For today’s lesson, I’d like to do something a little bit different.
I want to share with you some of the traits I’ve seen of people who fail.
Now, I don’t know exactly what your definition of success is. And “fixing” these things might not automatically bring that success your way. But it will certainly help you avoid failure — and make your success (by any definition) much more likely.
And by the way, I’m not perfect. I wrestle with these things, too. Some more than others. But the better I do at eradicating these from my life, the more successful I become.
Okay, let’s dig into these five ways to know if you’re going to be a failure — and how to avoid them…
Number 1: Accepting your “shiny object syndrome.”
The name says a lot, but let me explain.
If you’re always looking for the next big thing…
If you’re always looking for the next 7-Step Success Blueprint…
If you’re always looking to greener pastures instead of cultivating your own…
This is going to get in your way.
The truth? Success takes time. It takes perseverance. It takes consistency. And if you’re always moving from the next to the next to the next, you don’t exhibit any of those traits.
You have to go deep. Find something that works for you, and dive in. Then stick with it and make it what you want.
Number 2: Focusing on tactics over strategies.
This is a really big one for me.
When I put on my Advanced Direct Response Copywriting Workshop, I could have pitched it as “The Sales Copy Formula” or some crap like that.
The reality is I probably would have put a lot more butts in seats. I would have made more money.
Because wannabes buy tactics and formulas and blueprints — “easy buttons.” Wannabes just want someone else to do it for them.
But if you get serious about your success — in copywriting or any other field — you quickly realize that a 100% focus on tactics quickly gets you lapped. By who? By professionals who got their strategy right, and who then use tactics in service of the greater strategic goals.
At The Titans of Direct Response last year, this was very apparent. If you’d gone just to get your hands on a bunch of direct response tactics, you would have quickly realized you were in the wrong room. Because the A-listers all focused on strategies, principles, and mindset above all.
Tactics (and in marketing, media) come and go. Strategies, principles, and mindset will serve you through your entire career.
If you spend your time caught up in the latest tactic, you risk being on top of the world today, but being broken tomorrow when that tactic goes out of style or stops working.
Focus on strategies and principles and mindset, and you may occasionally miss out on flash-in-the-pan successes you may have otherwise enjoyed, but your success will be much more consistent and long-lasting.
That’s why I was happy to earn a little less from my workshop last year, to ensure that those who did come were the right kind of copywriters who would apply the strategies I taught and experience success as a result (as they have, story here).
Number 3: Thinking success (or failure) comes from outside yourself.
This is a biggie. And probably a bit controversial. Especially among my more liberal readers. (I hate getting political — I hate politics in general — but this does tend to get split along party lines.)
The reality is that we ARE all born into a different lot in life. We all have unique privileges and roadblocks. They could be physical. They could be mental. They could be societal or environmental.
And depending on the circumstances, our road may be tougher or easier than others’.
But if you believe that just because you were born whatever way, that someone else should hand you success or comfort or whatever, you’re destined to live a less fulfilled and satisfying life than if you create your future.
When you take responsibility for where you’re at, and especially where you go from here, you get tremendous power.
You get the power to shuck off whatever circumstances hold you back, appreciate any privileges or strengths you might have, and in light of it all, enjoy the best success possible.
We won’t all be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett (or insert rich guy or gal here), but we can create a much bigger, brighter, more successful future. As long as WE take personal responsibility for making it happen.
But if you decide you’re going to wait around for someone to plop an opportunity (or success) in your lap, you’re going to be waiting a long time.
Number 4: Not doing the work.
Even an overnight success is often years in the making.
Usually successful people make it look easier than it really is (I do, even though I try not to too much).
The dream of success is often sold to you on the premise that “If you just do this one thing (or buy this one product), success will be push-button simple.”
This is a really effective sales pitch. But it rarely works quite this way.
If you’re not willing to do the work (and yes, my motivation comes and goes, too), you’re not going to get the results.
The most successful people typically are those who show up every day and do the work.
It’s not glamorous. It’s sometimes difficult.
But it works.
And there’s some magic that can happen in there, when you’ve chosen a path you enjoy.
You’ve heard the saying, “it’s the journey not the destination that’s important.”
Pleasure, enjoyment, happiness, and success can actually be defined in your enjoyment of the work, not the results it gives you. And it’s often at this moment that the success result really starts to happen.
Being motivated by and content with taking the journey — doing the work — will often get you the success result you want to achieve.
Number 5: Not investing in yourself.
This will certainly sound self-serving. And to some degree, it’s meant to be.
You need to invest in yourself.
And yes, that includes investing money in education, like my Advanced Direct Response Copywriting Workshop Audio Recordings (available for the next 2 1/2 days only).
But it’s a lot more than that.
Are you willing to invest the time in learning and practice, when you could be watching TV?
Are you willing to invest the faith in yourself when others doubt you?
Are you willing to invest in the dual possibility of success or failure, by stepping out and doing SOMETHING while others do NOTHING?
Time, money, resources, effort, energy… These things and more can be invested in yourself. And they should be.
Invest just one or two and you’ll likely come up short.
It’s hard to buy success — no matter how much you spend. Just putting in your time is no guarantee, either. Effort without the right focus or resources to support it is wasted.
You need to take a total approach to investing in yourself if you want maximum returns.
If you’re not willing to invest ALL of the above, failure is not only possible but likely.
With that said, one more thing…
I mentioned it before, but I’ll explain further…
Every copywriter who attended my workshop in November has already been enjoying more career success, which they’re able to tie back to something they learned there.
This is big.
This is what happens when you focus on the core strategies that work — not just the tactics and makeshift systems that sell.
This was the whole purpose of my workshop.
I put together a presentation sharing their stories, and making an offer. It’s your chance to get the download audio version of the workshop. It’s a one-time-only offer, and good until Saturday at midnight only. After that, the recordings will be unavailable for a time. And when they are available again, they’ll be more expensive.
All the details are in my short 23-minute presentation.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets