Posts Tagged ‘success’

As I write this post, the last Go-Giver Retreat is taking place in Florida. Even though I wasn’t able to go, I am following along  with the group there with Twitter (#tggr if you want to follow along too). I thought I would share some thoughts the speakers are presenting.

Your life is the way you want it to be, or you’d change it.” ~ @larrywinget

That statement packs a punch! Take a look at your life right now: Are you living the life you want? It is the life you have chosen. If you want something different, you have to begin to make the changes necessary.

“The number 1 reason for non-performance is that people feel they don’t matter.” ~ @DondiScumaci

I’ve been in that position where I felt I didn’t matter and it does take away from your wanting to perform at your maximum level. What is the point? Make sure people know they do matter.

“Passion is a load of crap… people can be passionately incompetent”

“Passion is NOT the key to success. Hard work and excellence are the keys to success.” ~ @larrywinget

Have you encountered someone who was very passionate about something, yet, dead wrong? Being passionate is great and will certainly get you farther than no passion, but success does come down to hard work and excellence.

The ideas are going to be flowing over the next couple of days. Follow along for more great insights.

“Belief #2: There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”

Anthony Robbins, Unlimited Power

So I am reading through Tony Robbins book, Unlimited Power, and I come across this concept that there is no failure, just results. Now my mind is buzzing and thinking back to parts of my life where I saw my self failing or where I failed at something. As I contemplate those times, I am beginning to see that they weren’t failures, just results.

When I think back to high school, the reason I got the grades I received was a direct result of the effort I put into learning the subject matter at hand. The same was true of my grades in college. What I have achieved or not achieved in business is a direct result of my effort.

I like this idea of removing failure out of the equation. It opens up the door to explore the reasons why I didn’t get the results I was expecting and try something different. Things that are working well, keep doing them. Things that are not, dig in and find out why and try something different.

As you start out the week, look for an area of your life where you are not getting the results you want. What is one thing you can do differently to improve your results?  Success is waiting. Go get it!

I didn’t want to take the easy way out when it comes to a letter like x. So in my search through the few pages of words that begin with x, I found this one that really brings to light the power of mentoring: xylograph.

First, let me answer the question, what is a xylograph?  A xylograph is an engraving made in a piece of wood for either an artistic expression or to be used for block printing. The picture above is an example of a piece of wood that was engraved to be a block for printing the pattern created. Once the engraving has been completed, the image can be copied over and over again.

What I find interesting with xylography is that once the engraver begins working on a piece of wood, there is no erasing or starting over with that piece. The wood is permanently changed at the hands of the craftsman. Slight mistakes might be altered but there is no going back to the start without beginning on a new piece of wood. The xylograph will reflect the perfection and imperfections of the master craftsman.

As a mentor, you must recognize the influence you have on the life of your mentee. The words you say, the actions you take, and the attitudes you display are all having an effect. You are in many ways engraving something permanent on the life of your mentee. This is not to say you have to be a perfect craftsman as a mentor, just realize the impact you have on their life. Be responsible for what you pass on to them.

I had a college professor who was one of my mentors for a number of years who taught an alternative approach to sharing the message of Christianity. He had left behind the traditional church model to implement a model that was more consistent with his views of how the early church operated. To this day, I have implemented concepts he taught me and that class. I, too, have stepped away from the traditional church model for similar reasons he did. He made a lasting impact on my life.

It is important for the mentee to know that when you choose to be mentored, you are offering yourself up as a piece of wood to be carved by the master craftsman. Be sure the person who is doing the engraving will create a beautiful piece that will bring honor and success to you. Remember, you have the choice in who leaves their mark on your life. If you don’t like the engraving that is being done, find another craftsman.

One last thought. Just as a xylograph can be created to make prints, so will your engravings in the life of your mentee continue to be passed on to others. Although they will only be copies of the original, they will continue to make an imprint in the lives of others for years to come. Engrave something of such value that it will be appreciated by future generations.

“It is one thing to WANT money–everyone wants more–but it is something entirely different to be WORTH MORE! Many people mistake their WANTS for their JUST DUES. Your financial requirements or wants have nothing whatever to do with your WORTH. Your value is established entirely by your ability to render useful services or your capacity to induce others to render such service.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Successful people have learned how to bring value to the marketplace and to others. They know it isn’t all about the money, it is about WORTH. 

As we continue to look at the next 5 causes of failure that Napoleon Hill shares in his book, Think and Grow Rich, keep in mind, these can be corrected. You can increase your worth and it will increase your level of success as you have defined success.

16. OVER-CAUTION – There is a certain amount of risk you need to take in order to achieve higher levels of success. People who are over-cautious fall into the same category as those who are under-cautious. Both extremes will leave you in the wakes of failure or limited success. There comes a point in time where you have to step forward and risk something to gain.

In the financial world, there are investments that are riskier than others. Safer investments, like a CD at a bank, are low risk resulting in smaller returns. Commodities and options trading are high risk investments with a chance for huge returns but also susceptible to huge losses. The key is finding the middle ground where there is still risk with the chance of making a great return on your investment.

Be willing to step out and take a chance. That next step may be the one that catalyzes your success.

17. WRONG SELECTION OF ASSOCIATES IN BUSINESS – Whether you are building your own business or looking to advance your career in a company, be wise in who you choose to work with or for. If we are the composite of the five people with whom we spend the most time, make sure those people are worth emulating. If you are in a position where your manager or supervisor is holding you back, begin to plan how you can change departments or companies to work with people who will help you succeed.

I have worked in environments where negativity was abundant and it wears you out quickly. I prefer to have the choice of who I will working alongside. For that reason, I have chosen an entrepreneurial path to accommodate this choice. I will be highly selective in who I hire and who I partner with. This is a vital part of success.

18. SUPERSTITION AND PREJUDICE – I have been around people who are highly superstitious and rarely do they succeed. There is always a fear of something and that fear holds them back. Superstitions create failure mindsets that are triggered by some action or event. Once those triggers are activated, the mind begins to play out the upcoming failure. You need to remove superstitions from your life.

Prejudice will also hold you back as you make judgments prior to having the facts. Acting in ignorance is a sure cause of failure. Be willing to withhold judgment until you obtain more facts and information about an issue, a person, or a group of people.

19. WRONG SELECTION OF A VOCATION – Andre Aggassi, a great tennis player, admitted in his autobiography that he hated tennis. The really striking thing about that is he was still able to accomplish great things playing tennis. Not many people become great doing something that don’t like. Imagine if he took all that energy and discipline and applied it to something he truly loved.

Are you doing something you love? Are you able to give a wholehearted effort into your job, your career, or your business? Be sure you are pouring yourself into something you have a burning desire to achieve. Only then, will you truly find yourself on the path of success.

20. LACK OF CONCENTRATION OF EFFORT – At times, I feel like I have become a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. Here is a partial list of all the things I have done:

  • Carpentry work
  • Dairy farming
  • Landscaping
  • Youth Ministry
  • Sorter at UPS
  • Management
  • Direct Sales
  • Retail Sales
  • Event planning
  • Medical Technician
  • Auto Sales
  • Financial Services

Those are highlights out of my job experiences. Each experience taught me something about myself, and I have learned valuable lessons that I am able to apply to my life and career. What I have come to realize is I have common threads that run through each of my previous jobs that point out where I need to concentrate my efforts.

The key to remember is rather than trying to be everything to everybody, concentrate your effort on one “definite chief aim.” Then you will become a resource and an expert for others in that particular area. This concentrated effort will keep you on the path of success.

If you find any of these causes of failure holding you back, begin to make the corrections necessary so that you can LIVE your dream.

“It’s important to remain open to new ideas and new information. Being a know-it-all is like shutting the door to great discoveries and opportunities. Keep your door open every day to something new and energizing. Sometimes I wonder what will show up, which is a terrific way to start every day.”

Donald J. Trump, Think Like a Champion

I distinctly remember as a high school student hearing a good friend of mine, Henri “Harry” Oudshoorn, who was 77 years old at the time, express his concern for the people in our local church who were not willing to try anything new. Harry exemplified this notion of being open to new ideas and information. I remember being in his home and noticing the 5-disc CD player he had in his home stereo system. I was still listening to cassettes and he was already making the transition to CDs (we’re talking mid-to-late 80s). Harry had a thirst for what was new.

Knowledge is the currency of success. Over the last century, we have transitioned from being an industrial and manufacturing based nation to a service and information based provider. According to EMC, “the world’s information is doubling every 2 years.” If you are not actively acquiring new knowledge, you are quickly being left behind. Obviously, you won’t be able to keep up with all of that change, but you do need to stay on top of areas that have an interest for you.

As you begin your week, keep your eyes open for something new each day. Thirst for more knowledge that will help you be a more successful leader in today’s world. You never know what will show up when you open the doors everyday to learn something new.

“The oldest of admonitions is ‘Man, know thyself!’ If you market merchandise successfully, you must know the merchandise. The same is true in marketing personal services. You should know all of your weaknesses in order that you may either bridge them or eliminate them entirely. You should know your strength in order that you may call attention to it when selling your services. You can know yourself only through accurate analysis.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

This is the third set of common causes to failure. When you know what causes are particular issues for you, you can begin to take corrective action. You may need to enlist the help of a close friend who will be honest with you about your weaknesses. We often ignore or look past our own failures, and having an objective input may bring to light areas you are overlooking.

Here are the next 5 causes of failure and how you can overcome them.

11. “LACK OF CONTROLLED SEXUAL URGE” – Napoleon considers sexual energy as “the most powerful of all stimuli which move people into action.” When this energy is not directed or channeled in the right direction, it leads to failure. In a day and age where pornography is readily available and sexuality is glorified in music, television, marketing, and movies, this remains a distraction from success. How many “news” (and I use that word loosely) stories do we hear in a given week about some famous person caught up in a web of sexual entanglement?

Self-control is the key to channeling this powerful energy into constructive outlets. Once you begin to control the energy, you can begin to transmute it to accomplish the goals you have set. This powerful energy source could lead you to the next level of success.

12. “UNCONTROLLED DESIRE FOR ‘SOMETHING FOR NOTHING'” – Just this past week, there was a frenzy to buy lottery tickets because the jackpot got to be over $500 million. This notion of getting rich by just purchasing lottery tickets is a sign of this desire getting something for nothing. Gambling is still a success stealer for many people, be it in a casino or even in the stock market.

My personal opinion of why most people don’t make any money in MLM companies is they see it as a get-rich-quick scheme without putting in a lot of effort. They are sold on the idea of starting it part-time and then the money will start to roll in fast. What they don’t realize is the amount of hard work required to build a successful business. Those who are successful at a MLM business put in the hours and the hard work so they can enjoy the income stream later.

Beware of this desire creeping in and causing failure in your journey toward success.

13. “LACK OF A WELL DEFINED POWER OF DECISION” – Indecision is usually the twin to procrastination. Strong leaders and those who succeed have the ability to make decisions promptly and rarely change those decisions. Those who fail to make quick decisions are missing a key element: a well-defined purpose. The reason great leaders can make more rapid decisions is they know where they are going. They know instinctively if something is going to aid them in reaching their goal or not. Know your purpose, and you can start making quicker decisions and stand behind them.

14. “ONE OR MORE OF THE SIX BASIC FEARS” – In a later post, I will share the six basic fears in more detail. The six basic fears he identifies are:

  1. The fear of POVERTY
  2. The fear of CRITICISM
  3. The fear of ILL HEALTH
  4. The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE
  5. The fear of OLD AGE
  6. The fear of DEATH

The first three are usually the lesser of the worries compared to the last three. All six of these fears, when allowed to get a foothold in our lives, keep success far from us. They are the root of some of the other causes of failure as well.  We must learn to identify if these fears are causing us to fail and begin to take steps to overcome these fears.

15. “WRONG SELECTION OF A MATE IN MARRIAGE” – Marriage is the one relationship that should be the most intimate of all relationships. When this relationship is not in harmony, it will hinder success and become a cause of failure. If you are unhappy and stressed at home, this will follow you wherever you go.

The good news is this is a fixable issue, although not painless. Depending on the situation, it may just be a heart to heart talk for an uninterrupted amount of time. You many need to seek the help of a marriage coach or counselor. If both parties are committed to seeing each other succeed in life, this issue should be able to be corrected without having to end in divorce, even though that is a last resort option.

Make the most of your marriage or be very selective in who you choose to marry. This relationship holds a significant amount of leverage on your success or failure. Make it a priority to do your best to make the relationship as strong, supportive, and encouraging as possible.


In the coming weeks, I will be offering an introductory coaching course on the principles of success that we are exploring in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. If you want to make progress toward living a successful life, sign up here to receive updates when we release the details of this course.

When I was in college, one of my part-time professors drove to Bel Air, MD, from Philadelphia to teach a class on discipleship (the Christian equivalent to mentoring). One of his hard-fast rules to choosing someone whom he would mentor was they had to be F.A.S.T. (Faithful, Available, Submissive, Teachable). If someone didn’t display those four characteristics, he felt it would have been a waste of time to begin a mentoring relationship. Of those four characteristics, I want to focus on availability for this post.

I recently met a young couple talking about their boys’ involvement in school sports. They mentioned how much time they spent throughout the year taking them to games and practices. When one season ended, another one started. It was a never-ending cycle of activity. If they were to add to the mix, time spent on their jobs, their relationship, and any other community involvement, where would they find the time to mentor or be mentored?

First of all, don’t assume that because they may have a busy life that they would not be available. Many people who have full schedules would carve out time to mentor an eager protégé or to be mentored. They understand the importance of a mentoring relationship and will make themselves available. They know developing a mentoring relationship will accelerate their success and are willing to find the extra time for it.

Prior to asking someone to be a mentor to you, be sure you are available. You must have more flexibility than the mentor since you stand to gain the most out of the relationship. You should be able to carve out the appropriate amount of time to make it worthwhile for your mentor to spend time and energy on you.

When considering your availability as a mentee, also keep in mind you should allow for some time to give back to your mentor. After all, they are giving you their time, their insights, their wisdom, and part of themselves. In return, you should be willing to give of yourself to help them in some significant way. In my book, Mentoring, Masterminding, and Coaching: The ABCs of Strategic Relationships for Accelerated Success, I go into further detail on how to give back to your mentor.

Mentoring relationships vary in the amount of time involved. There may be relationships that require a significant amount of time to achieve the desired results. For example, let’s assume you are just starting out to become a financial advisor. You will more than likely spend more time with a mentor in the beginning learning the basics, how to handle field work, knowing what forms you need, etc.. The more seasoned advisor may look for a mentoring relationship that is tailored to strengthen a part of their business and it may be a session once every 3 to 6 months. The key is knowing what you want before asking someone to be your mentor.

Availability is a key component to a healthy, viable mentoring relationship. Whether you are looking for a mentor or a mentee, you need to create the time in your schedule based on the needs or results you want to achieve from the relationship. There are many people willing to make themselves available to you. You just have to ask to find the ones who are.