I have to admit, I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why anyone would be willing to pass up the opportunity for real success. Yet they do it every day. And not just a few but the vast majority. Think about it. How many people do you know who are truly successful? I don’t mean earning $50,000 a year, being able to pay the bills, and then have a little leftover at the end of the month. How many people do you know who are making 5 or even 10 times that? My guess is very few because there are not a lot of them. And I know why. Let me tell you a story that is repeated all too often that will illustrate my point.
Over the weekend, I ran into an old colleague of mine. I used to work with him several years ago when I was in the corporate sales world. He was always moderately successful financially. But he always worked his behind off. Much harder than me, I must admit. My discussion with him on Saturday told me that not much had changed.
Knowing that I am now a sales coach, he asked me if I had any advice. Well, hopefully, everyone reading this knows you have to start with questions before you can give any answers! So, I asked him, “What specifically are your problems as you see them?” “Well,” he said, “I’m working 70 hours a week, I have more to do than I feel I can get accomplished and I just can’t seem to get past the income level I’ve been on for the past few years.” So, I asked another question, “Exactly what are your financial goals?” He answered, ” I don’t know, maybe $75,000.” Wow. this kind of answer always puzzles me. So I asked another question, “Why only $75,000?” Why would you not want to make twice that?” “That would be wonderful! But I would really satisfied if I could just get to $75,000. I just think $150,000 would be too hard.” As I began to talk with him about how he could actually get there and work less than he is now, he lost interest. He had already made up his mind that he wasn’t prepared to do what it took to get to that level regardless of what I said.
I actually ended the conversation by saying, “Look, I would really like to help you. I have always thought that you had potential. But I have to tell you, I’m not interested in working with someone who strives only for mediocrity. I work with winners. Those who have a passion for more. And not just a little more. If you ever decide that you really want success, to excel, to reach your true potential then give me a call.” I gave him my card and with that, I ended the conversation.
Now, that may sound harsh to you but I am an unreasonable friend. I expect more and generally, I get it. Maybe it was a bit harsh, but my goal was to get him to reconsider his less than lofty goals. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. But one thing I know for sure...if I had given him a few tips for improvement, a few tips that would have put an extra $5000 or $10,000 in his pocket over the next year, that would have been as far as he would ever go. At least this way, he has a chance to wake up and realize that he is not only shortchanging himself but everyone around him, including his family.
Everyone has greatness within them. Everyone. Yet so few nurture it and bring it forth. You must be willing to set your goals high, to push yourself, to work at greatness. It rarely falls in your lap. But, one thing I have found is that it is actually much easier to achieve true success than it is to spend your life mired in mediocrity or worse yet struggling just to pay the bills. And there’s one more thing you should know, success is a lot more FUN!
It can be yours, but you must take action. You must examine your true goals, then take whatever steps are necessary to learn how to reach them. It’s really as simple as that.
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