There are three ever-present barriers to success, no matter what you are trying to accomplish.  These are thorns to everyone!
  • Other people
  • Yourself
  • Circumstances.
Today let’s discuss how to remove each one of these.

#1.  Other people and their opinions.  You want to accomplish something extraordinary, something above average, something that isn’t normal?  Then understand that people who are not thus motivated won’t fully understand what you are trying to accomplish.  They are going to try to shoot you down with their opinions.  There are two things I would tell you about that.
  • First – and most importantly – understand those people probably love and care about you the most and are trying to help you.  So, you don’t need to be angry at your brother, your mom, or your uncle.  Don’t be upset when someone close tells you that trying to start a business is crazy or quitting your job is insane.
  • Second, just ignore them.  Why?  Because if you want to accomplish something, you have to do the unusual.  

Okay, now once you get started, though, there’s another barrier just as big as other people and their opinion.

#2.  I think this one is even a bigger barrier – yourself.  To SAY you’ll ignore the people discouraging you is easy.  What is not easy to do is prove them wrong by getting yourself out of bed and going to work.  What is harder to do is prove that you are the kind of person who…

  • can build a business.
  • can build a legitimate income stream.
  • can turn Netflix off, get up, go out, and do work.

You have to overcome the barrier of yourself.  Many times this barrier is the result of the expectations you have for yourself.  You think you’ll get out in the field today and make three or four sales.  You have these really high expectations.  You need to lower your expectations to the ground level.  The main expectation for yourself should be one word – WORK.  I believe this issue is the number one reason people who get into business quit. Daily expectations for themselves are way too high.  Treat your business like a job, and it will pay you like a business.

The mindset which says, “Oh, I’m my own boss.  I can do whatever I want to do.  I’m going to get out there and make all these sales” is wrong!  No, no, no! If you quit a job to go into business to sell merchants, or whatever you are doing, let me give you some really good advice.  Are you ready; this is deep?  This is probably the best advice you are ever going to get about starting a business and being successful:  Get to work by 9:00 A.M.  Don’t stop working till 5:00 P.M.  In the middle work really hard.  That’s it.  Just work really hard from 9 to 5.

There are many people such as Gary Vaynerchuk advocating a 97 hour work week, or a similar outrageous schedule.  These people insist you can’t be successful without that many hours of work.  That’s ridiculous – absolutely ridiculous.  Okay, yes, if you want to be a billionaire, maybe you must put in a bit more effort.  But to build a successful business, you DO have to get to work by 9:00 A.M., and you can’t quit before 5:00 P.M.

Now after that maybe your ambition level is a little bit higher, so you’ll put in more hours.  There is a reason I work from 9 to 5, go home, and then work for another two or three hours many nights.  Why do I do that?  Because my ambition level is a little bit higher; I want to accomplish a little bit more.  However, to just build a successful business and make a lot of money, you can absolutely do that from 9 to 5.  But you MUST work 9 to 5 without distractions.  Get up.  Get to work.  Go home.  Work hard in the middle.  Also, make sure (going back to barrier number one) the people in your life who love and care about you understand you have these constraints.  You work from 9 to 5.

My wife, Christina, knows that I work from 9 to 5.  I can take days off, just like any other job.  I can take a sick day if I get sick.  We have vacation time.  But I’m not taking three months of vacation every year.  I’m not taking off two or three days a week.  No, I’m working a job.  I come to work Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.  I work.  That’s what I do.  I have a job; I have a business.  Even though I’m the boss, I still come to work.  And I work hard.

So, overcome the barrier of other people and their opinions by ignoring them.  Then overcome the barrier of yourself by proving those people wrong.  Have this mindset, “No, no, I’m actually going to put the work in.  I’m going to get to work by 9.  I’m going to leave no earlier than 5, and in the middle I’m going to work really, really hard.”

#3.  Overcome the barrier of circumstances, which is the barrier of distractions.  Understand what is important and what is not important.  Every day there will be three or four very unimportant things which will take priority over the really, really important long-term things.  Urgent things are not always important.  In fact, they are rarely important.  As an entrepreneur, learn to be just as good at ignoring urgent tasks as you are at ignoring negative opinions.

These “urgent” tasks are unbelievable!  Here is an example from a conversation.

Me:  “Hey, what’s going on?  You said you were going to be in the field, but you aren’t.  What’s going on?”
Rep:  “Well, I don’t have business cards yet.”
Me:  “Okay, do you have a computer?  Okay, good.  Go to Staples.com.”
Rep:  “Okay, I’ll do that when I get off the call.”
Me:  “No, no, no, right now go to Staples.com.  Pick a design that you like.  Good.  Do you have a phone number?  Put it on there.  Put your email address on there.  Now click ‘order.’  Okay, done.  Now what else do you need?”
Rep:  “Nothing.”
Me:  “Right, get out in the field!  Get your work done.”

Or the rep may say:  “Well, I can’t today because I need to take my dog to a check-up.”

Take your dog to a check-up next year.  Okay, I’m sorry, but you have to work.  Maybe this rep’s electric bill is late or the mortgage isn’t paid.  But instead of selling today, the rep needs to take the dog for a check-up.  That’s ridiculous.  Don’t make the excuse, “My favorite show just got released on Netflix.”  Who cares?  Don’t let circumstances get in your way; remove those.

Are you saying, “No, no, no, I’m motivated.  I’m getting up.  I’m going to work tomorrow.  But before I do, I must just go to the grocery store real quick and pick up milk and eggs.”  No, you do not unless that’s before 9:00 a.m!  You are working!  What if one of my employees came to me at 3:00 in the afternoon and said, “James, I really need to take milk and eggs and bread home to my spouse before I come back to work.”  Are you kidding me?  I would respond, “Go ahead.  That’s fine.  Then you are fired, so don’t bother coming back tomorrow.” ”

At this moment right now, why aren’t you working?  Is it a person?  Is there somebodywho keeps saying, “You can’t do this.  You can’t do this.  You can’t do this”?  You need to have a serious conversation with that person.  If this is someone who cares about you, ask for support even if the person doesn’t agree with your actions.  Or is it yourself in the way today?  Are you just being lazy?  No one is standing in your way except for yourself, your laziness.  Get out and do something.

Work or go get a job.  I give many people that advice.  Are you the barrier to your own success because you don’t have the discipline to do it?  That doesn’t make you a bad person any more than the people I described a little bit ago who may be holding you back.  Some people thrive better in structured environments.  Maybe you need a structured environment to be successful.  Great!  Go get a structured environment.  There are a lot of them; they are called jobs.  You can move up in a job and make a lot of money there, too.  So, go get a job.  But if you want to be successful on your own as a business person, an entrepreneur, then you have to provide the structure for yourself.

Go to work.  Your business is a job!  Take care of your extracurricular urgent tasks before 9 or after 5.  Come to work ready to work.  Look at your business like that.  Start thinking about your business like a job, and go to work.  

Hopefully, this will motivate you to actually be able to do the amazing thing which prompted you into business:  make more money!  Have an awesome day.

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