

  16. STOP THE MADNESS Ah there that feels better. Chris i enjoy your work and think the post is a wonderful observation. I can not and don’t refute a word you say.

    What’s unsaid is Life Happens and we don’t fully appreciate its impact on our situation. An entire industry, billions and billions of dollars are poured into what I call the inadequacy industry. Those who sell telling others who want to buy the miracle of “success” by some definition set by whom? You? Me? People magazine? right ( this is a snarky right to be read with a Robert DeNiro snicker)

    Success as we practice it is a class system. I love Seth Godin, I think he is right on about having a remarkable product to get noticed, to build loyalty. Are there 6 billion remarkables in the world? No, what should we do with the rest?

    Today’s success may well be tomorrow’s failure, Bernie Madoff ring a bell.

    Hell social media has made instant successes out of many and the always present, always on demand to keep up with it.

    I’m not here to pontificate for that would be an hypocrisy. I’m here to say here’s what I’ve learned about me and the term success. These rules apply to me because I choose for them to, if others agree or disagree matters not they have their own idea of success.

    1) I define success thank you

    2) The starting point for my definition of success is my death bed (I thank Stephen Covey for this, the whole what’s on your tombstone thing)

    3) Goals and plans are terrific, especially if you are OK with the stuff you choose not to do when pursuing your goals.

    4) There is a correlation between happiness, your job and your definition of success.

    5) My Success is not relative to others – that’s perception

    6) Success exists all around us, I try to search it out

    Now that I’ve completely was distracted by this post and took 30 minutes to comment, I must get back to pursuing my success – Execute, yeah that’s important for success.

    All the best, have a good weekend.

  17. Hi Chris
    I own a yoga studio and all of the points you have raised apply directly to a person starting out with a yoga program as well.

    Pick any endeavor that requires a person to commit to it for an extended period of time, that is difficult or challenging and all of these factors will come into play both on the side of success and on the side of failure.

    Thanks for the well written post.

    Jack

  18. Hi Chris
    I own a yoga studio and all of the points you have raised apply directly to a person starting out with a yoga program as well.

    Pick any endeavor that requires a person to commit to it for an extended period of time, that is difficult or challenging and all of these factors will come into play both on the side of success and on the side of failure.

    Thanks for the well written post.

    Jack

  19. Chris
    Re your point: ‘Get coaches and partners – Some people manage to achieve great things in isolation, but most of us do better when coached and they have the support of team mates or partners’.

    This is so important – being held accountable as opposed to quietly plugging away on your own, wasting valuable time just going around in circles!
    Thanks – Nice Post!

  20. Chris
    Re your point: ‘Get coaches and partners – Some people manage to achieve great things in isolation, but most of us do better when coached and they have the support of team mates or partners’.

    This is so important – being held accountable as opposed to quietly plugging away on your own, wasting valuable time just going around in circles!
    Thanks – Nice Post!

  21. Excellent advice. My biggest mistake was being closed minded. Essentially, I would get advice and act on only part of the advice thinking that I knew better then these people who were WAY more successful than me. I found the root cause was pride and since getting rid of that pride I have had WAY more success in business.

  22. Excellent advice. My biggest mistake was being closed minded. Essentially, I would get advice and act on only part of the advice thinking that I knew better then these people who were WAY more successful than me. I found the root cause was pride and since getting rid of that pride I have had WAY more success in business.

  23. Yes, Definitely a recipe for success. I would have added one other item that may not be totally necessary initially, but pays off in the long run. And that’s taking care of oneself. With that I mean proper nutrition, a little exercise, sufficient sleep and relaxation, and stopping now and again to smell the roses.
    I’ve noticed that when I do stop for awhile and get back to the grind, I’m able to come up with fresh ideas. Chris mentioned doing it even when it’s uncomfortable and I agree, but not to the point where one is uncomfortably exhausted.
    We are like machines in that we do need maintenance and care.

  24. Hey Chris, your spot on with that list. Have you ever read Think & Grow Rich – for a book written in the 1930s it’s message still strongly resonates today. It matches up with a lot of what you say, but goes a lot deeper.

    The author interviewed hundreds of successful people and millionaires of the time to find out what it was about them that caused them to be successful, and cam up for what he believed is a blueprint for success.

    Hit me up and I can hook you up with an audio copy and PDF.

  25. Yes, Definitely a recipe for success. I would have added one other item that may not be totally necessary initially, but pays off in the long run. And that’s taking care of oneself. With that I mean proper nutrition, a little exercise, sufficient sleep and relaxation, and stopping now and again to smell the roses.
    I’ve noticed that when I do stop for awhile and get back to the grind, I’m able to come up with fresh ideas. Chris mentioned doing it even when it’s uncomfortable and I agree, but not to the point where one is uncomfortably exhausted.
    We are like machines in that we do need maintenance and care.

  26. Hey Chris, your spot on with that list. Have you ever read Think & Grow Rich – for a book written in the 1930s it’s message still strongly resonates today. It matches up with a lot of what you say, but goes a lot deeper.

    The author interviewed hundreds of successful people and millionaires of the time to find out what it was about them that caused them to be successful, and cam up for what he believed is a blueprint for success.

    Hit me up and I can hook you up with an audio copy and PDF.

  27. I like what you have to say, but I wouldn’t share the article because you hung it on “The Biggest Loser.” This show is encouraging bad habits, bad ideas, bad health and any “success” on the show is, imho, scary:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10132

    If you re-write these principles without promoting the show, I’d be excited. Succeeding at killing people is not the kind of success I want to mimic.

    So I guess I would add to your list, make sure your coaches and partners have your best interests at heart, or, at the very least, not have interests that would hurt you in the long run.

  28. I like what you have to say, but I wouldn’t share the article because you hung it on “The Biggest Loser.” This show is encouraging bad habits, bad ideas, bad health and any “success” on the show is, imho, scary:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10132

    If you re-write these principles without promoting the show, I’d be excited. Succeeding at killing people is not the kind of success I want to mimic.

    So I guess I would add to your list, make sure your coaches and partners have your best interests at heart, or, at the very least, not have interests that would hurt you in the long run.

  29. I often tell people about how much there is to be learned from TV reality shows but they don’t believe me. This is a great illustration and I will send the unbelievers here to have a look.

  30. I often tell people about how much there is to be learned from TV reality shows but they don’t believe me. This is a great illustration and I will send the unbelievers here to have a look.

  31. One thing I’ve noticed is that people have a lot of self-belief in one area, but very little in another. For example, my friend is a hella talented personal trainer with a focus on rehab and correction. But he was at 24 hour fitness, which didnt’ let him do what he really wanted to do — most of his clients were people who wanted to lose weight or get ripped.

    It took him a year to convince himself that he could do it — when he’d already helped tons of people with their health goals, majored in a science, taken extra classes and gotten extra certifications, and maintained his own physique. He was clearly a person of action, but just couldn’t see it past his own particular area.

  32. One thing I’ve noticed is that people have a lot of self-belief in one area, but very little in another. For example, my friend is a hella talented personal trainer with a focus on rehab and correction. But he was at 24 hour fitness, which didnt’ let him do what he really wanted to do — most of his clients were people who wanted to lose weight or get ripped.

    It took him a year to convince himself that he could do it — when he’d already helped tons of people with their health goals, majored in a science, taken extra classes and gotten extra certifications, and maintained his own physique. He was clearly a person of action, but just couldn’t see it past his own particular area.

  33. We do seem to be nearing the end of the current “get rich quick” era. Although, it’s like the end of the recession, it may never totally go away. You’re critical success factors really make sense, and I think the most under-utilized one is the partner/coach idea. With the right help, those other factors become more realistic and having the right push, just like in the show, can lead to your greatest success. Thanks!

  34. We do seem to be nearing the end of the current “get rich quick” era. Although, it’s like the end of the recession, it may never totally go away. You’re critical success factors really make sense, and I think the most under-utilized one is the partner/coach idea. With the right help, those other factors become more realistic and having the right push, just like in the show, can lead to your greatest success. Thanks!

  35. To keep creating new content, testing new products, etc is pretty challenging over the years when you’ve ‘failed’ repeatedly (lack of sales, etc). A strong will and passion for your niche is vital.

    After reading ‘Rework’ I’m trying to create things that I need/want so even if no one else does, the creation of the product will have been a useful learning experience for me.

  36. To keep creating new content, testing new products, etc is pretty challenging over the years when you’ve ‘failed’ repeatedly (lack of sales, etc). A strong will and passion for your niche is vital.

    After reading ‘Rework’ I’m trying to create things that I need/want so even if no one else does, the creation of the product will have been a useful learning experience for me.

  37. Hey Chris

    The important factor about having coaches when you’re starting out on a new endeavour is not just the teaching you get from them – it’s also the regular feedback you get on your implementation that’s critical. Unless you know you’re doing something wrong you can’t correct it. Sounds obvious I know – just about EVERY bass guitar student I have started out self taught. And EVERY one of them has technique faults that need correcting before we can really start to make progress.

  38. Hey Chris

    The important factor about having coaches when you’re starting out on a new endeavour is not just the teaching you get from them – it’s also the regular feedback you get on your implementation that’s critical. Unless you know you’re doing something wrong you can’t correct it. Sounds obvious I know – just about EVERY bass guitar student I have started out self taught. And EVERY one of them has technique faults that need correcting before we can really start to make progress.

  39. Thanks Chris,
    Nice collection of suggestions. I watch the Biggest Loser because of my significant other. She has been watching the show for several years and has turned me on to it. I take away the importance of working hard and the experience of seeing someone change before my eyes inspiring.

    @Chris Tew,
    Napolian Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich and I would agree with you a great book with lots of fascinating ideas. A few that I still use today after reading it fifteen years ago. Great recommendation. He also wrote a nine volume series that expands upon his ideas even more. Sadly, I only have eight of the volumes.

  40. Thanks Chris,
    Nice collection of suggestions. I watch the Biggest Loser because of my significant other. She has been watching the show for several years and has turned me on to it. I take away the importance of working hard and the experience of seeing someone change before my eyes inspiring.

    @Chris Tew,
    Napolian Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich and I would agree with you a great book with lots of fascinating ideas. A few that I still use today after reading it fifteen years ago. Great recommendation. He also wrote a nine volume series that expands upon his ideas even more. Sadly, I only have eight of the volumes.

  41. I too enjoyed the post Chris. Interestingly I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Consistently in the material I’ve been reading *discipline* is noted as the underlying factor for those who succeed and those who don’t. (And success can be self-defined or goals set external — i.e. job responsibilities.)

    Here are a few books to consider:
    1. Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose, Matthew Kelly (Awesome!Heart felt – drives to your core…)
    2. The Power of Discipline, 7 Ways to Change Your Life, Brian Tracy
    3. Success is Not an Accident, Tommy Newberry
    4. Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
    5. Everything by Larry Winget (e.g. The Idoit Factor – 10 ways we sabotage our life, money and business… Ya gotta love this guy he’s so refreshingly blunt.)
    6. David Allen’s series on getting things done (Making it all work; Getting things done; etc.)
    7. You are What you Think, David Stoop

    Hope this helps your readers.
    4.

  42. I too enjoyed the post Chris. Interestingly I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Consistently in the material I’ve been reading *discipline* is noted as the underlying factor for those who succeed and those who don’t. (And success can be self-defined or goals set external — i.e. job responsibilities.)

    Here are a few books to consider:
    1. Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose, Matthew Kelly (Awesome!Heart felt – drives to your core…)
    2. The Power of Discipline, 7 Ways to Change Your Life, Brian Tracy
    3. Success is Not an Accident, Tommy Newberry
    4. Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
    5. Everything by Larry Winget (e.g. The Idoit Factor – 10 ways we sabotage our life, money and business… Ya gotta love this guy he’s so refreshingly blunt.)
    6. David Allen’s series on getting things done (Making it all work; Getting things done; etc.)
    7. You are What you Think, David Stoop

    Hope this helps your readers.
    4.

  43. Execution is key in all that we do. However, you need to believe that it is possible in the first place. It is hard to excel when you see so many people that are apparently much more talented then you are.

    We love reality shows because they make us think that we can be successful too (for a moment). When the hard work starts, we start to make excuses that we don’t have what it takes. We live in a ‘cult of celebrity’ where we glorify and attribute super-human qualities to famous people. We think we are not smart enough, young enough, rich enough, pretty enough, etc. There are a lot of enoughs.

    The problem in my view is that we are all trying to out perform others rather than be ourselves. Failure comes from trying to copy others when we need to focus on what makes us unique.

    Success is a function of combing intensely focused effort towards our own unique characters and passions.

    Look at any highly successful person and you will find that they likely excelled because they followed their own path. Initially that very uniqueness was ridiculed and ignored. Persistence of that original strangeness brings success eventually if you do it long enough.

    Unfortunately, too many are too afraid to be themselves and risk that original ridicule. Even less are willing to put in the long-term effort necessary to excel at their chosen endeavor.

  44. Execution is key in all that we do. However, you need to believe that it is possible in the first place. It is hard to excel when you see so many people that are apparently much more talented then you are.

    We love reality shows because they make us think that we can be successful too (for a moment). When the hard work starts, we start to make excuses that we don’t have what it takes. We live in a ‘cult of celebrity’ where we glorify and attribute super-human qualities to famous people. We think we are not smart enough, young enough, rich enough, pretty enough, etc. There are a lot of enoughs.

    The problem in my view is that we are all trying to out perform others rather than be ourselves. Failure comes from trying to copy others when we need to focus on what makes us unique.

    Success is a function of combing intensely focused effort towards our own unique characters and passions.

    Look at any highly successful person and you will find that they likely excelled because they followed their own path. Initially that very uniqueness was ridiculed and ignored. Persistence of that original strangeness brings success eventually if you do it long enough.

    Unfortunately, too many are too afraid to be themselves and risk that original ridicule. Even less are willing to put in the long-term effort necessary to excel at their chosen endeavor.

  45. I love that word: blamestorming. It’s always amazing to me how people’s excuses feel real to themselves but others see through them.

    Once you take 100% responsibility for yourself, the game changes: you are on the path to winning. You also have a really hard time listening to others’ excuses, but knowing they are where you once were helps stop you from punching them in the face. πŸ™‚

  46. I love that word: blamestorming. It’s always amazing to me how people’s excuses feel real to themselves but others see through them.

    Once you take 100% responsibility for yourself, the game changes: you are on the path to winning. You also have a really hard time listening to others’ excuses, but knowing they are where you once were helps stop you from punching them in the face. πŸ™‚

  47. I think you make a good point about believing in what is possible FOR YOU.

    We all have different abilities, aptitude, and potential. Nevertheless mass culture likes to treat everybody as “the same.” If the “average” person can’t easily accomplish a task, you’re told you can’t do it. We’re swimming in a see of absolute mediocrity. Unless your goal in life is to be “mediocre” it doesn’t matter what the “average” person can do.

    The average person needs to develop self-esteem, lose some weight, stop watching so much TV, and get some goals. The average person is pretty depressing and anyone basing their life plan around that isn’t going to be achieving much of anything.

    I don’t know what everybody else can do, but it’s irrelevant to me. I’m not everybody else. I only have to worry about learning and growing and what I can do.

  48. I think you make a good point about believing in what is possible FOR YOU.

    We all have different abilities, aptitude, and potential. Nevertheless mass culture likes to treat everybody as “the same.” If the “average” person can’t easily accomplish a task, you’re told you can’t do it. We’re swimming in a see of absolute mediocrity. Unless your goal in life is to be “mediocre” it doesn’t matter what the “average” person can do.

    The average person needs to develop self-esteem, lose some weight, stop watching so much TV, and get some goals. The average person is pretty depressing and anyone basing their life plan around that isn’t going to be achieving much of anything.

    I don’t know what everybody else can do, but it’s irrelevant to me. I’m not everybody else. I only have to worry about learning and growing and what I can do.

  49. I’d add a couple additional critical success factors:

    If you own a business and you’re going to spend money on advertising and marketing, make sure you accurately track your results! I see so many small business owners wasting thousands of dollars on advertising each year and they don’t even know if because they aren’t tracking their results!

    Related to this is listening to what every tom, dick and harry has to say about everything. Surveying customers can be a good thing, but at some point you need to pick a direction, be confident and stay the course!

    Great blog!

    Ben

  50. I’d add a couple additional critical success factors:

    If you own a business and you’re going to spend money on advertising and marketing, make sure you accurately track your results! I see so many small business owners wasting thousands of dollars on advertising each year and they don’t even know if because they aren’t tracking their results!

    Related to this is listening to what every tom, dick and harry has to say about everything. Surveying customers can be a good thing, but at some point you need to pick a direction, be confident and stay the course!

    Great blog!

    Ben

  51. Good insightful post Chris.

    As far as coaches and partners go I think people need to do their due diligence. If they are joining a program, find out who the coaches and partners are involved in a program. Determine if you can work with their style before you commit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t get a good feel for the coaches and partners involved in a program move on until you find a good fit.

  52. Good insightful post Chris.

    As far as coaches and partners go I think people need to do their due diligence. If they are joining a program, find out who the coaches and partners are involved in a program. Determine if you can work with their style before you commit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t get a good feel for the coaches and partners involved in a program move on until you find a good fit.

  53. after long gap I read your article. Very informative and useful.

  54. after long gap I read your article. Very informative and useful.

  55. Everything you said is right on. I think that there is a lot to be said for being stubborn and tenacious but with the open mindedness to listen to others and know when to back off somewhat. Sort of like fishing you need to be patient and sometimes give the fish some slack and sometimes some tension. It all comes down to old fashion common sense and tenacity.

  56. Everything you said is right on. I think that there is a lot to be said for being stubborn and tenacious but with the open mindedness to listen to others and know when to back off somewhat. Sort of like fishing you need to be patient and sometimes give the fish some slack and sometimes some tension. It all comes down to old fashion common sense and tenacity.

  57. “Do or do not”- gotta love Yoda. Often our success comes from a simple decision and full commitment to do. That’s the first and the most important step that a lot of people overlook. I appreciate the value you bring Chris, awesome post!

  58. “Do or do not”- gotta love Yoda. Often our success comes from a simple decision and full commitment to do. That’s the first and the most important step that a lot of people overlook. I appreciate the value you bring Chris, awesome post!

  59. I always think about “My Name is Earl” when it comes to my strategy: Do good things and good things happen. Do bad things and bad things happen πŸ™‚

    What you’re saying about being good is important. I have always thought about trying to be the best, but good is enough. You have to be better than most people, but you don’t have to be the best.

  60. I always think about “My Name is Earl” when it comes to my strategy: Do good things and good things happen. Do bad things and bad things happen πŸ™‚

    What you’re saying about being good is important. I have always thought about trying to be the best, but good is enough. You have to be better than most people, but you don’t have to be the best.

  61. @David – “Excusitis, Procrastination, and Detailiis” – very cool πŸ™‚

    @Brandon – Thanks for the link, will check it out πŸ™‚

    @James – I really need to read the dip – got behind on the Godin stuff

    @Mike – True, sticking to long term goals instead of instant gratification

    @Melani – Thought you might like it πŸ˜‰

    @Mike CJ – yeah people often get stuck in the familiar or can’t/won’t budge to the next step because of self-inflicted barriers

    @David – Exactly, and just deciding that you are going to do something no matter what can be a huge difference

    @Albert – Yes your success can only be defined by you. What I see though are people who SAY they want to achieve something, but do not do the stuff necessary to back up what they say with action?

    @Jack – Indeed, I have experienced the same thing with guitar of all things πŸ˜‰

    @Kaye – Being accountable and picking the right people to discuss your plans with are a huge part, yup

    @George – Pride is a strange one, it is nice to be proud of your achievements but then it goes too far and we stop listening

    @John – oh yeah, I really ought to look after myself more – it definitely has an impact

    @Chris – I think I do have a copy around somewhere …

    @Pattie – Will check the link out, thanks

    @Keiran – Well, I guess depends on the reality show – apparently many reality shows are not real πŸ˜‰

    @Kat – I see this too – It is possible I guess to be supported and get good feedback in an area that bolsters our self belief while the rest of our being lacks the support we need?

    @Rob C – I’m not sure the get rich quick mentality will ever go away entirely, but hopefully more people will see what it really takes.

    @Will – That’s often a good way to go, but I think “pleasing yourself” has to be balanced with having an actual market before you will make any money πŸ™‚

    @paul – Yes course correction is vital, otherwise there is no balance to the “just plow on” mentality that we also need πŸ™‚

    @Devin – 8 volumes? Does it give you much more information?

    @Judy – Great book list, will check those out πŸ™‚

    @John – Belief can be important, but it is funny in my case I wanted to have a book in print but didn’t actually believe it was possible for me until I saw my first one in my hands … then I thought “couldn’t have been that difficult after all” πŸ˜‰

    @Michael – Ah yeah, I do not have the face punch instinct quite as strong as you do but I hear ya πŸ˜‰

    @Zoe – It’s also worth remembering that often that growth is painful and often pain is equated with failure because the average person avoids pain at all cost!

    @Ben – Tracking results goes for everything not just advertising πŸ™‚

    @Nancie – A good fit as you say is important, you have to connect with a coach and it is not all about what they can do, but what you can do with their help

    @Yusuf – Thanks πŸ™‚

    @Ben – Unfortunately (and I do say this too much, heh), common sense is seldom common practice πŸ™‚

    @Lana – Yup, we have to do each individual step, without being overwhelmed bu the whole

    @Jens – I love My Name is Earl! πŸ™‚

  62. @David – “Excusitis, Procrastination, and Detailiis” – very cool πŸ™‚

    @Brandon – Thanks for the link, will check it out πŸ™‚

    @James – I really need to read the dip – got behind on the Godin stuff

    @Mike – True, sticking to long term goals instead of instant gratification

    @Melani – Thought you might like it πŸ˜‰

    @Mike CJ – yeah people often get stuck in the familiar or can’t/won’t budge to the next step because of self-inflicted barriers

    @David – Exactly, and just deciding that you are going to do something no matter what can be a huge difference

    @Albert – Yes your success can only be defined by you. What I see though are people who SAY they want to achieve something, but do not do the stuff necessary to back up what they say with action?

    @Jack – Indeed, I have experienced the same thing with guitar of all things πŸ˜‰

    @Kaye – Being accountable and picking the right people to discuss your plans with are a huge part, yup

    @George – Pride is a strange one, it is nice to be proud of your achievements but then it goes too far and we stop listening

    @John – oh yeah, I really ought to look after myself more – it definitely has an impact

    @Chris – I think I do have a copy around somewhere …

    @Pattie – Will check the link out, thanks

    @Keiran – Well, I guess depends on the reality show – apparently many reality shows are not real πŸ˜‰

    @Kat – I see this too – It is possible I guess to be supported and get good feedback in an area that bolsters our self belief while the rest of our being lacks the support we need?

    @Rob C – I’m not sure the get rich quick mentality will ever go away entirely, but hopefully more people will see what it really takes.

    @Will – That’s often a good way to go, but I think “pleasing yourself” has to be balanced with having an actual market before you will make any money πŸ™‚

    @paul – Yes course correction is vital, otherwise there is no balance to the “just plow on” mentality that we also need πŸ™‚

    @Devin – 8 volumes? Does it give you much more information?

    @Judy – Great book list, will check those out πŸ™‚

    @John – Belief can be important, but it is funny in my case I wanted to have a book in print but didn’t actually believe it was possible for me until I saw my first one in my hands … then I thought “couldn’t have been that difficult after all” πŸ˜‰

    @Michael – Ah yeah, I do not have the face punch instinct quite as strong as you do but I hear ya πŸ˜‰

    @Zoe – It’s also worth remembering that often that growth is painful and often pain is equated with failure because the average person avoids pain at all cost!

    @Ben – Tracking results goes for everything not just advertising πŸ™‚

    @Nancie – A good fit as you say is important, you have to connect with a coach and it is not all about what they can do, but what you can do with their help

    @Yusuf – Thanks πŸ™‚

    @Ben – Unfortunately (and I do say this too much, heh), common sense is seldom common practice πŸ™‚

    @Lana – Yup, we have to do each individual step, without being overwhelmed bu the whole

    @Jens – I love My Name is Earl! πŸ™‚

  63. There is no way I could disagree with this post, and most of the comments, because they match a small project I’ve been working on and am now sharing. Several points are almost the same, and in the Execute point I was reminded of a Bruce Lee quote I’m including in my content:

    β€œKnowing is not enough, we must do. Willing is not enough, we must apply.” – Bruce Lee

    Through experience and research these general rules have come become more functional in my mind, universally so. That’s one of the biggest points to me, actually trying things out to see if it works for you. In a way it’s another form of being closed minded, by saying we have to achieve through a particular method.

    As others have said, great post, and for any interested, my project is at http:www.LegacyOfLore.com where I hope to be sharing the free ebook, well booklet, on this stuff soon. First I have to finish it … sounds like execution, again. πŸ˜›

  64. There is no way I could disagree with this post, and most of the comments, because they match a small project I’ve been working on and am now sharing. Several points are almost the same, and in the Execute point I was reminded of a Bruce Lee quote I’m including in my content:

    β€œKnowing is not enough, we must do. Willing is not enough, we must apply.” – Bruce Lee

    Through experience and research these general rules have come become more functional in my mind, universally so. That’s one of the biggest points to me, actually trying things out to see if it works for you. In a way it’s another form of being closed minded, by saying we have to achieve through a particular method.

    As others have said, great post, and for any interested, my project is at http:www.LegacyOfLore.com where I hope to be sharing the free ebook, well booklet, on this stuff soon. First I have to finish it … sounds like execution, again. πŸ˜›

  65. As a 30-year vet of the financial business, I simply work harder than everyone else. Good things will always happen if you do that. Unless, I run into someone like me!

  66. As a 30-year vet of the financial business, I simply work harder than everyone else. Good things will always happen if you do that. Unless, I run into someone like me!

  67. Chris, I’m right-on with agreement with your observations.

    As for if there is more – here are a few elements that immediately jump to mind.

    1. Resilience…this is something we build over time – actually by acting consistently, constantly in trying again in areas where we yet have no evidence or proof – only your mention of “belief.”

    2. Identifying and then building on our strengths – and leaving buffing up all those mediocre weaknesses to someone else. (this is truly amazing to me that whole industries are convinced to invest in something when I’ve literally NEVER had a talented client ever, ever need a stronger weakness.)

    3. Risk — this connects directly to your “willingness” factor. That repeat trip into the unknown definitely correlates with your other factors – but to me, also deserves a place of its’ own, as well. There are those simply who should not “risk” in this same way – simply because it just unravels them too much. While anyone can learn to risk a bit more – and to get a bit more comfortable doing some, for others it really is simply too stress-inducing to encourage. It takes all kinds – but the successful also know when NOT to risk and WHAT not to risk, as well, in my view.

    I’d love to follow your additional learnings and see what you end up offering your people. Sounds to me like a worthwhile undertaking you’re designing.

    A Reader in Austin Texas USA – referred by a favorite in a teeny-tiny town of Alva, Oklahoma USA – @Becky McCray – whose tweet I just saw post a few moments back. That’s also a continuous learner, a winner in many ways, and a lady with plenty of good taste so it’s fun to follow her lead.

  68. Chris, I’m right-on with agreement with your observations.

    As for if there is more – here are a few elements that immediately jump to mind.

    1. Resilience…this is something we build over time – actually by acting consistently, constantly in trying again in areas where we yet have no evidence or proof – only your mention of “belief.”

    2. Identifying and then building on our strengths – and leaving buffing up all those mediocre weaknesses to someone else. (this is truly amazing to me that whole industries are convinced to invest in something when I’ve literally NEVER had a talented client ever, ever need a stronger weakness.)

    3. Risk — this connects directly to your “willingness” factor. That repeat trip into the unknown definitely correlates with your other factors – but to me, also deserves a place of its’ own, as well. There are those simply who should not “risk” in this same way – simply because it just unravels them too much. While anyone can learn to risk a bit more – and to get a bit more comfortable doing some, for others it really is simply too stress-inducing to encourage. It takes all kinds – but the successful also know when NOT to risk and WHAT not to risk, as well, in my view.

    I’d love to follow your additional learnings and see what you end up offering your people. Sounds to me like a worthwhile undertaking you’re designing.

    A Reader in Austin Texas USA – referred by a favorite in a teeny-tiny town of Alva, Oklahoma USA – @Becky McCray – whose tweet I just saw post a few moments back. That’s also a continuous learner, a winner in many ways, and a lady with plenty of good taste so it’s fun to follow her lead.

  69. daffodil1209 says:

    Totally disagree – in the time I’ve spent watching the Biggest Loser, my heart-felt impression is that so many participants carry very old wounds – If you’re in constant pain, it makes sense that you’d do something that alleviates it. Whether it’s chocolate or fries or cocaine, or whatnot- seems like eliminating the pain is the key. Granted, for some participants it’s just years worth of bad habits. But for others, it’s a whole lot more pain being held somewhere in their body/mind. I can’t imagine that having Jillian screaming at you would make you feel better.

  70. daffodil1209 says:

    Totally disagree – in the time I’ve spent watching the Biggest Loser, my heart-felt impression is that so many participants carry very old wounds – If you’re in constant pain, it makes sense that you’d do something that alleviates it. Whether it’s chocolate or fries or cocaine, or whatnot- seems like eliminating the pain is the key. Granted, for some participants it’s just years worth of bad habits. But for others, it’s a whole lot more pain being held somewhere in their body/mind. I can’t imagine that having Jillian screaming at you would make you feel better.

  71. @Steven – Love the Bruce Lee quote πŸ™‚

    @Skip C – That’s when working hard + smart comes in I guess πŸ˜‰

    @Sherry – Great additions and thanks to Becky πŸ™‚

    @daffodil1209 – From what I understand the contestants get counselling both the coaches and behind the scenes. On the australian show a big deal is made out of the participants getting a mental breakthrough, which usually involves an emotional release and discovering the root cause of their problems. This is no different to many people in business and life who carry issues from earlier life around and it inhibits them, from fears to low self-esteem – 99% of success is mental.

  72. @Steven – Love the Bruce Lee quote πŸ™‚

    @Skip C – That’s when working hard + smart comes in I guess πŸ˜‰

    @Sherry – Great additions and thanks to Becky πŸ™‚

    @daffodil1209 – From what I understand the contestants get counselling both the coaches and behind the scenes. On the australian show a big deal is made out of the participants getting a mental breakthrough, which usually involves an emotional release and discovering the root cause of their problems. This is no different to many people in business and life who carry issues from earlier life around and it inhibits them, from fears to low self-esteem – 99% of success is mental.

  73. Blamestorming ? I should have come up with that word, it’s awesome !

    Everything you do that results in giving away your power leaves you a victim.

    Solid tips, it all comes down to mindset I think. Just go straight into the action and hustle !

  74. Blamestorming ? I should have come up with that word, it’s awesome !

    Everything you do that results in giving away your power leaves you a victim.

    Solid tips, it all comes down to mindset I think. Just go straight into the action and hustle !

  75. Chris,
    Thanks for the great post and I look forward to the Mojo Marketing Action Plan. I too hate reality TV except for the Biggest Loser because instead of negatively effecting lives, it seeks to improve them. Great concept.

    I was happy to see you put willingness first. People must be willing to succeed/ fail in life, otherwise whats the point? We learn the most from our failures not the success stories, and we should always lend a helping hand to those behind.

  76. Chris,
    Thanks for the great post and I look forward to the Mojo Marketing Action Plan. I too hate reality TV except for the Biggest Loser because instead of negatively effecting lives, it seeks to improve them. Great concept.

    I was happy to see you put willingness first. People must be willing to succeed/ fail in life, otherwise whats the point? We learn the most from our failures not the success stories, and we should always lend a helping hand to those behind.

  77. Great rundown. Persistence, persistence, and persistence seem to be key ingredients. Love “blamestorming” as well.

  78. Great rundown. Persistence, persistence, and persistence seem to be key ingredients. Love “blamestorming” as well.

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