11 Career Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

11 Career Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

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11 Career Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making
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Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat wondering what you’re going to do with your life? Desperately wishing you could just abandon your problems and fulfill your life’s ultimate dream?

“Oh, if only life were as simple as it is on TV. I’d be sipping on banana daiquiris in the Bahamas by now!” If only. Banana daiquiris are delicious, but they’re sweeter if well-earned.

Life isn’t cruel or full of contempt. It isn’t this angry, malevolent force. It isn’t on a mission to destroy you before you’ve achieved your dreams. No, life is neutral to our struggles. There are those who proclaim that, “Life is too hard,” or that, “It’s unfair,” or that, “I’m better than them, they’re just…” Which is really just code for, “I don’t know how to win yet, so I’m going to blame it on something.” Excuses.

You aren’t born to make excuses. You’re born to make your dreams come true. That’s what your parents intended for you. That’s what you should intend for yourself.

In the next 11 points, I’m going to show you the most defeating lies, mistakes and excuses that we all make and how you can avoid them. Grab a drink and let’s continue.

Here are the 11 career mistakes you didn’t know you were making:


Mistake #1: Always focusing on the plans and never on the people

This is almost the “anti-roadmap” for self-proclaimed introverts. Being an introvert myself and knowing scores of this type, I promise that you love being around people. All humans (yes, all) have a deep craving for emotional connection, each one of us.

Matt Pocius, my friend and the youngest, highest paid Internet marketing consultant in the world, says to make sales he would be on the phone every single day. That’s the fastest way to make $1,000/day, according to him. If you’re not speaking to people, you’re not selling.

I’ll tell you a secret… If you’re going to make it anywhere, you need friends. Nobody has ever become successful on their own. They always have friends and a team who helped them. That’s a million times better than having “connections.” If all you do is practice, you’ll never make any friends.

“There is zero correlation between IQ and emotional intelligence… They’re controlled by different parts of the brain.” – Daniel Goleman

Mistake #2: Assuming that all debt is bad debt

I stole this secret from Robert Kiyosaki. He talks about it in real estate. There is good debt and bad debt. good debt gives to you and bad debt takes from you. In real estate a good property will make you money. That’s good debt. But a nasty credit card will lose you money, or at best, leave you at neutral. That’s bad debt.

I’m not expecting you to buy a house, I’m expecting you to buy yourself more time. Everything you do should save you time or give you more. You do this by giving to people. Give until it hurts.

Take a fraction of that value back by just asking for something in return. Borrow from people when you know it’ll help you progress. Stop borrowing just trying to survive.


Mistake #3: Dipping your toes in to see if it’s “right” for you

I’ve never understood why people “try” to do things. I’ve always been a very driven, intense individual. I’ve had moments doing this, for sure, but I’ve always had an “all-in” mentality. Instead of “trying” to win, just win.

Winners are OBSESSED with their goals – they don’t sleep, they don’t eat, they barely even blink or else they might miss something. And if something inside you says, “I’m not that motivated,” then let me tell you that you just haven’t found something to be motivated about yet. Everybody is motivated. People just don’t see value in their passions ie. skateboarding, dancing, baking pies.

I promise if you view it even slightly entrepreneurially, you’ll find a way to make money. You just have to own it. Make it your beautiful obsession instead of wasting precious time.


Mistake #4: Proactively avoiding the important work

STOP THINKING. Overthinking is death. It’s like hot lava. If you touch the lava, you die. What other ways do you cleverly avoid work? Do you take hour-long breaks? Check email 10x a day? Facebook? Watch viral videos? Stop it and just do the important stuff. That’s the secret to productivity.

“Emotional intelligence is a much stronger predictor of who will be the most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job.” – Daniel Goleman

Mistake #5: Neglecting your health, integrity and relationships

I sleep for 4 hours a night sometimes. When income wasn’t great, I’d eat ramen noodles and survive off of $1/day. I wouldn’t shower so that I could focus more on getting clients (online). And sometimes, I wouldn’t keep my word to others. I broke my integrity.

But listen… If you’re always a day late and a dollar short, get angry and frustrated when bad things happen, if you think family gets in the way, you start to create a host of negative beliefs that I can’t even begin to list. That’s an entire blog post on its own. My aunt, a famous jazz singer, was like this and gave herself cancer. She sat me down and told me how she cured it: she became happy.

She knows that I’m a loving, open person, but I’d become angry and negative. Shortly after I became sick. It scared the crap out of me, so I decided to perk up and drink more water. It wasn’t 100% the cause of my sickness, but it didn’t help. And in the end, I’d rather be happy and successful instead of a miserable success.


Mistake #6: Numbing yourself to problems

I’m good at turning off my emotions. Some people eat their problems away. Some people drink, smoke, do drugs, watch TV, whatever. I implore you to experience your emotions.

Emotional intelligence is the #1 underrated tool in business, and nobody knows how to use it. You use it by screaming, crying, being joyful, angry. Fully experience your emotions. Feel it without holding back and it doesn’t get trapped. Your body remembers emotional trauma. Don’t let your body become your cage.

You’re kidding yourself if you think, “I don’t feel emotions” You’re not a robot. I was the robot. Robots feel more deeply than anybody, we just hide it. When you look into people’s eyes, people should see into your heart, not your mind. Empathy creates breakthroughs with people, and that means career success.


Mistake #7: Only setting work goals, not life goals

I got this feedback when I was interviewing Guillermo Ulysses (an actor from Grey’s Anatomy) for my podcast. He has 12 degrees from universities, he’s been on TV, in movies, commercials, PSA’s, theatre, and did it in record time. It took him 3 weeks to get an agent. He’s a very smart guy.

He said to me that I couldn’t just focus on being Young Money’s choreographer by June 3, 2016 (I’m a dancer/choreographer by the way) or hitting 1 million views for my dance videos by June 21, 2016 at 11:50 pm. That’s not enough. I need to have other goals. Something with more substance. In his words, “you need to ride an elephant” or “pet a tiger.”

You put these things on a list, you make copies of it, and constantly cross things out. It’ll be in your hallways, doorways, bedroom, mirrors, notebooks, screensaver, on your hands. Literally everywhere you go.

Set goals for every area of your life: health, wealth, love and happiness. When you only have work goals, you get wound too tightly. You know you’re in trouble when you don’t have 5 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee or a weekend to spend with your wife and kids. And when appropriate, relax and go to the beach. Forget the list and just enjoy the day.


Mistake #8: Spending too much time in your brain and your body

You might’ve guessed by now, but I’m a big advocate of emotional intelligence. It helps you stop kidding yourself, be genuine towards others, and be a strong leader.

Sense things in others; pause, reflect, acknowledge what they said, and respond appropriately. I’ve seen people yell and push agendas. They don’t last very long. People hate them.

You’ll actually know when you want to do something. The person who makes frequent decisions and takes too long to make them ends up losing.

Bruce Lee

Mistake #9: Using willpower in unnecessary situations

When people use their willpower, it’s to resist chocolate instead of eating a carrot. They waste their limited willpower on what to wear, what to eat, which watch they should buy, or whether they should rearrange the luggage in the trunk before going to the airport.

Yes, they’re important, but they aren’t life-changing decisions. Replace any daily tasks like what to wear or what to eat with habits.

Learn to prioritize larger goals and create habits. You only have a couple drops of willpower every day. Use willpower like spice, not steak. Steak is action. Spice is direction.


Mistake #10: Believing you’re unworthy of success

You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m pretty sure 99.999% of the planet has self-esteem issues. It’s just a human tendency. They fear failure, rejection or success. They don’t speak up when they see a child getting hit by their parent because it’s “none of their business.” They don’t take charge in an argument because they don’t believe in themselves as a leader.

They don’t jump off a zipline because they think they’re afraid of heights. Many people won’t even eat healthy because they don’t believe they’ll get skinny. It’s a LIE. You’ve been telling yourself lies for decades. I told myself I wasn’t capable of becoming a dancer. “It’s an impractical career, dancers make no money, I’m not a good enough dancer, there are no dance agents in my city, I have no money for lessons, I don’t have a good enough camera, I have to buy editing software.” Blah blah blah. Full of excuses.

Now I’m sponsored by Cadillac, I’ve been in music videos, toured all over Canada and living in Los Angeles. It took me one month. Now I get to build my brand. Listen… If you’re not successful, it’s not because you don’t want success, it’s because you’re telling yourself lies. If you’re unhappy with your career, it’s because you abandoned your dreams.

Your “long shot”, your destiny, your dreams… Suppressed by lies. If you’re suffering, then rescue yourself. You deserve it. Hiding will do you no good. You are the one person you can’t hide from; at the end of the day, you know if you did the right thing.


Mistake #11: Being glued to your smartphone

I know, I know, you’re hustling. Or playing games. Or Instagramming. Maybe it’s advancing your career, maybe it’s not, but the larger point I’m trying to make is that you’re disconnecting and numbing yourself. Being in front of screens gradually robs you of your humanity if you aren’t careful.

Most people don’t talk to anybody. They just sit in their chairs, hide behind their laptops, and eat with their phones in one hand while sloppily eating their spinach steak salad. When I’ve been the most successful in life it’s been when I was out every single day for 30 minutes just trying to talk to people.

Do I do this because I’m an extrovert and love to be around people? Well, that helps, but it’s not the point I’m trying to make. What I’m talking about is bigger, I’m surprised that nobody talks about it. When you aren’t glued to your phone, you aren’t hiding from anybody. You’re forced to be in the present and  to look people in the eyes. People feel you.

You wanna make an impact? You wanna make a million dollars? Start with looking people in the eyes. Look at yourself in the eyes. Smile when you talk. No crossed arms or blank stares. Just pure joy. Presence.


Now, go out and earn yourself a good life filled with lots of money, friends and banana daiquiris. You deserve it!
Kris Roxas is a writer, dancer and media personality. He has worked with Android and Toyota to develop marketing campaigns and is currently sponsored by Cadillac as a dancer. After suffering a brain hemorrhage, Kris re-taught himself how to walk, read, speak without a lisp and think clearly. He now shows no signs of brain trauma and has made it his mission to help others become overachievers and build self-confidence. You can find him at his website krisroxas.com or on Twitter @krisroxas.


  1. After looking at a number of the articles on your blog,
    I truly like your technique of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to
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  2. Kris this is one of the best articles I have read on Addicted2Success. I love how you’re so raw, and your advice is killer. Thank you so much for sharing this article. I think a lot of people underestimate the value of friends and their own network. People ask me all the time where I get work opportunities from. I tell them that I get all of them from my network. Every entrepreneurial thing I have ever done has been referred to me. A referral from someone influential creates leverage with a prospect because no one wants to ignore someone influential. If I emailed you right now, you might not respond. If your best friend introduced me and said for you to chat with me you would because you don;t want to let your best friend down.

    Thanks again Kris for sharing your wisdom!!!

  3. I am now not sure where you are getting your information, however great topic.
    I must spend some time learning more or working out more. Thanks for magnificent information I used to be on the
    lookout for this info for my mission.

  4. Interesting and motivating. But at the beginning of the article, you say you’re an introvert, then at the end, you say you’re an extrovert. Which are you? Because while the information in the article seems viable and doable, the credibility is hard to accept when you say you are two things.

    • Hey Tracie,

      Great question! I was hoping someone would bring this up. I thought it would be awkward bringing this up on my own. During editing I had to trim it down from about 4,000 words to 1990. I cut out the sentences that weren’t essential and when I submitted the draft that was one of my oversights. It originally said:

      “Do I do this because I’m an extrovert, or I think everyone needs to party and joke around constantly, or I’m a touchy-feely guy who thinks that speaking to people makes life better and you need to speak to people in order to be in touch with your feelings? Well, that helps, but it’s nowhere near the point I’m trying to make. ”

      I do think that people should speak to others, party once in a while, and be more in touch.

      As a sidenote, I also see myself as a 50/50 introvert/extrovert split. It’s a long story, but here’s the “short” version. I was born in a household with extreme versions of both. I was raised by my mom, but have my dad’s genes, so I have both personality traits. My mom is a bookworm doctor who rarely meets with friends, whereas my dad is a walking music festival. Nature vs nurture in the most literal sense.

      I seem to have the ability to carry both at once. It all depends on mood, momentum, environment, and if I consciously “flip the switch” (which I taught myself to do). My siblings don’t have this ability, they’re either an introvert or extrovert. That’s the case for most people.

      I also don’t think there’s a fine line between them. I think there are situations where we feel socially comfortable and situations where we don’t. Most people are somewhere in-between, and there are very few outliers at the extremes. If I did believe that, I wouldn’t encourage introverts to be around people. I also think more extroverts should be alone to focus. It’s healthy. It all depends. You need to do both. But introversion is the bigger problem – most people don’t go far enough to speak to others, whereas someone who can talk can usually shut up given the right incentives.

  5. Hah! This has become like 1.5 posts.

    That’s a really great article, Kris. I’d say some of those ideas are quite fresh. (Or I simply didn’t know about them yet?)

    I’m guilty of this mistake–“dipping my toes in to see if it’s ‘right’ for me.” This is actually an excuse, I realize. You don’t dip your toes when you’re deciding, planning, executing–perhaps even when an idea simply “crosses your mind.” You have to have the desire. Yes, even on the ugliest tasks, you must burn with desire.

    Very nice, Kris. Honestly, this is one of the best posts I’ve read this week! Hey, I signed up on your blog. 😉

    • Hey Ethan,

      Haha, it pretty much has. I feel like I just gave a speech and now I’m doing Q&A.

      So far you seem like you’re on the right track! You’ve got your own blog, posting a lot of content, and it looks like it’s been up for a while. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a “dipping your toes in” problem, it’s more of a tactical distribution problem.

      You need to take one or two of those posts, promote the hell out of them, and you’ll start to get a lot more traction. And on your Facebook page (which I like by the way) just take $10 and promote the page to get some likes. If you do it right, you’ll get 1-200. And invite all your current Facebook friends to like it.

      Then what you do is write really good posts with viral headlines, promote those posts on Facebook, capture emails, and monetize with AdSense or your own products, then suddenly you have a thriving blog that makes money. You have the content, you just need to distribute and monetize it.

      In your everyday life, though, if you’re taking it too easy that could be rough. Just keep saying, “One more, one more, one more…” And realize that putting your whole heart into the task is the most important thing you can do. When you do that long enough, you’ll be in the top 10% of your field (self-help blogs) and that’s where the money is.

      Thanks for signing up for the blog! Very much appreciated! Can’t wait to see what you create, and hope that you enjoy all the stuff I put out on my own blog 🙂


  6. Kris,

    This article really speaks to me. I am in a place of feeling stuck and your advice about putting down my phone and talking to people really resonates with me. It is great to be reminded that I need I put myself out there more and be more present. Also looking at how I spend my time is super important to drive my productivity. I want to achieve big things but I’m playing a small game, that needs to change!

    Congratulations on all your success!! 🙂

    Thank you for all this amazing advice.

    -Charly 🙂

    • Hey Charly,

      Really sorry to hear you’re in a place of feeling stuck. It’s not a fun place to be (I know first-hand). Right now I’m not in that place, but you never know, it can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

      I’m not in your exact situation, so I wouldn’t know the details, but if you want to play big then you need to stop thinking of yourself as small. It’s easy to be charismatic and free and hard-working when you see yourself as those things.

      In my mind (I used to be a nerd, by the way) I’m Goku and a Korean pop-star and a lot of other strong or charismatic characters all put together. I reprogrammed my brain to change the roles that I play in every situation. Instead of a spectator, I’m a player. And instead of a wall flower, I’m the life of the party. I’m X, not Y. I’m the cause, not the effect. And the way I write is the way I think, I literally think happy thoughts or think well of myself 95% of the time. And the 5% is when I’m being critical of my own skills or being a perfectionist. On bad days, it switches lol. But, just keep doing the same things, and I’m back on my feet.

      So become the person who does those things, and then the results follow. That would be my only feedback for you.

      You’re doing great! Keep it up!


  7. This some wonderful advice! I really like reading things that can enhance my life and I agree with everything you have said here. Correcting mistakes like neglecting health and relationships and thinking you are not worthy of success will not only make you more successful, but happier as well. A lot of also dont understand the power of who you know. You have to reach out to people and understand them in a way if you want to be more successful. Like you said, you need friends. I cannot tell you how many people I know who got the right job because of some connection they had. Great post!

    • Hey Lawrence,

      I agree 1,000%. Some people have mixed opinions about who you know. I’m of the opinion that you DEFINITELY need to know people, but more importantly, you need to be the type of person others want to know. Knowing people isn’t everything, but it’s a huge missing piece that some people don’t seem to get. Or they think that by partying that they’re networking. It can be, but a lot of the time it’s not.

      Glad you liked the post! I saw you commented on a lot of the other posts. Keep up the hustle! You’re doing good work.


  8. This is one of the most original ‘career mistakes’ articles I’ve read lately – and I’ve read LOTS lately. All these points resonated with me. (Must – stop – overthinking…!!) Thankyou Kris!

    • Hey Bethany,

      Haha thank you very much! It must’ve taken me 15-20 hours of editing to make everything succinct and unique. The original draft was somewhere around 4,000 words, then I spliced it down to 3,000, then to 2,000. So I had to be very intense with which points I kept in. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  9. Nice job man,

    I found myself in these mistakes, but now I realized what I was doing wrong all the time…
    Thank you very much, Keep going…

    • Hey Kristian,

      Haha, a fellow Kris. I know what you mean. I’ve found myself in basically all of these at one point or another.

      You’ll be fine, though. These are problems with definite solutions.

      Thanks for the comment! 😀 It means a lot to me


  10. Fantastic article. It seems you’ve gone through your own journey and I could feel your passion through the words you used and the way you set out your thoughts. It personally gave me inspiration, thank you for that.

    • Hey Bogdan,

      Wow, thank you very much 🙂 yeah, I get really hyped when I write articles about success. I’ve found that my self-talk is very similar to how I write, so I’m glad you were inspired haha!

      Good luck on your journey,

  11. Hello Kris,

    I’m from Freelance Domination 2.0 Gold and I have to say I LOVE this article, its exceptionally well written and very motivating very well done good sir !

    it speaks to me in so many ways, seeing what you’ve gone through aand where you are heading it is an amazing thing.

    I am most assuredly guilty of more than one of these mistakes im not too humble to admit it, I am launching a IT company but i fear I have been making these mistakes and delaying it I just need to Fully commit to winning.

    If you have any advice for a young man who’s dream is to be a successful freelancer then fire away !



    • Hey Timothy,

      Thank you, very, very much! I put a lot of effort and passion into it. I mean, I wish I were a little more perfectionist with it because I notice a couple things that could be tweaked, but part of fully committing it is just giving them the article to publish so I can continue my journey.

      For you, as a freelancer and (if separate) as an IT company founder, to commit is a weak sentence. It’s about commitment, but it’s about COMMITMENT. Yell the word. COMMIT! There’s a difference. Not just being obnoxious about it, but in meaning.

      There’s nothing inspiring about an obligation. In the end, if you don’t do it, nobody is going to die. So everything you do is never a need, it’s a burning desire. That’s why you need to be obsessed with your goal. You feel so in love with it, it’s your sweetheart, your mistress. You just want to give her all your heart.

      So barring the need for drive and realizing you need to develop a focus similar to being in love, here are the important things you need to know to committing long-term:

      – send status reports every night to a friend or partner (I send 3: my bae, an accountability coach, and a business expert). Include 1. Done, 2. To-Do, 3. Problems/Solution, 4. Comments/Questions
      – use thehabitsheet.com
      – anything within your control, say it in definite language. No “maybe’s” or “try’s.” Only yes or no. You can’t do half a rep and expect to have gains in the gym.
      – the way you talk to yourself will determine your confidence levels and whether you’ll get things done. Be nice to yourself and motivating.
      – use small wins to make yourself happy. Small goals like drinking water, getting out of bed on time, or flossing. When you see yourself accomplishing things like this everyday, psychologically you start to see yourself as somebody who gets stuff done, then you get bigger tasks done.
      – get big, ugly tasks done every single day – they’re your priority (one a day is fine, if it’s time-consuming)
      – take less breaks. The only time you should stop focusing is if you’re in physical pain, if you’re on a schedule, or if you need to politely tell someone you’re working.

      Those are the big ones. Anyways, thanks for the question, it was a good one!


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