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3 Ways to Know if You’re Working Hard to Fail or Succeed

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We know how important hard work is to achieve success, but we also know the road to success is filled with obstacles and failures. Many people have great ideas and don’t put the work in to make them succeed and go to the next level. We also see many people work hard on a terrible idea and succeed due to sheer hard work and determination. Then there is that third group, no matter how hard you work, you just may have a bad idea, bad product or missed your window and all the hard work in the world won’t get you to where you need to be. So how do you know when you’re working hard to fail or succeed?

Here are 3 ways you know you’re working hard to succeed:

1. A steady flow of new customers and employees

The first major sign you’re working hard toward success no matter how much you fail or stumble is you are growing as a business. How do you know you’re growing? You have more customers consistently coming in, both new and repeated ones. 

The old saying is true, sales cures all. A great idea that is not selling is not succeeding so don’t kid yourself. That being said, you’re probably also hiring new contractors and employees as well to help carry the load.

2. You feel overwhelmed and have too much work to do 

Customers and/or clients come to you regularly and you finally have a team helping carry the load, so you must be relaxing, right? Definitely not! The next sign you’re working hard to succeed is you feel overwhelmed and believe you have too much work to do. 

Now you are seeing if you have the right systems and processes in place that people can follow to help your business run like a well-oiled machine. More customers means more demand, and more than likely, you are still figuring it out. As long as the clients keep paying and customers keep coming in, you are on the right track.

3. The Market is paying attention to you, and you are aware of your competition

For a while, you may have been the new kid on the block. Now that you are making waves, your competition is not only paying attention to you, they are contacting you, copying you and if you are really doing well, they may even threaten or sue you. 

You are also aware of who your competition is in the marketplace, and how to compete and take market share from them if necessary. These things sound crazy but these are all good things.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

Now that you know how you are working to succeed, let’s take a look at how you know you’re working hard to fail:

1. You are not growing, and it’s ‘hard’ to find customers

Many products and services hit the market with the best of intentions. You may have even tested, done focused groups and had your friends and family give you the green light. That being said, once your product or service hits the market, it’s important for people to buy your product or service.

You can blame this on whatever you want, such as geography, not having enough money to market or whatever great story you want to tell. At the end of the day, if you are not making money, you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. If you’re still a one man show, and only making a few sales, you many need to look at expanding the team, or shut it down.

2. You feel overwhelmed and like you have too much work to do

Yes, failure can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re working really hard and not experiencing results. Many entrepreneurs have worked hard on several projects that fail before finding the ones that succeed. This is very often due to the fact that you are constantly putting out fires. 

The few customers you have are not happy, your software is not working and you don’t have enough money. This is usually the most difficult thing because you have been told that you will hit hurdles and make mistakes, but you have to know when to call it quits and move on to the next thing.

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

3. The market is NOT paying attention to you, and you are NOT aware of your competition 

Haters are going to hate, and if they are not, you should be worried. Yes, even the most successful businesses today at one point were underestimated. If no one knows who you are, or they know you and are not worried, you have to ask why? With no sales and no one knowing you, that is not a good sign.

Many businesses that are working hard to fail are consistently saying, “There is no one that does what we do!”. Even if one does exactly what you do, there is competition for peoples’ time and attention, and you need to know how to grab it. As original as you are, it’s important to know your competition and make sure they know you!

The most important thing is to remember it’s ok to fail. Most people don’t hit a home run their first at bat, and that is ok. Sometimes it is best to walk away from a failing business and look for the next thing with the lessons learned. Remember to be honest with yourself and look at the signs around you, they won’t lie.

What’s one goal you’re trying to accomplish before the end of the year? Share your thoughts and ideas on how you’ll achieve it below!

Mike Ficara is a business development consultant and the host of The Start Down Podcast. He has had the opportunity to work in a variety of industries over his career including Classroom Teacher, Technology Specialist, Director of Curriculum, and in Business Development. This vast experience provided the insight into how people learn, leadership and most importantly what motivates people to succeed. Given this knowledge and experience, today Mike spends his time coaching and consulting where he has the privilege of working with many successful business leaders as well as entrepreneurs. To learn more about Mike and his mission visitwww.MikeFicara.com.

Success Advice

5 Ways to Magnetize Your Audience

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You’re putting yourself out there, which is brave. However, like many business owners, executives, and speakers, you may be struggling with this one question running on repeat — “How do I get them to…” (fill in the blank). That could be anything from, “buy my course”, to “pay attention to me”, to “listen to what I have to say”, and so many more. Regardless of what makes you nervous speaking to your audience, you’re not alone. (more…)

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8 Ways to L.E.V.E.R.A.G.E Your Story and Make Your Book Your New Business Card

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“I should write a book,” is something that every single person says to themselves at one point or another. Then, on the occasion that a family member, friend or mentee echo’s the statement, we decide to commit and dive into the process of translating our powerful story into the pages of a book. But here’s the thing, although “Just write” is a widely shared piece of advice for those bold enough to take action to go from idea to finished book, that advice will leave your book collecting dust on virtual shelves and not generating the revenue you envision for your message. (more…)

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How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Legitimate Business

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Hobbies generally aren’t about making money and becoming successful, like businesses are. Hobbies make you happy at the end of a long week or day of working at a job you might not love in a place that might be just a little bit too far away from home for your liking. Your hobbies are what show off your interests and love, and your passion above all else. (more…)

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6 Steps to Changing Your Scarcity Mindset

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Having a scarcity mindset means fearing you’ll lose your source of income, shying away from taking risks, and believing there’s a set amount of success in the world. Its counterpart, an abundance mindset, believes that there’s opportunity for growth, risks are worth taking, and when we win, we all win together. To succeed in business, you need to adopt an abundance mindset. But how do you change your perspective?

Here are 6 ways you can change your perspective immediately:

1. Decide You Want to Change

The first step in changing your scarcity mindset is to acknowledge who you are and decide that you want to change. I compare it to the time twenty years ago when I decided to quit smoking. 

Smoking is clearly stupid, but back then it was widely accepted. Still, that’s not an excuse. The first thing I did was admit that I was addicted. The second step was making the commitment to quit. I had to decide that I didn’t want anything to have control over me anymore.

Those who want to change their scarcity mindset have to do the same thing. You may have to break your goals down into doable chunks, but you also have to keep your oars in the water. You have to keep rowing, put your back into it, and look for better opportunities. 

One of the hardest challenges will be changing how you view the ideas of others. You can’t think of those ideas as a threat, or the people as a threat. Don’t worry so much about personal success as you do about the success of the group. Remember the adage: there are three ways to do things—my way, your way, and a better way.

This notion of abundance goes beyond wealth. That’s part of it, of course, but embracing the idea of abundance means you want to experience more. You want to help more people. You want to have a greater impact on your family and your community. You have to acknowledge that you’re tired of worrying about your car breaking down and reassure yourself that if it does break down, you’ll find a way to fix it or get a new one. If you decide to buy a new car, donate your old one to the humane society so they can help animals. That’s abundance.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

2. Stay on Your Path

If you’re an entrepreneur starting a business, you probably already have an abundance mindset. That’s excellent. But you still need to keep working on your idea, regardless of the failures or setbacks you encounter. Just because you’re optimistic about your future doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard and swim against the tide from time to time.

3. Talk about the Obstacles You’ll Face

Having an abundance mindset doesn’t mean you blithely glide over every hurdle. You won’t. Instead, you have to anticipate potential problems and start plotting how you’ll get past them. If you’re confident and optimistic, the answers come more quickly and in greater numbers, thus improving your chances of success. You can’t assume your business idea is going to be a mega-hit right from the start, and that you’ll make tons of money. That might happen, but chances are you’ll have to work long and hard hours first.

4. Develop Good Habits

It’s vital that you set strong goals and adopt the habits that will help you reach those goals. Networking is key to learning and to building contacts and community. It’s not just about the help you can receive, but the help you can give. Find ways to appreciate the uniqueness of others, whether you’re working with them or having a cocktail at the local pub.

“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” – Lewis Howes

5. Address One Problem at a Time

Starting a new business is often daunting. You may have a dream of what you want to accomplish, but the task in front of you seems overwhelming. Where do you start?

I like the approach Desmond Tutu once advocated. He said “There is only one way to eat an elephant, [and that’s] one bite at a time.” What this means is that the bigger the endeavor, the more crucial it is that you break up the challenge into smaller pieces. The problems seem less intimidating and more doable when you look at them in smaller, discrete portions.

It’s not unusual for people to freeze up or get discouraged when faced with a big, hairy task, so in addition to the wisdom of Desmond Tutu, it also helps to keep in mind this observation by Mark Twain: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” It’s much easier to make progress in your big goal when you chip away at the challenges.

6. Don’t Kick the Can

It may be tempting to put off work on a particularly gnarly problem or to delay a decision on something until you have more information, but be forewarned: you can only kick the can down the road so many times before it becomes the size of a fifty-gallon drum. When that happens, procrastination is no longer an option.

Instead, just make a decision. Whether it’s the right decision or the wrong one, at least you did something. If it turns out to be the wrong decision, at least now you know what not to do, and you’re halfway there. You’ll learn and you’ll be able to adjust. You miss those opportunities when you put off making a move.

Once you have an abundance mindset, the possibilities open to you will seem endless. 

How have you developed an abundance mindset in life? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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