5 Reasons You Aren't Achieving Success
Too often entrepreneurs and hopeful wantrepreneurs are enchanted by the perceived brilliance of an idea that comes to mind. With their thoughts steadily focused on the grand prize as soon as they put the idea into action, and the sky being the limit.
Too often do they disregard and fail to incorporate the probability of failure into the overflowing optimism. According to the Small Business Administration study as of March 2014, only about half of newly started businesses make it past the 5 year mark , and only about one third make it to 10+ years.
How Successful Entrepreneurs Think
It is interesting to contrast what is seemingly the majority of the entrepreneurs and hopeful business owners, who glow with optimism and are ever so ready to provide an instinctively quick, “I’ll figure it out,” answer to any proposed obstacle to their goals, with that of successful businesses owners, such as Elon Musk for example.
Musk started the now famous company Tesla more than 10 years ago now, but even from the beginning he never failed to incorporate the realistic probability of success into his perception of the future. On the formulation of Tesla, Musk had this to say in an interview with GeekWire, “I thought we’d most likely fail,” he said. “I thought that we’d at least address the false perception that people had that an electric car had to be ugly and slow and boring like a golf cart.”
Jack Dorsey, a billionaire and the famous co-founder of Twitter, pitched his second company called Square to investors with a list of “140 Reasons Why Square Will Fail.” In doing so he was able to critically think about the future ahead and thereby decrease his chances of being caught off guard.
5 Reasons You Won’t Succeed
1. You fail to incorporate the probability and cause of failure
Your idea is not the best thing since the invention of the wheel, accept it and embrace it. There is actually a good chance that many have conceived of your idea prior to you but have not had the desire or the means to pursue it. The sooner you realize it the better off you will be; because then you can focus on and analyze what made other’s fail in their pursuit, or why they opted out of pursuing the idea in the first place. You’ll examine the risk factors more closely.
2. You don’t read
Reading material related to your industry and the complementary industries is invaluable in starting and growing a successful business. You can never have enough knowledge about your particular industry, and you should take the approach of never labeling yourself an expert (unless that is your business in itself), and always strive to increase your knowledge base.
Particularly knowledge related to your chosen industry, study successful competitors and failed ventures; see where others went wrong, adjust accordingly.
3. You don’t listen
Who wants to listen nowadays anyway? You should want to. Especially to experienced people who have tried and failed; but also the successful ones as well. Given the choice between the two however, you should listen to the man who tried and failed before the one who succeeded. Luck can play both ways, and some will succeed with its grace, while others fail in its absence.
The ones that fail however will remember vividly the details and events that led up to their downfall. The victor writes history as they say, so be weary of the stories people who succeed tell you as the reasons for their success, they aren’t necessarily false, but the successful person can list factors that had nothing to do with their success in reality, as contributory.
4. You lack integrity
You may think that doing the right thing when no one is watching is a silly old saying from childhood, meant to keep you from misbehaving while your parents leave you home alone. When in fact, doing the right thing when no one is watching is what entrepreneurship is all about, it’s the basis of you entire business.
Will you do the right thing behind the scenes and thereby build a business with a foundation filled with integrity, or will you swipe under the rug the things you don’t want others to see? The choice is yours, but it is important to remember Will Rogers’ quote, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” Having integrity will help you both when you’re doing well, and in tough times.
5. You take but give nothing in return
This doesn’t necessarily mean you turn into a philanthropist and give all you have before you even have anything. It does however imply that many people readily take on a constant basis without providing any value in return. The last thing you want to do is build a reputation as that of a taker who has nothing to give in return; because everyone has something to give.
Provide services and little or big favors to your fellow colleagues and business associates even when you’re not expected to, and expect nothing in return. Giving should make you happy, you should want to give and help others out to the best of you capabilities. There’s always time, you just have to want to do it. You may not get anything back in the short term, but your deeds will not be forgotten.
Why You Should Give It Your All Anyway
When Elon Musk was asked why he went ahead and tried to build Tesla anyway, he simply replied, “If something's important enough you should try. Even if you — the probable outcome is failure.”