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Success is never the result of luck. It is the outcome of hard work and perseverance.
Part of that is being able to eliminate unproductive behaviors that you might have adopted over the years due to bad social conditioning or just plain ignorance.
Following my post from last week, today I am discussing 10 more things that you need to stop doing as soon as possible in order to spur growth and make giant leaps towards success.
If you missed the first ten, go back to my previous post and get up to speed.
Ready? Let’s kick it!
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11) Bouncing from one idea to another
Everything significant in life is difficult to be obtained.
It takes time to pick up skills and gain traction in a specific field or domain.
On top of that, the progress you make during the early years is usually tiny.
Advancements rarely come in a linear way; they are typically exponential.
This makes people to lose faith, give up on their original plan and bounce to a new “sexy” idea.
This is terrible since they lose momentum and then have to plow through the original, difficult phase again and again.
Look, sometimes it is the right approach to ditch a project that seems to be going nowhere, but more often than not, it is really the “golden object syndrome” that kicks in and makes us lose our focus.
Stay the course and keep at it. As Bill Gates has said:
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
12) Being “half-committed”
Not only does it take an enormous amount of time and effort to succeed in something, it also requires our undivided focus and commitment.
Like time, our focus is a scarce and finite resource that we need to protect and treasure.
Being committed means that we consistently and intensely place our focus on our specific goal and work towards achieving it.
You are either committed or not; switch off the distractions and get into it.
13) Making excuses
Here is one of my favorite sayings:
“It is easier to make excuses than to make money”.
The true reason that people make excuses is because they do not want to assume responsibility for their own failures and shortcomings.
It is the government’s fault, or the economy’s fault, or the boss’ fault, or whatever.
The truth though is that, everything in your life is your fault. The sooner you realize it the more successful you’ll get.
Successful people never make excuses. They assume full responsibility for the outcome of their actions, and that is what eventually allows them to become successful.
Stop making excuses; start assuming responsibility.
14) Not thinking big
This is something that many people approach in a wrong way, and I have also personally struggled with.
If you are going to commit and allocate time and effort towards a venture, it’d better be bold!
Now, it is very hard to think in a bold way when you have non-existent experience and track record, so the trick is to start small and continually push yourself to achieve higher and higher milestones.
Elon Musk did not wake up one day and decided to disrupt a couple of billion (trillion?) industries.
His first venture was a humble online business that he sold for a few millions.
His second company was bolder in the form of Paypal and electronic payments.
Only after succeeding with these ventures, gaining enormous experience and accumulating numerous reference points, he went on to change the world.
Be smart; be like Elon!
15) Being a perfectionist
A surefire way to stunt your progress is to be a “perfectionist”.
Look, life is inherently messy. It is impossible to achieve a “perfect state”.
The sooner you release your product or idea to the world, the sooner you will be able to collect feedback and iterate on improving it.
Constant improvement is the key, not perfectionism.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook that helped grow the rebellious little company to a global tech juggernaut, has proclaimed:
“Done is better than perfect!”
16) Saying ‘Yes’ to everything
Here is another mistake that I personally struggle with but keep getting better at.
As I mentioned before, you need to be laser-focused on your goal and working on it while eliminating distractions.
By saying ‘yes’ to various proposals, projects and ventures, you are diluting your core goal.
You need to be ruthless in protecting your mind from losing focus. Warren Buffett has said it best:
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
17) Believing that Selling is dirty
For some reason there is a popular misconception that “selling” is a “dirty” activity.
The rationale states that if a product or idea is good, it should sell by its own.
The truth is that even the best products or ideas require the appropriate selling in order to achieve maximum impact.
Some of the most successful people in the world, and certainly the most successful entrepreneurs are terrific salespeople.
From Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, to Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, these outliers are incredible at selling their vision for a different world.
Remember: we are selling every day: ourselves, ideas, beliefs. We’d better get good at it.
18) Being dependent on external stimuli
Circling back to the topic of maintaining focus, a massive mistake that younger people make is getting “addicted” to external stimuli.
Whether that is social media, TV or video games, a large number of people are dependent on stimuli to operate.
The problem is that this external stimuli serves the agenda of somebody else, and not your own.
Whether it is a corporation or the government, everybody wants to have your attention. You need to protect it!
For example, use social media only for personal branding reasons or business operations, and throw your TV out of the window.
19) Associating with low value people
If you want to become more successful, you need to start associating with people of higher value, especially in the field you are attacking.
As Jim Rohn has said:
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
We are social animals and get enormous pressure by our social circle. If that pressure is not towards the right direction, we will be fighting an uphill battle.
Another tricky part of this is that, while you develop yourself and become a better and more successful person, you will outgrow some of your friends or peers.
That means that you will have to abandon people, however emotionally painful that is.
20) Having a big ego
Having a big ego can often act as a driver towards good things. More often than not though, it is counterproductive.
This can manifest in two ways.
First, when you are not successful, but just an average person. In that case, you might dismiss advice from other, more advanced people because “you know better”.
Thing is, when your ego is larger than your bank account, something is seriously wrong.
Second case is when you are actually successful. Then, your ego might blind you and make you think that you “know it all”.
You lose your drive to learn and experiment with new things. This is dangerous and will set you back.
The cure in both cases? Stay humble.
The road to success is paved with struggle and difficulties. The only way to walk it is with hard work and perseverance.
In this two-parts article I discussed 20 things that you need to immediately stop doing in order to increase your chances of success.
It might be emotionally difficult to do so, but there is really no other way.
Hope it helped. Now, go out and make a killing!