The Scriptures give us many emphatic directions on how to achieve success with God’s help in our daily lives
Everybody’s heard Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
…but the first part is equally important and perhaps especially needed when motivation is waning because of the many discouraging conditions around us. Here’s what it says:
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”
And the classic ‘success’ passage in the Bible is God’s commission to Joshua in Joshua chapter 1:
“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
I have some questions for you today about your success and your future. Let’s talk about them and see what we can do to improve our situation – not only for own sakes but for the sakes of the people around us …the community … and ultimately the society we live in. Why? So that we can be a testimony of God’s goodness and blessing – bringing others to a closer relationship with Him.
Here are the key questions you really need to ask yourself:
Do you really want to be successful?
Do you think it’s okay with God if you’re successful?
Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve more of what you were created to be and to do?
What are the excuses that have prevented you from moving forward?
It’s time to become the type of influential person who eliminates excuses and takes responsibility for their actions. It is time to become the rare individual that others can look up to as a model of accountability and purposeful results.
Establish your purpose. Specify your Goals. Determine what you want. It’s within you to achieve great things. Taking personal responsibility for where you are in life is a wonderful first step… so learn to fess up to your excuse-making and decide now to stop making them in the future.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ~Benjamin Franklin
Use your mind to make money… and not to make excuses. ~Robert Kiyosaki
If you don’t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another. Yiddish Proverb
“Excuses are tools of the incompetent, and those who specialize in them seldom go far.”
“Difficulty on the way to victory is opportunity for God to work”. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When you ask a six year old why they didn’t do their chores, they might respond with “I forgot.” When you ask your employee or co-worker why a project isn’t completed they may respond with, “I didn’t know it was a priority” or “I have not had enough time.” When you ask your congressman why the government is a mess you’ll likely get a long-winded excuse about why it’s everyone else’s fault but theirs. Excuses are like air, they constantly surround you wherever you go.
Most excuses are just answers about why you didn’t do something. “Why were you late?” If you are like most people your answer will be something like, “my alarm clock didn’t go off” or “an unexpected phone call held me up.” With a life filled with expectations by other people we naturally tend to get defensive about our lack of meeting those expectations. People want answers.
What about the larger life-altering questions? It seems that we’re just too polite to ask the difficult questions. “Why aren’t you successful?” “Why haven’t you lived up to your potential?” “Why are you so unhappy?” We might go our whole life without hearing questions like these. But we all know that, deep down, we’re bothered by them… and we’re making all sorts of excuses to ourselves that keep us stuck.
When we’re not successful, maybe we’ll blame our parents. Or maybe it’s the education system, the boss, our co-workers, our spouse, or countless other individuals who stood in our way or didn’t contribute to our success. Do we really want to continue being like the 90% of the people out there who blame faceless institutions for creating rules that specifically would not let them succeed? Have you heard the “lack of time” excuse? You’d think some people were only given 16 hours a day to work instead of 24. Most of us seem to blame everything under the sun except our own actions for why we haven’t achieved success.
Have you ever thought about the difference between being interested in something and being fascinated by something? Interested? Or Fascinated? Which will it be? When you’re truly fascinated with something you’ll dig deeper to find out all you can about it and make appropriate choices and actions that reflect the input you received. When you are only ‘interested’ in something you tend to look for the slightest excuses to not take action and continue missing out on the benefits of life-changing discoveries. Status quo rules and progress or success is stifled.
Why you have not achieved success in life is not due to your intelligence, your situation, or opportunities that have been given to you. Countless individuals started life with less and have achieved more than most others. If you have not achieved what you want in life, then look no further than the choices and actions you’ve made up to this point. If you’re thinking “Yeah, but my circumstance is unique” or “Yeah, but I don’t have…” or “Yeah, but (whatever other excuse you want to name),” then you’ll just continue on the path that brought you this far.
What time is it?
It’s time to become the type of individual who eliminates excuses and takes responsibility for their actions. It’s time to become the rare individual that others can look up to as a model of accountability and performance. It’s within you to achieve great things… and taking personal responsibility for where you are in life is a powerful first step on a life-changing journey.
As you move forward with the goal of being excuse-free, ask yourself a few questions:
Do You Really Want to Be Successful?
First you have to believe that your Creator made you to reach for and accomplish all that you were made to do. Achieving success takes drive and determination. Somebody else can’t make you have drive or motivation. You have to decide for yourself. It takes a strong inner determination to grab hold of inner initiative. It’s there… inside you … courtesy of your Creator… but almost everybody would rather take a winning lottery ticket than determine to do what it takes to achieve their own success.
Almost everyone claims that they want success but few are willing to put in the time, the energy, and the sacrifices needed to reach success. What do you want to accomplish in life? What are your goals? If success truly isn’t something you want, then don’t expect that it’s going to drop from the sky.
Who and What Have You Blamed for Past Failures?
Answering this question honestly will take a level of self-awareness that might make you uncomfortable. Have you constantly – inwardly or outwardly – complained about a lack of time? Have you thought to yourself that if you had a different boss, or business partner, or a more supportive spouse that you would be more successful?
What are the things in your situation that make you feel discouraged? Maybe you’ve complained that they are the hindrance to your success. If you will identify what you have blamed in the past, you’re taking an important step to dumping that excuse in the future. If you catch yourself in the future making that same old excuse, just give yourself a little slap on the hand. Smile outwardly and compliment yourself on the fact that you no longer are the type of person that blames others and situations for your circumstances.
What are the Excuses that have prevented You from Moving Forward?
There’s a good chance that you have a business idea or some area of interest that you have hesitated to take action on. Perhaps you’ve known that your area needs a new type of business that isn’t now available. Maybe you’re interested in real estate and know you can be successful but haven’t taken that next step. Or maybe you just want to find a proven business you can get excited about that can be profitable for you. Whatever the objective is, there have likely been excuses that you have told yourself to prevent you from moving forward with your ambition.
You know the common excuses: lack of time, lack of resources, and lack of money… maybe you just don’t know where to start and you need to attend some seminars to meet people and get ideas. When you catch yourself making any of the countless excuses tempting you to put off action today…
Think about this. There really shouldn’t be much mystery about your personal future. Afterall… your actions today (or lack of them) have a huge impact on your consequences tomorrow (or 5 years from now).
There’s a reality check we all need to make once in a while. There will never be the perfect time when you have unlimited time and resources. You will never have performed all of the perfect planning, and learned all you need to know. So just grab hold of your idea and run with it. Replace excuses with action and you will be amazed at the transformation that begins in your life.
Do you want to make one of the most important decisions that can positively change your life starting today? Could this make more of a difference in your future than almost anything else you can do?
I’m completely convinced that many of us and those around us are far more capable of being much more productive, more influential and happier than they ever dreamed. Is it possible that just one word can ignite a beacon-light of hope for you today? Is there a word that can make a 180 degree change in your future?
Just to rattle your cage a little, let me ask you something. Do you want to completely sabotage your life, destroy your potential, and ultimately look back on a life of wasted years with intense regret? Of course you don’t. No one WANTS that. But for many people, their actions — and more importantly their attitude — are leading them down a road of self-destruction that will ultimately lead them to such an undesirable final destination.
That road’s name is “I Can’t Boulevard” and it’s full of millions upon millions of unsuccessful, complacent, and mediocrity-filled men and women.
Yes, many of these people are also good-hearted and well-meaning, but unfortunately they’re stuck in a big fat rut with their health, their body, their income, their marriage, their career, or their relationships. They are stuck because their attitude is so affected by the phrase, “I can’t”.
Have you ever heard self-defeating statements like:
I can’t achieve a body like that. I don’t have the genetics.
I can’t make a six figure salary. What skills do I have?
I can’t fix my marriage. It’s too far gone.
I can’t be an entrepreneur. That’s too risky.
I can’t be forgiven by God. I’ve done too many bad things.
This negative “can’t do” mentality is holding them back.
As employees, when a problem arises, they’d rather tell you about every potential solution that WON’T work instead of spending their time focusing on finding the one solution that will work.
Whine. Complain. Negative thoughts. Negative words. Negative action.
Fact is, when it all boils down, how you handle the problems and obstacles that arise in your life will determine whether you excel and soar like an eagle, or if you remain grounded in a chicken coop full of other self-limiting thinkers.
You see, problems and obstacles are OPPORTUNITIES for leaders. Are you a leader? You can be a leader, if you learn to RESPOND like a leader.
Leaders fix problems. Leaders learn from problems. Leaders grow from problems. Leaders become BETTER LEADERS because of problems.
Will you chose excuse making or leading yourself to victory?
Other folks, however, let problems and obstacles consume them, control them, and serve as the fuel for rationalizing their many excuses.
“I can’t eat healthy while traveling. It’s too hard.”
Yes you can. FIGURE. IT. OUT. Thousands of people do it (while hundreds of thousands don’t). What separates the few from the many? Simple. You can’t just “wing it” and hope it all goes well. Of course, if you do that, you’re going to fail. You have to have a plan – a plan for success – and you need to map it out in advance. Know where you’ll be and when you’ll be there. Create options for success. Creating a plan is creating a blueprint to solve your problems.
“My spouse and I can’t get along. My marriage is going down the tubes.”
Start with yourself and change the things about YOU that cause your spouse to react negatively to you. If you deal with the needs of your spouse, you will automatically have a much happier relationship and in turn you’ll find that conflict becomes less frequent. But, that’ll never happen as long as you’re pointing fingers in any direction other than back at yourself. Before long, once they see your changes, your spouse will also want to change to please you. Why? Because the relationship now becomes one of meeting each other’s needs again. Isn’t that the way it once was? I guess most relationships begin in a place of mutual admiration don’t they? The first step begins with you; your spouse will follow.
“I can’t have a successful business. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
FIND OUT WHERE TO START. What does that even mean? Do you think anyone who has a successful business magically knew where to start? No, they didn’t. Talk to people who have done what you want to do. Hire a coach. Get the support you need to succeed. OR, just stop being negative long enough to do a little research on your own. That’s where you start. (more…)
Adapted by Dennis Petersen from an article by Chris Widener
How many people do you know who wish for a better life but never seem to do much to change it? It seems to be natural for almost everybody to desire a better life. But is their desire matched with effort to do anything about it?
No matter where we are in life we tend to at least have fleeting dreams of a better place. I suppose some would think that is a good quality, but is it really?
It might seem good to have a dream that we can see far off of a better situation for us, our families and our businesses and communities. But is this really a good mindset to maintain?
What good is a dream if it is not progressing toward reality?
A lot of people give up dreaming for this very reason… There is no progress in reality toward the dream. A dream can make you feel good, but long term, if you don’t actively pursue it and make it a reality, the dream will cause you more frustration than anything.
But there is a good reason to have hope! I’m talking about the day your life really changes…the day that your dream starts to become a reality, and not some pie-in-the-sky wish. Imagine a day that literally turns your life around for you – a day that things begin to get better and you begin to fulfill your purpose, your mission and your destiny!
When is this day?
It’s the day you make a decision! It’s the day you say “enough is enough; I’ve had it.” When will you get serious about changing your future?
The simplest key to changing your life is to make a decision, and then to act upon it. Once you start taking action and follow-through consistently until your dream becomes a reality… THAT is the day when your decision is etched on your doorpost to face you every day from now on. Life will begin to change for you.
So the decision is the key? Yes, it is. Every dream begins as a thought. What is yours? You might have to start with the reality that you were born to be a producer… to be productive… to be more than you are now by applying your desire to your circumstances and look for opportunities to make the money it takes to reach the things you dream about. Yes, that’s right… it takes money and money is yours to create as you find ways to provide value for others around you.
What’s it going to take?
But you know right well that to have the financial independence to accomplish the dreams you have is going to take more than ‘making a living.’ So why not work in your part time hours to create the means to allow you to have money working for you rather than you being a slave to money?
You may as well face the reality that to do that you have to learn to master your time and your skills so you can OWN your own business. And that doesn’t mean that you have to be a slave to a business that really ‘owns’ you. Why not find out how to take control of being a producer that is using the right tools to create wealth?
You say: “I would love to have my own business. I’d love to be free to run my life and earn as much money as I want so I can go where I want and help others as I truly want and experience a full life of being more of what I was created to accomplish. Sounds like a good dream wouldn’t you say? It’s probably a dream that a lot of people have and may be afraid to say for fear of being put down. But just because you have a little electrical impulse bouncing around inside your head, does that do you any good?
Dreams have value when you convert them to Action
The dream only has genuine value to you or others if it is translated into action! And it only takes on action if we make a decision to form a ‘blueprint’ or ‘map’ of action.
Let’s sort out a simple plan. What are the decisions to be made here? Well, one might be to quit wasting your off-work hours on activities that are not investing in your future. I’m not suggesting you quit your job. Not yet. But you do need to realize that you are in business for yourself and your job (if you are employed or if you own a small business) is part of your ‘roadmap’ to your future. Another part of your roadmap is how you decide to invest some time into building systems that will allow you to have financial freedom.
Systems Create Leverage So You Can Have Freedom
Once you have built up a profitable part time business that truly leverages your time by using proven business systems to expand your prosperity so you are producing more than just ‘a living’ then maybe you will consider quitting your job. But in the meantime, figure out how to make your expenses match the income from your job. If you are determined to eliminate the things that waste your private time and invest 10 to 20 hours a week into a proven business system with a trustworthy business team, then it won’t be long before you will create a vision for goals that can accomplish your dreams. Of course you must be coachable and self controlled with your new and increasing extra income. You will start thinking like a successful owner of “You, Inc.”
New Disciplines or Pipe Dreams – your choice
As you learn more about how to grow your business, you will discover new disciplines that produce new rewards. You will have to decide what you must do to make your dream a reality. You must make better choices of how you spend your time, who you spend your time with and what you feed your mind. Then you must act upon those decisions. If you do not act, your dream remains nothing more than a pipe dream – a non-reality.
When you have acted, you must follow through. Continue to follow your plan, day by day, moving your dream to fulfillment. Here is a practical exercise to get you moving:
- What is your dream? It could be in any area of life: Work, family, finances, health etc.
- What is a decision you have to make to get yourself MOVING in the right direction? This should be action–oriented, not philosophical in nature. For example, it should be “I am going to invest the time and resources needed to start my new business on March 1st,” not “I’ve decided that being in business for myself would be more fulfilling.” That is an idea, not a decision.
- Next, pick a day you are going to do it. Pick a time. Be specific.
- Next, do it! Commit to your business mentor that you will do what it takes and stay accountable.
- Next, begin the process of continually following through.
- Next, enjoy yourself; you are pursuing your dream! It may be hard, but it will also be the most fulfilling and rewarding time of your life!
“The history of free men is not written by chance, but by choice; their choice.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
Decide, act and follow through. The day you do will be the day you change your life for good!
“the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Prov.10:4
“make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…(at) your own business…work(ing) with your own hands.” 1 Thes.4:11
12 Success Factors to Insist on When Choosing a Home Business
In my experience and after researching dozens of different types of home businesses myself, it is clear that everyone wants to avoid a wild goose chase. There are some key success factors that are critical for long term success. Every one of these factors is just as important as the next.
Here’s a good question to ask any serious business person: “Do you agree that the ideal business is one that keeps customers coming back and that does not require your personal handling of all future transactions?” That’s what creates ongoing ‘passive’ income, right?
Many people are familiar with the “80 – 20 rule.” You know what that is I’m sure. 20% of the people (or less) create 80% of the success or results in just about anything. A good question to ask is: “What if you could have a business where even the 80% (of people who are your customers and business partners) are so delighted with their participation with you that they count their success, even as customers using your products, as adequate reason to continue doing business with you?”
When it’s appropriate to talk with a business person (who could be your potential partner) about the search that many people are doing right now to find a reliable business opportunity, they will appreciate having this list of Success Factors. The logical question to ask next, after a thoughtful review of these 12 points, is my question at the end.
Company track record – How long has the company you’re considering representing been in business? What are the company’s annual sales statistics each year since in business? Does the company print average income statistics for business builders? It should and you should ask for them. Proof of long term sales, success and growth is critical in choosing any business.
Financially sound – Does the company have outstanding debt? Joining a company that is debt free is something I highly recommend to lessen any risk to you.
Strong management team – What are the backgrounds and credentials of the management team? You want to join a company that is run with integrity and strong leadership.
Unique consumable products – Are the products of the company products that people actually need, use, run out of and repurchase month after month? Do the products have any trademarks or patents allowing for exclusive rights (meaning no other company can copy them)? If the products are not consumable, meaning something that a person would only buy once, then that is a business that will not be viable long term. If the products are consumable, however not necessarily a need, that will reduce your chance for long term success. Products needed and consumed monthly make for a solid business model.
Wide market appeal – Are the products something everyone needs and uses? If the products are specific for a certain gender, age group or body size for example, you reduce your market potential. It is not something for everyone.
Competitive prices – Are the products comparable in price or less expensive than the competition? If they are too expensive this is not a business that will produce great results.
High customer reorder rate – Does the company share it’s reorder rate? Meaning how many customers that purchased from the company last month, reorder again the following month? If the re-order rate is low, the business will not be viable as new customers simply replace your old customers producing no real growth or a secure, residual income.
Low initial investment – If the cost to join or start your business is too high it makes for more risk and difficulty in attracting customers and business partners. If a start up fee is high and a ‘customer acquisition bonus’ is also high, beware of what might be a ponzi scheme.
Low monthly requirement – If there is a high monthly requirement, customers/business builders may end up with an inventory or products they do not need. If there is a low monthly product purchase requirement, then customers are getting what they need for personal use each month, and from a business standpoint you know customers are purchasing each month which creates the freedom of true residual income.
Rewards for leadership development – Does the company reward you for helping others in your business succeed? If there is any way the company could remove business builders from your business because of their success, be very careful about joining. There should never be potential for you to lose great partners.
Risk-free – Is everything 100% guaranteed? If not, could you seriously advise someone to join you?
Anyone can be successful – Is the business plan set up for anyone to be successful at any time? If it’s a company that says “Ground floor” opportunity, or “Get in Now”, be very wary. If only the people who join at the beginning can be successful, then eventually people will get hurt.
The only real question after considering this list is this: “which one of these factors would you take off the list if you were going to seriously consider working with the company?”
If anyone seeing this list knows someone they care about is considering working with a company as an independent representative, they might be wise to consider: “how does that company measure up?” If we are honest with ourselves, nothing can match the conviction of ‘certainty’ that is backed up by verifiable data and experience. All the above points are relevant particularly to the one who has a long term commitment in mind. That’s why we should be just as eager to ‘prove all things’ in this part of life as we should be in any other.
If you’re serious about making some changes in your own future, I’ll be glad to direct you to some websites that will help you even more. Start by getting further insights I’ve prepared about the 12 success factors that your home based business must have to succeed and grow. You will find it at this link. Click here.