This list, put together by Jim Kukral for the National Federation of Independent Business, is spot on, but I’ve rearranged the order from most to least common reasons and put my own spin on them.
- Laziness – “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
- Don’t want it – “There’s no such thing as ‘can’t,’ only ‘don’t want to.'” Jim says: “Success is change.” If you don’t want change, then you don’t want success.
- No goals – “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.”
- Entitlement – Unless you’re lucky enough to have royal blood or a huge trust fund (or marry someone who has both/either!), no one owes you anything.
- Fear – You’ve failed once. You’ve seen what happens when others fail. “Once bitten, twice shy” but you gotta get over it and pretend you’re as ignorant as a fawn. Or Honey Boo Boo.
- Thinking small – Plan big and work your way backwards. It’s like baking a cake or building a bookcase. If you want to bake a cake, think about what that cake looks like and how it’ll taste. Then think about the ingredients you’ll need and the steps to put it together. If you want to build a bookcase, think about what that bookcase will look like and what will make it unique. Draw out the cake, draw out the bookcase. List the pieces you’ll need, figure out where you’re going to get the ingredients and the pieces, how you’re going to get there, how you’ll pay, can you afford everything? Then, figure out how long it’ll take for you to put it together, once you’re home. Most importantly, figure out if you’ll help from others along the way.
- Over-thinking – “Paralysis by analysis.” “Stop analyzing and start doing.”
- Don’t believe – Believe in yourself and draw upon your past achievements to remind you of what you have been able to do.
- Negativity/Detractors – Ask: “Will this add to my life?” before doing, buying, or judging anything. If the answer is anything but a firm, gut reaction of ‘yes,’ avoid.
- “They” – Don’t play the blame game. It’s your success, so it’s up to you.
- No “X” factor – No secret sauce. I like how Jim describes this reason: “You can’t do it because you’re not pretty enough. Or don’t have a strong personality? You don’t have the “X” factor? Wow, what an unbelievably lame excuse. The truth is even jerks, idiots and boring people can be just as successful as anyone else.” Perhaps, though, timing is the only secret to success.
- Procrastination – There’s a quote that goes: “In one year, you’ll wish you started today.” A stronger version is: “In one year, you’ll wish you started now.” See number 4 for clarification.
- Social B.S. – Facebook and other social media activities are time wasters. See number 4 for clarification. Should probably be part of number 12.