Why do successful empires fail? Why do successful businesses lose their edge? Why does it seem that making it to the top is followed by a fall from grace? Nothing leads to failure faster than success.
Origins of Success
There are many examples in history of greatness crumbling to dust. Societies like the Roman Empire are a great example. We also see many great examples of successful people whose offspring seem to be less successful, and not nearly the high achievers who spawned them. In fact, you may have heard the phrase: “Success skips a generation.”
To have great success, to be a high achiever, it takes a lot of hard work. It takes consistency and determination. It takes discipline. The road is arduous and full of mundane routine actions. It’s wrought with choices to do the things that others won’t do. It’s exhausting to keep it up, but you can reach unimaginable heights.
Extraordinary Success Can Lead to Failure
When you get to the top of the mountain, when you’ve reached success, it’s easy to think, “I made it!” It’s easy to become complacent and content with your results. You reached your goals. Now what? If you don’t have a mechanism in place to continue the actions and choices that made you great in the first place, it will be easy to stop. It’s easy to begin to fail to do what got you where you are.
One of my mentors, Darren Hardy, says, “You can’t own success. You can only rent it ... and the rent is due everyday.” In other words, if you don’t pay the rent for success with hard work, it gets repossessed. If you don’t have the discipline to consistently do the things that unsuccessful people won't do, then your success will fade away.
"It Worked So Well That I Quit"
We coach financial professionals on purpose-driven processes and systems to run a successful financial services firm. It’s not an overnight success scheme. It’s not an easy road. It requires that they put in months of hard work and implementation. We drone on about seemingly mundane uninteresting actions that must be followed through. Its not sexy, or glamorous, but these professionals want to become more than they are. They want to achieve.
After implementing a specific task or action, we’ll often hear them tell us: “Oh yeah, I used to do that, and it really worked well. It worked so well that I quit doing it.” Then they laugh about it. However, it’s not a joke to us. It’s an example of complacency stealing your success’s rent money.
Consistency Leads to Success
If you want to avoid becoming another success story ending in failure you must pay the rent everyday. You need a consistent process. To achieve your definite purpose, you must grind it out when no one is looking, not only when the eyes are on you. If you don’t, no one will be looking at you anyway. Be the exception by being consistent.
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