As part of my own quest and journey toward continuously building my own business empire, I am a member of several groups and communities in addition to several more that I founded, own, and run myself.
This gives me a chance to interact with lots of people, read their blogs and comments, questions, and basically get insights into the thoughts of thousands of people on a continuous basis.
This includes super successful people, as well as many others who have varying levels of success all the way to complete beginners who are just starting out, and everyone in between.
As with all things in this life – there are patterns.
Both patterns of success and patterns of failure.
When you look long enough and deep enough into what each one is then you begin to see some very powerful lessons at hand that can help us all if we learn and then apply what we learn to do better.
Common Patterns of Failure
Here are just a few of the observations I have made, and some thoughts on each one too;
- Expecting Something for Nothing – Many people want FREE information, training, courses, mentoring, coaching, tools, and resources and are not willing to pay much if anything at all for it. Yet even when they have access to good solid information – they don’t even use that! Instead, they are really expecting someone else to do all their work for them and just give them continuous income from some magical money tree (or business in a box guru BS turnkey thing that doesn’t exist). Reality – everything of value has a cost to it generally speaking, and if you want it you must pay for it. Even then – even the best resources available will NOT do your work for you! You still have to actually learn what to do and then DO what you learn by taking continuous action.
- Unrealistic Expectations on How Much Time It Takes – Unless you already have a ton of money to invest into real estate, stocks, or launching a specific business with enough resources to provide an army of workers and staff in a profitable niche – then all other business income production opportunities will take time. For 99.9 percent of people trying to start an online business or small business offline – this is the case. Yet so many people start something with little to no money and little to no knowledge or experience in what they are doing and expect to immediately or almost immediately start raking in huge piles of cash (just like the gurus promise you can do!). The reality is that anyone thinking that is in for a rude awakening, and they will usually make very little to nothing at all at first. It is just the opposite really – there will be some costs upfront and weeks if not months of consistent hard work before any money at all begins to trickle in coming in at first in small amounts, then gradually growing over time – if the work is kept up to make it so.
- Passive Income Myths and Expectations vs Reality – There are in fact THREE basic types of income. Active Income – which is what most people do and includes having a job or even owning a business where you do the work. For example, a person owns a landscaping company and does all the work personally to get paid – that’s still active income production. No work results in no pay. Next up there is Semi-Passive Income – which means usually a ton of work is required up front to get it going (NOT passive at all!) and then some work is still needed to keep it going over time. This includes things like blogging, affiliate marketing, making YouTube videos, writing eBooks, and books whether fiction or nonfiction, audiobook creation, print on demand (POD) products, and on and on it goes – and it also applies to many other things. You have to first learn what to do then build out your platforms, create content and other information products, and then launch them. You also need to market them. Then you have customers (hopefully!) that you may need to respond to questions, reviews, comments, etc. You also have to monitor your platforms, sites, channels, accounts, and make sure everything stays up and stays working. So while the work becomes less after the thing is finished and launched, in most cases it requires some work on an ongoing basis – which is why the use of the term PASSIVE INCOME more often than not is BULL SHIT. It is NOT PASSIVE! Yet people want to hear what people want to hear and passive income has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want some passive income, right? So that is the real reason everybody and their mother uses that term. I get it. But I want you to get the reality too – most of the time it is not going to be passive at all for you, not for a long time to come. Finally, we can talk about PASSIVE INCOME and what it really is. Think about owning a stock that is worth a lot of money (that would be nice wouldn’t it?) and you get a periodic payment of a dividend. You already own the stock – you don’t have to do anything at all except receive payments and spend your money as you see fit. Another example would be you wrote (writing it is not passive either – that is Active work!) a best selling book, and then sold the rights to a studio who made a movie based on your work – and per your contract, you get a piece of all future revenue. So once written and published and sold – then it becomes passive income in this example. So every year you receive ongoing royalty payments from them. You do not have to do anything except cash your checks and spend your money. That is passive income. To take it a step further – say you didn’t even write the book! Your father did and you inherited the rights available to you in accordance with his contract – to receive those passive income payments. You do not ever have to do anything except keep getting paid. Passive income is great – when you can get it. Just receive a check or electronic payment every month, quarter, or year. Wouldn’t that be nice?
- Failure to Stick With ANYTHING – Most people hop around from thing to thing always searching and hoping for making big money fast from doing nothing much, while knowing even less about anything. Sorry, but that just doesn’t work out well for most people. Instead, they waste time, energy, and money constantly seeking something that does not exist, instead of just picking any one thing that does work – learning how to do it and actually doing the work long enough for it to begin paying off. One of the communities I belong to in particular has over a million members. Every week I see dozens of newbies come in all excited and listing all their hopes… only to do absolutely nothing after that. The community tracks and lists the training they complete – or don’t – and when you see them pop up a few weeks later crying about not making any money, and then go look to see what they have done you will most often see they have done exactly NOTHING! They have completed no courses, no websites, no posts, no articles, have no affiliate links – nothing. Yet they are upset because they are not making any money! Sad but true. Here is the thing. Nobody owes you anything at all and if you want money you have to find a way to ADD VALUE that enough other people are willing to pay you for on a large enough scale and consistently over time for it to matter. That means you need to find something, learn it, do it and keep doing it until you get better at it and until you create enough value to start getting paid. Then you will start getting paid… but most people won’t because they just keep hopping from thing to thing and crying about not making any money.
- Making Emotional Decisions – If you are a human then you are an emotional being. We all are and we all make decisions in large part based on emotions. Yet if you want to be more successful as you seek to build your own business empire then you have to learn how to control and override some of those emotions at times. For example, there are common things being taught again and again about starting a business – they say you should – FOLLOW YOUR PASSION and do that as your business. The problem is that this can be terrible (and wrong) advice for most people. The first question in any business is can you make a profit doing it? In fact, that is the fundamental underlying objective to all businesses – to make a profit! So if your passion is not also something for which there is a market and for which you can effectively provide enough value to get paid well for doing – your passion doesn’t mean a hill of beans. On the other hand, you can even make great money doing things you are not very passionate about at all, and then use some of the money you make to enjoy your passions in your free time. That is just a tiny glimpse into the general idea that emotions can make or break you and most of the time if you do not control your emotions they will control you – and cost you big time. The best scenario is indeed when you can align your business and your passions – so that much is true and it is an ideal. It just isn’t the whole story, not by a country mile – because you must have that profit available and it overrides passion every time.
- Delusions of Success – Many people think success is quick and it’s easy. Most often it is the opposite. Behind most, truly successful people are thousands of hours of struggle, failure, self-doubt, and often ridicule from family, friends, and others about there efforts. All that didn’t change until after they had achieved success and had become whoever they are and seem to be. An overnight success – only it wasn’t overnight. It took years and massive amounts of effort, and plenty of failures to get there. Yet no one sees that. They simply see success. They think -” isn’t he lucky”… or “isn’t she so lucky and fortunate”. Truth is luck had little if anything at all to do with it. They just had a mindset and a tenacity (like a dog with a bone) and would not let go and would not stop getting back up and back in the fight and back in the arena. After many bloody battles and facing many demons internal and external – after all that those worthy enough to stay in the game long enough and get past all the tests do eventually win. It isn’t easy. That s why most will never taste such victory. Will you? That is for you to decide. Just know the battle you must fight will be long and hard and that is the reality for the vast majority of people. You will be tested to your breaking point, and beyond. While some do indeed get lucky, their numbers are infinitesimally so small they don’t matter, and can not be replicated predictably or systematically. For everyone else – prepare for the battle of your life, and decide if you want it bad enough to do what you must do to get it. So my friend – I ask you, How Bad Do You Want it?
- Failure to Get Training, Help, and Support – Information is everywhere. Ther is no shortage of it. The key is navigating through a sea of information that is so vast you can never consume it all, and being able to find and use just the parts you really need now. How? You get training from instructors, coaches, consultants, and mentors who know what you want to know and who will teach you. Just remember – if they have value you must pay for their time and their knowledge if you want their help. Go back and reread number one above. Just like you they are building and running their own businesses and that means this isn’t charity or a hobby for them. Nor will what you do be that for you, not if you wish to achieve success. YOU do want to get paid and make a profit too don’t you? So be willing to pay fair prices for good value – and even then remember that all that training and support is like a toolbox for you. They can provide you the tools and show you how to use them all very effectively and even give you ongoing tips, pointers, advice, and feedback. Yet it is ultimately YOU who must pick up the tools and use them to make something with. Otherwise, they are just expensive shop decorations…
- Lack of Specific Goals – Think about going on a trip. What is the first part you need to know about your trip? Your destination of course! Where is it you want to go? Once you know that – then you can look up how many miles it is, and from that, you can figure out how long it is going to take you to drive there. Then you can figure out how often you want to stop for a meal and for rest breaks, and determine if there are any sites along the way you want to visit and adjust your trip plan to accommodate all those things. Yet when people try to start a business or make money online or off – they have no such ideas let alone any trip plan to get it done. They just want to make money – and that is like saying they want to go on a trip without having any idea of where they want to go let alone how to get there! Before you start driving around in circles – figure out your own intended destination and complete yourself a trip plan for your journey and you will be far more likely to achieve the success you want than if you don’t.
- Failure to Manage Time and Energy – 24/7/365 for you, for me, and for all other people. It is the same. The difference is in how each of us USES that time. You need a planner, you need task management systems that you know how to use that and you actually use daily as a religious experience. Get it, use it – otherwise, you will never accomplish anywhere near what you could if you don’t.
- Improper Mindest and Self Limiting Beliefs – This one is really number one in life despite being number 10 on this list. Your actions start in your own mind. Everything you do starts there. Your mindset is how you see yourself in the world and the world around you – and it predetermines in large part how you will react to both threats and opportunities as they occur. It determines everything. The truth here too is that most of the excuses you are now making and have been making all your life up to this very moment in time are in your own head. There is no one and no external thing truly stopping you from achieving more success – just you. Mad at me yet? If you are it’s OK – and I can take it. But here is the thing, I want to really help you – not just fill your mind with more useless marketing and guru garbage that will do nothing for you. You can do better – that I know for an absolute fact. Yet in order to make it happen and for you to start getting better results in your life, you do have to think differently from the way you have been thinking. Start learning about MINDSET and how you can build a better mindset for yourself. I write and teach a lot about that – and I also suggest you check out Jim Rohn and his work. Though he is gone now – his work lives on and there are plenty of books, videos, and other resources. Go search YouTube and watch some of his talks. Remember to come back here too!
Case Studies and Lessons Learned
As you may know, I am heavily involved in trucking, and have been for years – and I intend to be for the rest of my life too. If this is your first time here this may be news to you, but anyone who has read any of my books, posts, articles or other content is already well aware of my connection to trucking and my love of trucking.
For many years I was a safety director, recruiter, and driver trainer.
One of the things I began to do early in my own trucking career (and continue doing to this day) is to study trucking crashes, accidents, and incidents. The idea is to learn from the mistakes of others and use that information to do the best we can NOT to repeat their actions or suffer similar fates.
These lessons can all be learned and applied.
They can also be taught to others once they are leaned, and in that way, many can benefit from that information and do far better as a result.
Another group that uses the same philosophy is the military (which is where I originally learned about this to begin with). The military does the very same thing in assessing events and applying Lessons Learned.
For many years I have had an interest in aviation, especially recreational and experimental aviation. Homebuilt, kit-built, ultralight aircraft along with paragliding – both free flight paragliding and powered paragliding – and hang gliding are all very interesting to me. I have even jumped out of a plane a couple of times and flown a paraglider a little, and have a few hours of flight training in an old Cessna.
There are also numerous crash and accident reports available – all of which can be studied and learned from.
By distilling down the information and looking at patterns you can anticipate the most likely things that can go wrong and learn how to avoid them all to the maximum extent possible by following better procedures. But you have to not only learn these things – you have to actually do the things you learn!
I once knew a guy who owned and ran a flight training school – a week or two after the last time I spoke with him he was dead. One of his instructors had come in and landed and went home. The owner decided he wanted to take a quick flight before it gt dark – so he hopped in the airplane without doing any preflight at all and took off! As soon as he got off the ground he realized to his horror the plane was on vapors and out of fuel – and he made his last and fatal mistake – he attempted to bank the little airplane at low altitude to turn back to the runway. That’s a major no no and a basic lesson any aviator knows – and again he was a FLIGHT SCHOOL OWNER! His mistakes cost him his life and the total destruction of his airplane…
What should he have done?
- Preflight the airplane – he would have realized he needed fuel
- Not have been in a hurry – that when mistakes happen. He should have just waited until the next day to take his flight
- Once an emergency happened – picked a landing spot and put the aircraft on a decent glide path forward (there was a golf course right below him but he wanted to make the runway and died trying) and set it down where ever he could
By the way – he is one of HUNDREDS of very similar examples of people who have paid for the same lessons with their lives, and tens of thousands who paid with damaged airplanes and other property damage and injuries.
How do you prefer to learn – the easy way or the hard way? Now, do you see what I mean by this principle?
The same principles can be applied in business.
Thankfully in business, we are not normally talking life and death literally.
But never the less – the same basic principles apply.
You can study and learn what DOES NOT WORK – so that you can avoid repeating the same mistakes so many others have already made. Likewise, there are certain other things that are replicable and that DO WORK and can be learned and applied almost immediately to dramatically reduce the amount of time and energy that goes into figuring such things out by trial and error alone.
That is a very powerful concept.
This is the key idea I want you to get from all this – learn from others what works and replicate that while also learning what results in failure and avoiding it. By doing so with intent and consistency you can do far better and do it all much faster.