What hinders your success?

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I was sitting here thinking about success and not just in business but in any area of my life and what holds me back.  Why don’t I achieve the level of success I think I am capable of?  Why do I get stuck in ruts so often?

Of course everyone has a different definition of success.  Some people want to be millionaires and retire on an island somewhere.  Some people just want to be able to pay their bills and have a few bucks left over to play with.  Some people want to have a family and be able to take care of their needs.  Success is one of those things that will be different for everyone and take many different forms throughout life. 

So what is holding me back from achieving “success” in my life? Let me focus on what I would consider success businesswise.  I think I have pinpointed a few different areas I need to improve on and some of my personality traits that hold me back. I don’t think it is lack of knowledge, lack of opportunity, lack of resources or anything like that. So here are 4 areas I have narrowed it down to for me:

Perseverence:  I have probably 20-30 different projects I have started on and never finished. I have websites, PPC projects, videos, etc. all just sitting there that are barely started, some that are almost finished, some that are just domain names I have registered but never gotten back to.  For the most part many of these are projects that I could probably get finished if I were to just take a day or two and focus and bust them out.  There are some bigger projects in the queue but for the most part they would be pretty easy to finish if I just took a bit of time and poured into them

Focus:  I get distracted very easily. Could be checking email, checking Twitter, reading on ESPN, playing around on my bass guitar, eating lunch, listening to music, checking stats, etc.  There are so many different distractions out there that keep me from spending more than 20-30 minutes at a time on any one project.  And when I get distracted it is hard for me to get cranking again. Example:  I have a site I recently built.  Probably took me 2 hours or so and it makes around $400 a month.  If I focused and built a site like that every day?  $12K a month.  By the end of the year that is almost a mil.  Obviously not every site will make $400 a month and it isn’t realistic to expect a new site every day but it is something to think about.

Laziness:  I am the type of guy that likes doing nothing.  I kinda remind myself of Peter from Office Space.  In many ways my ideal day would be sleep in, go play golf, take a nap, eat, watch a movie, eat some more, hang out with friends, and go to bed.  Not much time for work with a schedule like that.  I have always wrestled with the concept of working my butt off for a few years now and relax later but I can never convince myself that would be better than slacking off now.

Contentment:  Too often I equate contentment with complacency. Do I just settle for where I am?  If I strive for more is that not being content?  If I make enough to pay my bills and have some money to play with should I strive for more or just be thankful for where I am?  I think I need to strive for more.

How can I change and get past these roadblocks?  I have never been a big fan of to do lists, goal setting, etc. but maybe that is part of the problem. 

Here is my plan of action:

1.  Every week I want to build 2 new websites. I have a few niches I have done well with in the past and there is definite room for growth in those but I am always open to suggestions as well.
2.  Try 1 new PPC campaign every week, track it for a week, kill it if it isn’t profitable, and if it is profitable work on ramping it up.
3.  At least 4 solid hours of “work” every day for the next couple months and see how it goes.
4.  Clean my office and get more organized.  Could help.  My desk is a mess right now.

OK, I will give that a go for a month or two and see what happens… Starting tomorrow

So what is your definition of success?  What is holding you back? Where do you need to improve?  How can I improve on those areas mentioned?  Leave a comment and let me know.


  1. Clean off your desk/office first-I'm sure that will help.
    I can definitely identify w/the complacency/contentment idea…interesting thoughts. I've been feeling the need to work harder, too, but not sure what that will be for me.

  2. I love your honesty Joe, especially about your ideal kind of a day. I would amend it a little, 2 rounds of golf.

  3. I get stuck in ruts too sometimes, I think many people if not everyone goes through that sometimes. The best part is when you pick yourself back up and refocus on what your goals are. I think the hardest part is figuring out what your goal is. As Woody Allen says, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."

  4. I think perseverence, laziness, focus, contentment become obstacles because we all lose focus of what our big dream is. We forget that work or tasks or even money (hopefully) are all really part of a bigger dream and not the end all. If we have a dream that really tugs at our soul and is meaningful, it makes it easier to chug through a day, even joyfully.

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