In the legendary book on entrepreneurial success and personal development, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill outlined 17 characteristics of some of history’s wealthiest, most successful entrepreneurs. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hill, he spent the better portion of his life traveling the world to interview, study and research the wealthiest entrepreneurs of his time, and then compiled and recorded what he learned in his book. He was sponsored by America’s first billionaire, Andrew Carnegie, and was able to directly observe the habits and strategies of people like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, and Charles M. Schwab to name a few. To date, over 20 million copies of Hill’s book have been sold since it was published in 1937, and countless other editions have been downloaded online.
Of the 17 characteristics observed by Hill, the one that seems to get overlooked the most by entrepreneurs who are struggling to find the evasive secret to prosperity and achievement is the first one in the book: The need to have an absolute “Burning Desire” to succeed.
Contrary to what a lot of people believe, businesses don’t prosper simply because they have a better service or product, a more lucrative target market, a clever marketing strategy, a prime location, better employees or more substantial funding. Believe me, those things certainly can’t hurt and they do help.
However, those advantages are by-products of a burning desire to succeed. I’ve seen scrappy entrepreneurs succeed under the most unfavorable, dire conditions. They have zero funding, a simple paper accounting system, no fancy software and systems to run their business and zero marketing and sales experience – and yet they burst forward like a phoenix from the ashes. I’ve also seen people who have everything going for them screw up and fail miserably. In each and every case, it was the PERSON leading the charge who made the difference because, by and large, succeeding in business is largely a matter of deciding to.
Each and every day – and every hour and minute for that matter – we are faced with decisions. Do I work on my business plan, or do I check my e-mail? Do I get up at 5:00 a.m. and get a fresh start on finally making those much-needed changes to my web site, or do I hit the snooze button and sleep in for a couple more hours? Do I plan my day in advance to make sure I’m spending quality time working on quality projects that can represent 6- and 7-figure deals, or do I fritter away minutes posting on Facebook, watching that funny video or cleaning my desk? Often decisions to “check e-mail” because there might be a cry for help from your biggest client is essentially an excuse to avoid working on the things you KNOW you need to work on. You trade the hard, uncomfortable tasks for things that are comfortable and easy, and then find ways to logically justify them.
“Trying” doesn’t generate results. “Doing” and “done” does. So if you’re not succeeding and not making the progress you’d hoped for, what’s REALLY, truly holding you back? Do you really have the BURNING, unwavering, steady commitment to achieve success? Do you have the stamina it takes to stay the course, pick yourself up again and again, setback after setback, to keep doing the RIGHT things, making the RIGHT decisions LONG enough to actually get traction, or are you going to fade out, give up, hide and make excuses?
To those of you who truly want to succeed, I submit this video to watch: