Almost two years ago, BUSINESS INSIDER had a feature article that caught my attention. The headline said: 11 reasons why it’s taking you so long to succeed in life. That caught my attention. But it was the bullet points that actually got me to read the article.
• Success can take a long, long time.
• If you have a business idea that isn’t making any money, or a promotion that isn’t happening just yet, there may be an answer why your hard work isn’t paying off.
The article said: “Almost no one is an overnight success. Just because you haven’t gotten your business up and running yet, or gotten the promotion you’ve been expecting, it doesn’t mean you never will. There are a number of possible explanations for a long-awaited payoff that hasn’t arrived. It could be you haven’t failed enough, or that your ego is in the way.” 1
They compiled the best responses from the Question and Answer site, QUORA, to this question: “Why is it taking me so long to succeed?” Here's what they said …
1. You’re not doing the tasks that count.
“Success comes after hard work, but only if that hard work is done properly. There are only a few tasks that really count. Do the few tasks that matter.”
2. You haven’t failed enough.
“By failing again and again, you’ll sharpen your skills and your wits, leading you to make the right decisions the next time faced with a challenge.”
3. There are no shortcuts.
“After being fired, Walt Disney made a deal with a local theater to screen his cartoons, which he called Laugh-O-Grams. Even though they were popular, by 1923, his studio was drowning in debt, and Disney was forced to declare bankruptcy. It took Disney nearly 20 years to succeed. It was not until December 1937, when Walt released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which produced $1.5 million and won a total of eight Oscars, that he found substantial success. Because there are no shortcuts!”
4. Everyone has their own time zone.
“It takes some people decades. Everyone has their own time zone: It means that some people succeed in their 20s, some do it in their 60s or 70s. It is because the situations are very different for both individuals. Facebook was a success for Zuckerberg in his 20s, whereas Colonel Sanders of KFC succeeded post 60. Some CEOs don’t become successful until they’re well into their later years. We wouldn’t have iconic companies like McDonald’s (Ray Kroc, age 52), Walmart (Sam Walton, age 44), or even instant ramen maker Nissin Foods (Momofuku Ando, age 48) otherwise.”
5. You’re petrified of losing.
“Failure is frightening. Losing your savings on a failed business is doubly frightening.”
6. You’re dwelling on negative events.
“It’s important to be hard on yourself, but don’t focus on your mistakes to the point where they keep you from acting. We are hampered by a fear of the consequences, a fear of taking risks, of creating opportunities and even a fear of handing success.”
“Amazon was an online bookstore, and Facebook was a glorified college dating site.”
7. You haven’t looked at your goal in a while.
“Sometimes, when pursuing our goals, we look too closely at the details and forget the big picture.”
8. You’re forgetting the law of incubation.
“Everything in the universe has some incubation period. A chicken’s egg hatches in 21 days, whereas a human fetus has roughly a nine-month gestation period. However, a human can be much more useful and impactful to society than a chicken. Incubation is the law of nature. Great things take time. Impossible takes a little longer. Great things take time, and greater things take longer. Perhaps your goal is so lofty, you’ll need more time to meet it – unless your goal is to have a pet chicken.”
9. You’re too focused on your ego.
“If you haven’t seen success yet, it might not be the goal you set or the people keeping you from making it happen. The problem might be your own ego.” No one succeeds on their own. “Every entrepreneur, artist, or politician has dozens of people to thank for their success.”
10. You’re setting unrealistic goals for yourself.
“Often, this is an attempt to seek approval and attain the unreachable. The biggest businesses had remarkably humble goals when they started out (Amazon was an online bookstore, and Facebook was a glorified college dating site).”
11. Perhaps you’re running out of inspiration.
“You might not be inspired anymore. Take another look at the people around you. Are they supportive? Do they believe in your big idea, career, or creative endeavor? If not, they may not be invested in your success. Instead, make lasting connections with people who are.”
There’s some good stuff in that article along with some helpful suggestions on how to succeed and to answer the question why it may be taking longer than you first thought.
Here’s what I would add:
If you really want to succeed in life no matter what you’re doing, find the will of God for your life and DO IT! And here’s where you start …
PUT GOD FIRST! (Mathew 6:33) You’ll be amazed how quickly everything else will fall into place.
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
1 Luce, Ivan De. “11 Reasons Why It's Taking You so Long to Succeed in Life.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 31 May 2019, www.businessinsider.com/reasons-why-its-taking-you-so-long-to-succeed-2019-5.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.