Fail Much? 7 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed

Why People Don't Succeed

Success is relative and defined by our individual goals and accomplishments. Not by comparing ourselves to others or by what others think success is for us. When you look at people who you believe are successful, what do they do and have in common? When you look at your own successes, what are the things you did to accomplish those successes?

Our business success is relative to the goals we set for ourselves. Whether it is growing sales, repeat business, our professional advancement, taking a dream trip, improving relations with colleagues or getting through difficult economic times, we should view our success in small, measured, consistent steps, not big leaps.

“Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. Failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated daily.” ~ Jim Rohn

Success leaves clues, trails and signs. We do not fail or succeed overnight.  Not achieving the business success we hoped for or anticipated is the inevitable result of an accumulation of decisions, behaviors and choices we make.

Success forms patterns and usually follows a set of defined principles and behaviors. When we get outside these behaviors and principles and start seeing the wrong outcome or things going in the wrong direction, this is when we need to pause. We need to step back and evaluate our success fundamentals.

Many of the most accomplished people including Stephen King, Oprah, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney all experienced challenges early on, but they didn’t give up. They stayed focused on their goals and persevered because they believed in themselves. They all had their own success processes and consistently worked and tweaked them as they needed to along the way. They still do, because successful people are always refining.

7 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed

They Become Irrelevant

Relevance today is dictated by the rapid speed of change driven by technology, consumer trends and social media. If you are to compete in the 21st century businesses environment you MUST be relevant. Are you up to date, engaged, involved in all of the ways we use to communicate and connect? Regardless if you are starting your own business, a small business owner or you work for someone else, developing an entrepreneurial mindset will impact your success today. Take this quiz.

They Are Unwilling or Too Slow To Change

Get used to transition and change as a way of life. This is no longer a periodic event that we go through every five years. Transition and change are daily occurrences. Change is the path to growth. Be proactive and don’t fall behind.

They Have an Underlying Bad Attitude

Optimism is a brand’s best friend. There is nothing more powerful, transforming and bold than a positive, optimistic demeanor and attitude. Clear out all your bad attitude roadblocks. Replace them with optimism and an awesome attitude. It’s magnetic.

They Have Skill Gaps

Make sure all your skills, certifications and qualifications are up to date and current for today’s standards. No matter what career you are in, make sure you are adapting to and using the best practices today.

They Have Not Developed A Unique Personal Brand

Personal branding is valued capital and currency for professional advancement today. How you present and market who you are, what you do, and whom you serve, so that you stand out, get noticed and build your credibility is essential and indispensable to success. Are you engaging in a content marketing strategy that presents you as a solution provider?  These top 50 content marketing brands all consistently engage in activities that keep them top of mind while serving and educating.  

They Lack Discipline, Focus and Balance

We all get off track, distracted and muddled. It’s a fact of life today. There is a tremendous amount of sacrifice, commitment and daily focus that goes into being an Olympian. These athletes set their goals, surround themselves with a team of coaches and commit to a grinding, daily regimen of practice to achieve. You can apply this Olympian discipline and mindset to any successful endeavor. It’s more than building habits. Discipline is about grit, determination, flexibility and work life integration. Don’t forget to play and enjoy your life.

They Lack A Deep Sense of Belief in Themselves

If you don’t believe that you can and you will, then you probably won’t. If “this is what I really want to do and am great at and will succeed” is not your driving force, than it will quickly sabotage your efforts. It’s okay not to feel that way, but not okay to ignore it. Sometimes we need to get help to bolster or restore our self confidence. Put the right mindset and commitment in place from the beginning and practice your fundamentals daily.

Are you leaving clues, blazing trails and posting success signs? If not, what do you need to do and what do you need to change?

Success Photo via Shutterstock


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane has been recognized as a Top 100 Small Business Champion and Top 50 SMB Influencer (Dunn and Bradstreet 2015). She is a career transition author, personal branding and social media specialist. Deborah's book "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

12 Reactions
  1. Aww, man, that last one got me. It’s one of my main (self) obstacles, to be honest.

    • Look at all the things you have done, accomplished, and have had an impact on. All those things matter to the outcome of everything. Be proud of the little things too.

      • You’re right. I will. The little things. They add up, don’t they?

        I wrote recently that a drop of water is more important than an ocean. Didn’t really get it at the time. I do now. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I think that most just fail to develop a personal brand. Most are trying to imitate an existing brand instead of carving a brand of their own.

  3. I think one of the greatests things about small businesses is the ability to change and adapt to changing market environment. Small businesses have the ability to get ‘real time’ information that allows owners to meet the needs of their market almost immediately. But as you say you need to be willing to change.

    • Alyce, I agree that small businesses have less red tape and layers to be able to make decisions and change and that is in fact a big asset. Being nimble and being adaptable quickly is important.