Why most people fail at what they start with so much confidence

20th Mar 2017
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Persistence is key, even if your plans change. The idea is to keep at what you are passionate about, even if your initial plan does not pan out.

I can list down 20 different reasons why my startup failed, but there is one common reason for my failure and yours. It’s not over-confidence, nor poor execution. It’s neither lack of funding, nor co-founder conflicts.

Most people fail because of lack of persistence.

Steven Pressfield called it resistance in his famous book The War of Art.

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form if that's what it takes to deceive you.

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction.”

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I held other people responsible for the failure of my first startup. I was cursing the people and events by assigning blame on everyone but myself. When I stopped blaming, I found that I was not a failure but an opportunity to grow.

I was just going through a temporary phase of stress testing. Every entrepreneur goes through that dark phase sooner or later. Some survive the period, while others abandon the work they started with so much passion.

We can look at my failed startup as a failure or a stepping stone for what I am doing today.

I shut down my two startups without seeing any profits, but still, I was working on my goals consistently. I was standing in the battleground when all odds were against me. Persistence does not mean that I have to stick to my first idea. Ideas can change as you learn on your startup journey.

Persistence means that moving forward on the path that you have chosen for your life.

I left my steady job when my son was 15 months old. No big savings in my account. No secondary income through my wife’s job. Our decision seemed like foolishness.

When I started my first startup, I did not have any experience in business, sales, or marketing. I did not have any access to funding except my personal money. I was learning new skills but my savings were drying up quickly. My risk-taking capacity was limited but I did something where most people usually quit.

I didn’t care what people were saying. I have chosen the path of freedom, I was willing to work hard. I was willing to wait patiently to see the results in the long run.

I started my personal finance blog, but I was struggling, garnering only a few thousands by way of traffic in the first year.

I built my patience to see the result. The waiting time was annoying. Every day seemed like a week when you see moderate results with your efforts. I knew that the results were not appearing on the surface but I was constantly improving myself with hard work.

A similar thing happens when you build up your body for any game or marathon. You work hard daily without skipping your practice. You become disciplined about what food you consume with the absolute control over quantity and timing. Still, you would not notice any change in your body on a daily basis.

And, soon enough, something amazing happened with my blog traffic. The traffic jumped from 10,000 per month to 1,00,000 per month.

That was the result of efforts that I put in the first year. It paid off in the next year. I started monetising my blog and made Rs 60,000 in the first month itself. Today, my blog is making more than Rs 2,00,000 without my active involvement.

I spent the entire month of January on a road trip, dedicating only a few hours to managing my blog. There was no impact on my revenue. That’s the freedom. That’s the success.

Your definition of success might be different from mine. You might consider Rs 1 crore of monthly income as a success, but my life runs well with a Rs 1,00,000 monthly income. I am making more than what I need to be happy.

I will never work for money to do things that I don't love. I am a frugal person. I don’t mind spending money on experiences that give me happiness, but I don’t like to spend money on things that I don’t really need (like latest gadgets, big cars, and fashionable clothes). I stay in a rented house and I will never buy an apartment even if I have money in my account. I am happy with my current lifestyle and deem it successful.

The biggest obstacle to your success is YOU. If you can overcome your own habits and behaviour then you can see your success ahead.

If you need ideas, then read my 100 ideas of making money online with an under Rs 5,000 investment.

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Authors
Pardeep Goyal
Pardeep is an entrepreneur, storyteller & content marketing expert. He writes about Entrepreneurship, PR & Growth Hacking on StartupKarma. His travel and money hacks are popular on his personal finance startup CashOverflow. You can write to him on pardeep@cashoverflow.in or connect with him on Twitter

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