Why People Fail: Mystery Solved
By Dan S. Kennedy, Guest Blogger
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact” said Sherlock Holmes.
You are presumably reading this because you are intrigued – for self-interest, not just academic exercise – with the mysteries of achievement and success. I have spent more than 30 years examining these mysteries. Before me, a long list of authors, lecturers, consultants, psychologists, researchers. Napoleon Hill one of the most famous, whom you’ve probably read. Many before him, after him. All sorts of theories; 7 steps; 17 steps; blueprints; and explanations have been produced, all aimed at solving the mystery of why so few do so very well, while the majority achieve comparatively little. This is true of any general population, or any given industry’s or profession’s population, or any company’s sales organization, even any school or town. Pretty much without exception, only about 4% do well, 1% super-well, 15% okay, the remaining 80% divide between struggling and spending entire lives running in place or never even getting out of the starting gate at all. Why do few rise and most, at best, flounder? I’m afraid it’s not as much of a mystery as everybody in the 80% group wants it to be.
The specific reasons people fail are many and varied, and range from tragic to comical. But there is only one underlying reason: the choices they make. About study, about association, about initiative, effort, persistence. There is no shortage of opportunity. There is some worthy opportunity accessible to everyone, regardless of their education or location or other factors. Every “reason” for failure can be de-bunked. Oh, the poor fellow had no good examples to follow or mentors to inspire him. Neither did Og Mandino, an alcoholic hanging out at the public library because it was a dry, warm, safe place. There he discovered mentors in books available free, with their help confronted his demons and pulled himself together. Became a success in business and became one of the all-time bestselling self-help authors. Space here does not permit similarly de-bunking all the other “reasons”, but I can. Every one. The argument then disintegrates to insisting my examples are all of exceptional people and cannot be applied to large numbers. But why not? The fact is: the people whose stories I cite in de-bunking the majority’s reasons for not doing well are very ordinary people who chose to be exceptions, to do exceptional things, to make themselves exceptional. Chose.
In my world, people bump up against significant-sized groups of people who are all doing well in their businesses or professions. The top industry advisors I work with, including the one who has published this article for you to read, have hundreds; some have thousands of top performers around them. When someone new comes into such a rarified place, he sometimes runs back out the door as fast as he can– to avoid confronting the obvious fact that there is no real reason for not doing exceptionally well. If you feel that way, I’m sure the exit is clearly marked. A small number stay and dig in and determine that they will get all there is to get about how to succeed and prosper, and use it. In this way, the percentages never change no matter what I or the person who published this article or a legion of us say, write or do. Because, ultimately, success or failure is an individual, personal choice no one can make for you. We wind up helping winners win.
The WHY PEOPLE FAIL articles are provided by Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach, author of 13 books including the No B.S. series (www.NoBSBooks.com), and editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. As one of Dan’s co-authors, I HAVE ARRANGED A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including a 2-Month Free Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, newsletters, audio CD’s and more. For information and to register, visit:
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