A STORY OF FAILURE
A 28 year old man came to therapy because his wife insisted, under threat of divorce.
He talked only of his business,
saying nothing at all about his wife, his children, or his friends.
He had built a successful business which he recently sold at a very high profit.
Now he wanted to do this again in a new industry.
He was extremely worried that he would fail,
sweating and even shaking as he talked about it.
He said he had vowed:
“I won’t be happy until I make my first million.”
When I mentioned that he could be happy much sooner
if he would change his decision,
he became enraged, stomped out of my office,
and said: “I won’t change it! Ever!”
I never saw him again.
If he doesn’t change,
he won’t be wealthy or happy.
He will be a failure.
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
Success is accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.
SUCCESSFUL AT WHAT?
We don’t want success for its own sake.
We want it so we can ENJOY it!
To be able to enjoy it,
we must first be successful at personal goals
Taking care of our bodies.
Enjoying our family and friends.
Controlling our thoughts.
(See all other topics in this series!)
THE PATH TO SUCCESS
Success does not occur in a straight line.
It’s a journey with many curves and dead-ends.
Success requires you to be
ready to reevaluate your decisions at any time.
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL
1. Set a very general goal that you know will make you happy in your work.
2. Don’t decide on a specific “straight-line” path you will follow to get there.
3. Take advantage of every opportunity you find
that is even slightly related to accomplishing your goal.
Your task is only to get there!
Your path will change every day.
You must be ready for the changes.
SETTING THE GOAL
Set the most general goal you can possibly set.
Good Example: “I will run my own business someday.”
Too Specific: “I will open a restaurant” or
“I will make at least $100,000 within five years.”
DON’T DECIDE ON A SPECIFIC PATH
Simply Choose To Get There!
Here’s the kind of path most people select:
“First I will take business courses in college, then I will borrow some money from my parents, then I will open a small restaurant and serve excellent food, and then I will use the proceeds from this to open a larger restaurant which will make me rich.”
Of course, these specific ideas (such as going to school) may be good for you. But don’t confuse the steps along your path with the goal itself. You may fail at school, or your parents might refuse you the loan, but you can still succeed by expecting that there will be changes and by being ready to make changes in your path as they are needed.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME BY
When you meet someone who likes to discuss problems associated with running their own business, pick their brain. Do this even if you don’t respect the person’s thinking! (They might serve as a good “bad example.”)
When you hear of a seminar on franchise operations, go to it even if you know that you’d never want to own a franchise. They are certain to discuss many things which relate to your goal.
When you receive a service of any kind, always pick the independent entrepreneurs. Who knows what might come from meeting them?
If you follow some “straight-line” path toward success,
you won’t even notice all of these smaller, almost daily opportunities
for pursuing your goal.
Successful people will tell you that
it was these smaller opportunities,
which seemed almost lucky to them at the time,
that made them succeed.
Being “lucky” comes from
choosing a goal and a path which are general enough
to allow you to seize life’s regularly occurring opportunities!
REMEMBER WHO WILL BE DOING THE SUCCEEDING!
Don’t spend all of your time and energy working toward success.
Spend it on the person who will be achieving the goal: YOU!