I recently received an e-mail from the motivational speaker and real estate investor PaulLeJoy. He's been wildly successful in real estate sales and has mentored and worked withdozens of entrepreneurs.
In his e-mail, LeJoy identified eight pitfalls that lie athwart every pathway to success. Histhoughts were so deep and insightful that I edited them and condensed them:
Every path to success begins with a great idea. There's only one problem: Great ideas are adime a dozen. What really matters when it comes to becoming a success is not having the ideabut having the courage to transform that idea into reality. This usually means a risk of losingthe security of a regular job and risking a steady paycheck. Only the brave ever overcomethis first of the pitfalls.
Even with a great idea and the courage to pursue it, your efforts will be for naught unlessyou're willing to take massive action. Write down your goals and (more important) the actionsteps you'll take to pursue those goals. Post your vision and plan in your bedroom, bathroom,office. Share it with others, so they'll hold you accountable for delivering on your plan. Makeyourself accountable and become the master of your destiny.
Without passion, even the most compelling vision will wither on the vine. Without passion,your energy and enthusiasm will flag when you encounter inevitable obstacles. Make yourpassion into an almost physical characteristic of your personality, an inexorable force thatkeeps you engaged every moment of every workday, bringing you one step closer to themeasure of success that you desire.
The modern world clamors for your attention in ever-louder ways, a deluge that can distractyou from your course. It takes self-discipline to persevere amidst the noise and haste, toassert your willpower over casual desires and instincts. Channel your emotions, behavior, anddesires toward obtaining the reward of success. Remember: Living a life of self-discipline is lesspainful in the long run than regretting "what might have been."
Once you've made a decision, doubt is a worm that eats away at your ability to succeed. Lifeand work can be hard and even cruel. Remember, the race is not for the swift but rather thosewho persevere. Rather than allowing doubt to seep in and poison your process, you owe it toyourself to remain confident in your vision and your plan. Adapt as needed along the way,butalways know that success will ultimately be yours.
The old sayings "no man is an island" and "there'sstrength in numbers" may sound corny, but thatdoesn't make them any less true. Even with self-discipline, in the long run, you'll need contact withkindred spirits and mentors. Meeting regularly can bea great boost to your morale and provide newperspectives on your approach. The Internet makesit extraordinarily easy to find a coach, mentor, or mastermind group that can provide theemotional support, experience, and wisdom to help turn your vision into reality.
As you begin to be successful, you'll be tempted to lie, exaggerate, and deceive in order tomove your agenda forward. However, taking the easy way of dishonesty has a tendency tosneak back up on you. In the end, it causes far more problems than taking the risk of telling thetruth. True success comes when you are a person of your word, when you have a pureconscience, and when you have not cheated others on your way to the top.
The final pitfall is by far the most dangerous, because it's so easy to miss. When your visionbecomes a reality, you arestill a failure if you cannot remember your humble beginnings orrecognize the contributions of those who helped you along the way. Remember: There is nosuch thing as a self-made billionaire. If you can't experience gratitude, you might as well havestayed exactly where you started.