By Azugbene Solomon
I’m guessing that you’re holding yourself back because of one of the following reasons.
Everybody wants to be successful in some way, shape, or form.
The trouble is, most people want to be seen or known as successful–more than they want to break the necessary bad habits required to actually be successful.
That’s because the lifestyle and rewards that come with success make everything seem easy.
People think: “Once I’m successful, I’ll have all the time in the world to do whatever I want.”
People think: “Once I’m successful, I’ll never have to work hard again.”
People think: “Once I’m successful, I won’t have to worry about things like money.”
And since those are the rewards they’re after, that’s all they focus on:
If they still don’t have “all the time in the world,” they’re unsuccessful.
If they’re still working, they’re unsuccessful.
If they’re still worrying about money, they’re unsuccessful.
As a result, they stay focused on all the wrong things–and ironically, never truly become successful.
People that fall short in life do so by their own volition. Unfortunately, they never realize it. They move through life chasing all the things they see other people enjoying at the end, without also seeing the habits, behaviors, and decisions those people had to make all along the way.
If you want to know why you’re not as successful as you should be, it’s probably because of one of these reasons:
1. You’re Lazy
This is the first and the most common reason that someone is not successful, according to author Jim Kukral. He adds, “Every single successful person works their butts off to get where they are. It’s ok to be lazy if you want to. Just admit it. But don’t whine about not being rich and successful, okay?”
2. You Keep Asking “Why Not Me?”
Speaking of complaining, stop wasting your time asking why other people are successful and you’re not. In most cases it wasn’t because they have inherited wealth or won the lottery. Every person in this world has either gone through – is going through now – or will get their chance for struggles. Everyone get to take their turn at hardship. Maybe it’s your turn. Instead of complaining, make a positive change that will help you pull out of your slump and find success.
3. You Get Stuck in Your Head
You’ll notice that there’s a common theme with successful people. They act on their dreams. Instead of only dreaming and overanalyzing everything that could go wrong, they start on the dream – they start laying the groundwork. As NHL legend Wayne Gretzky once said,”You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Make your shot.
4. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
Did you know that the average American checks their Facebook, Twitter, or other social accounts a whopping 17 times a day? I know engaging your customers and influencers is important, but you don’t need to spend every free moment on social media. I have found that the best schedule for social is news and articles in the morning and make these quick reads, and make a quick personal and family social connection in the evening when things from the day calm down a little. Determine the amount of time you will spend on each of these times and stick to it.
5. You Never Finish What Your Started
Plenty of wise men have said, “Starting is easy, finishing is hard.” While it is important to know when to throw in the towel, you have to be patient and willing to see a project through. Remember, success never happens overnight, and anything that is really worth doing takes time and effort.
6. You Don’t Think a Business
Whether you’re a freelance writer or owner of an eCommerce site that sells basketball shoes, you’ll never be successful if you believe that you’re not actually a business. If you’re relying on this income, then it’s a real business and you need to start treating it like you would any other 9-to-5 job.
7. You Don’t Believe in Yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, then are you willing to make any serious attempts? Even if it’s celebrating a small victory, like getting the contact information of a potential client, you need to find ways that will give your confidence a boost. Don’t run yourself down to others or even to yourself. It usually takes effort and doing the hard work that give actual better self-esteem.
8. You Feel Entitled
You’re not owed anything. If you want something badly, you’re going to have to go out there and earn it. Believing you are entitled slows you down and causes you to be waiting to see if something great will happen for you. Make it happen.
9. You Obsess Over Things That Aren’t Important
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have any other hobbies or interests outside of work, but when you’re more concerned about whether or not Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ will be available to stream on iTunes, as opposed to following up with a lead that has the potential to make some cash, then that’s a problem.
10. You Stay in Your Comfort Zone
Your comfort zone is a place where you feel safe and assured. While that comfort zone is needed from time-to-time, staying in your comfort zone ultimately leads to stagnation and sometimes it can lead to fear. You’ll never be able to grow and develop if you stay in one place.
11. You’re Not As Productive As You Could Be
Just because you’re working 8 or more hours a day doesn’t mean that you’re actually productive. Between distractions, breaks, and spending too much time on one task, you may actually only be working a couple hours a day. Invest in time management and time tracking tools to discover how productive your days really are so that you can make the appropriate changes.
12. You Focus Too Much on Money
If you start a business just because you think it will make you a billionaire, then you’re doing wrong. The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners aren’t fixated on money. They are focused on a making a great product first. There is a saying that says if you find what you really love to do, you will never work a day in your life.
13. You’re Not Passionate
If you’re not loving what you do, you’ll put 50% effort when you should be putting 100%. Without passion, you won’t stay inspired and motivated – especially when times get tough.
14. You’re a Negative Thinker
If you’re a negative thinker, or just a pessimist, then you’re going to put-up roadblocks to success – before you even try. In other words, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Work on a becoming a positive thinker by surrounding yourself with positive people and becoming more aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the self-talk conversations you have with yourself. Notice if your main conversations with others are ones where you dump all of your grievances on them. If that is the balance of your conversations – change it.
15. You Haven’t Established Goals
You plan nothing. You believe that someway everything you are hoping that will happen will magically appear in-front of you. It doesn’t work like that. Set goals and go for it. If you are not a big planner and not a big list maker – great. Start with being a small planner and a small list maker. One goal and one thing on the list at a time is fine.
16. You Don’t Know Who You Are
Sun Tzu wrote in ‘The Art of War,’ “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” This means that you need to know what you’re good at, what skills you can bring to the table, you have a set of values, and you establish specific goals in your life. Knowing who you are will guide you to success. What are your likes and dislikes? Start noticing.
17. You Give Up Too Easily
We all have those moments when we can just throw everything out the window. In fact, that feeling may last day or weeks. The thing is, success doesn’t come easy. It’s a part of the journey. Just because things aren’t going your way right now doesn’t mean that you should give-up on your hopes and dreams. Baby steps.
18. You Think You Can Do Everything On Your Own
There’s a myth that successful businesses were built by just one individual. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg all had assistance from Wozniak, Allen, and Saverin. Think of it this way, you could be a talented construction worker, but how far could you get when building your own house? No matter your talent or experience, you’ll still need to bring in others, such as a plumber or electrician, to help you complete construction. Even a friend along the way will help you. Begin setting up a support system for yourself if you don’t have one.
19. You Haven’t Managed Your Money Properly
Not managing money properly is one of the main reasons that a small business fails. Even in your personal life, however, this can be an issue. If you’re spending too much money in contrast to what you’re bringing, then how can you expect to pay your bills and set money aside for emergencies or retirement? Set a budget and stick to it. If need be, get in touch with a financial adviser. Many cities have financial help for free, teaching you how to take care of money. Adult education classes are also held on this subject for a smaller fee. The very first step is to add up exactly what your set bills are and have that figure in your mind all the time. Instead of eating out, go home and have a can of soup once in a while.
20. You’re a Perfectionist
That doesn’t mean that you should slack and deliver sub-par work. It means that no one is perfect and instead of wasting your time trying to perfect, just keep working on getting things done, such as accomplishing your goals. One foot in front of the other, on a daily and consistent basis helps. Timing yourself and doing your best work and then you’re finished works pretty well, too.
21. You Think Too Small
Don’t focus only on your short-term future. Have big enough dreams that will take you years ahead into the future. What have you always wanted to do. If you have always wanted to play the violin and you are 45 years old, you probably better get started.
23. You Aren’t Constantly Learning
Successful individuals are always looking for ways to enhance their lives by learning new information or skills. Whether it’s reading a book or participating in a webinar, don’t pass up any opportunities that can help you grow as a person. One of the best ways I have found to keep learning is to be interested in things that others are doing. Everyone is an expert at something. You can get a great mini-class from that expert. This can build great friendships, too. Sometimes you have to set aside a fear.
24. You Don’t Network
Regardless if it’s at local networking event or interacting with an industry leader on social media, networking is one of the best ways to improve your chances of success. For example, if you just published an article on your blog and an influencer shares that article on Twitter, you just got free publicity that could lead to increasing your brand awareness and landing a new lead. Be a connector and someone who includes everyone no matter who they are. Don’t be someone who excludes a person that is different or unusual. You never know when that person will be the one you need or the one who needs you – and you can do some good for someone. You can also learn new information when you network.
25. You Don’t Know When to Let Go
I mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t give up too early. But, you also need to be aware of when it’s time to let go. As Lolly Daskal says on Inc.com, “Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting; it just means you have learned your lessons here and now, and it’s time to embrace new challenges.”
26. You spend more time thinking about how you could work harder than most people–rather than actually doing the work.
It’s amazing how many people can talk, and talk, and talk about all the things they’re going to do.
But it’s even more amazing how many people claim their ability to work harder than the next person, without ever putting in the work themselves.
It’s a brutal truth that we all like to believe ourselves to be more capable than we actually are. And we also like to think that anyone who has achieved success was just lucky, or “knew someone.”
But the truth is, unsuccessful people say those things so they can avoid acknowledging the real issue: someone else is doing the work, and someone else is reaping the rewards.
27. You spend time instead of investing it.
I believe there are two types of people.
The first is someone who sees time as a token for consumption. They can spend their time consuming movies, TV shows, social media. They can spend their time on vacations and travel and adventures. They can spend their time on friends and outings and concerts and events. Time is theirs to spend, and they’re always looking for new ways to spend it.
The second is someone who sees time as a token for investment–and when invested correctly, can reap the rewards of compounding interest. They invest their time in people and relationships that provide positive value. They invest their time into activities that nurture a desired skill or teach them something new. They invest their time into projects and pursuits that encourage growth in some area of their lives. Time is theirs to invest, and the more they invest in people and things that show compounding interest, the richer they become in knowledge, understanding, and even money.
Unsuccessful people spend time.
Successful people invest time.
28. You don’t understand the concept of opportunity cost.
Every successful person I know lives their life by the rule of opportunity cost.
They understand that for every hour they spend doing X, that’s an hour they cannot invest doing Y. And they are hyper aware of the delta between those two variables–meaning, while they might be making a fair amount of money doing X, they are missing out on the potential long-term gains of forgoing that immediate reward for a future payoff result for doing Y.
Unsuccessful people don’t understand opportunity cost. All they see is what is in front of them–not what they could potentially do now to reap bigger, better rewards later.
The challenge with adhering to the rule of opportunity cost is you have to stay true to the vision you have for yourself that has not yet been manifested. It’s not easy giving up what’s immediate, what’s gratifying now. However, that’s the small price you have to pay in order to invest your time.
There are only so many hours in the day. If you spend them all, there will be none left to invest.
1. Inc: 3 Reasons You Are Not As Successful As You Should Be by Nicolas Cole
2 Inc: 25 Reasons You Are Not as Successful as You Should Be by John Rampton