The Nine Ways to Guarantee Success

I really blew it and everyone knows it. I’ve even spoken at conferences on Failure. I might’ve even deluded myself into thinking I was the keynote speaker. By the way, my favorite technique in public speaking is to slightly slur my words but that’s another post.

I’m like Dr. Failure. I know exactly what you need to do if you want your wife to hate you, if you want to get thrown out of school, if you want to lose your investors $100 million. If you want to lose your home, and so on.

1/16 of the time people are happy. The rest of the time they are unhappy. So if you start to avoid all the things that cause unhappiness then maybe there’s a small chance you can improve the ratios in your favor

Claudia says “why are you writing about failure? Think positive!” What? Avoiding every possible way to fail is the most positive thing you can do to be happy and successful.

Here’s the REAL reasons entrepreneurs fail. Its not because of a bad programmer. Fire him and get a new one. Its not because a client pulled out at the last minute. Get a new client, or anticipate. It not because your girlfriend cheated on you. Kick her to the curb. Its not because some guy sued you or your employees delivered an unfinished product. We already know its your fault. Every failure (EVERY) failure boils down to these core reasons that come from the INSIDE. Some might seem obvious but they really are the ONLY reasons for failure. They are the CORE FOUNDATIONS of every failure. Pay attention to them please:

A) Sickness. This is obvious. If you are sick all the time, you won’t be successful at a business. When I was a venture capitalist I would never invest money to a guy hooked up to a ventilator. Or even if I supect they are clinically deprssed. Many people avoid second dates if they find out on the first date the girl has late-stage terminal cancer. This is sad but reality.

What does it mean for an enterpreneur?  Put good things in your body. Exercise. Don’t drink. Sleep 8 hours a day. That’s it. Then you probably won’t get sick as much and you’ll have a lot of energy to do your business. If you’re sick in bed all the time, your business will fail.

Sometimes Sickness might also be telling you something. When I worked for a private equity firm I fell once for no reason and could barely walk for a week or so afterwards. It wasn’t good for me to be there. I never  went back. And later experiences proved me correct. Your body sometimes knows more than you do.

B) Inertia. I went out for dinner the other night with people who couldn’t stop talking, eating, and drinking. One person had business ideas. The other person wanted to write a novel. All night long drinking, eating, talking about business ideas, talking about writing novels. Talking, eating, drinking, talking, walking, drinking again, talking more. Then you sleep. Wake up at eight. Bloated, sick, heavy.

Wake up at eight — then you are too late. If you want to succeed you first have to get up and start. You can’t watch SharkTank, you have to be the shark. Don’t waste time. Start NOW. No more stuffing your face. No more parties at high-tech meetups with lots of social media experts. You know you only want to have sex with a social media expert. Stop lying about it. Start your business.

 

C) Doubts. You need to have a real passion behind the product you are creating. Would YOU use the product? If you wouldn’t, or if you are not sure, then you have doubts. Steve Jobs WANTED an ipad, an ipod, an i-everything. Doubts will make you fail because you won’t be able to make critical design decisions. Decisions are the top of a pyramid. Beneath the top is the base built by your solid foundation: “this is the product I would use. This is the product I want!” Then all decisions come from that.

With stockpickr.com I was obsessed about putting in new features. But every single new feature was something that had worked successfully to make me a better trader. I had no doubts. I had the spreadsheets showing me those strategies worked. With Reset.com I only built websites that I would want to use.

D) Laziness. Everyone is lazy some of the time. If I am bored with something I’m lazy. But with a startup, or if you are trying to move up in the corporate world, or if you are falling in love with a girl, you can’t be lazy. She wants to go dancing tango. You want to watch Jay Leno. You’re a lazy pig. She’ll find someone else to tango with. You have to be working at it all the time, except when you sleep and exercise and even then your subconscious is working at it. For jobs and startups, its a 10-12 hour day. There’s no avoiding it. Managing that time is a different story but that’s how you beat the 9 hour a day competitors.

E) Carelessness. If your programmers present you a final product, you still have to check every page, click on everything, click on everything fast and twice, don’t forget a birthday or an anniversary, don’t forget everything your boss told you or everything the client wanted. Be detail oriented. Persistent carelessness equals consistent failure.

F) Vacillating. Is this the right business? Or should I back up and start fresh with a new idea? Should I hire this girl? Or that guy? I’ll hire this guy but then I’ll have doubts and I wont follow up. I’ll go out with this girl who is rich but maybe I really like that sexy girl who I met in an elevator. If you’re stuck in too many middles, you get sliced up into bits of broken glass. Your businesses implodes, your relationships have to start back at zero. You vacillated and ended up with nothing. Congratulations. By the way, pick the sexy girl.

G) No progress. You start your business. You launch your dating site. A few people sign up. But there’s no excitement. People stop signing up. Traffic stays a few dozen people a day. Ok, no progress. You buy some google ads. They sort of work. No progress. By the way, failure is not a stigma. Its ok to fail. Its just that having “no progress” might be an indication you need to move to another idea or business. I have a post coming about this about another business I started where I was making no progress so I stopped the business and had to return money on the eve of raising it. I was shaking when I returned the money. I don’t like to give back $500,000 that had my name on it. I was a failure. But ultimately returning the money on the eve of failure created much goodwill and led to greater success later. This is not about the success of one business or failure. This is about the success of you.

Even profitable companies sometimes have no progress and have to be rethought. This happened to me with my fund of hedge funds. More on that in another story. Or maybe I told it already. I don’t know.

H) Delusions. People start a business, then they think its the best geo-locator mobile dating discount app on the universe: “its called ‘6th Circle’ because its a play on “foursquare” and the sixth circle of Dante’s Inferno. We’re going to do five deals with major sidewalk companies in China to get the word out. The market is $18 billion in profits because we get everyone in Shanghai to pay 10 cents a day.” Blah blah. Always look back. “Am I smoking crack?” “Am I smoking crack?” “Am I smoking crack?” Every day check the ashtray. Is there crack in there? Delusions will keep you from making progress. Then suddenly, no money, no friends, no more PR, and you’re on your bed smoking your last piece of crack hanging onto the lonely panties of the last hooker who left you by yourself, not even bothering to dress as she slammed the door on the way out. This is your mind on crack.

I) You Fall Backwards. You’re losing clients. Your best programmer quit. Your traffic is going down. Your girlfriend is not returning your calls. Your boss promoted someone over you. Time to get creative now. You need to think out of the box. Again, this is just an obstacle. Not a failure. Failures start off as obstacles. You want to overcome obstacles. You can’t make your girlfriend call you back. Maybe you get a new girlfriend who calls you back. Maybe you take a step back and build a new site. You start looking for a new job so you find people who value you. Falling backwards consistently will make you go to zero. So when you start to “fall backwards” you say, “ok, I have an obstacle. Now I need to think out of the box to get rid of this obstacle.” Its not bad to have obstacles. You just have to overcome them.  If you fall back too far then you fell down.

Consistently having ANY of the nine items above will make your business fail. And will make them succeed if you avoid ALL of them. I say “consistently”. Be vigilant. Every morning review the potential obstacles. Every afternoon. Every night. Catch yourself when you first hit the obstacle. If you can clean the obstacles out, you’ll have success. Guaranteed.

Follow the Daily Practice I outline and obstacles will be easier to catch before you fail. Trust it. That Practice will WORK. It works for me. I see it work every day for others. Businesses might fail, relationships might not work out, your old boss will be stuck yelling at the dead pieces of meat that sit in his office sucking up to him. Everyone in the world is suing everyone else and blaming their old best friends. Your ex girlfrind is busying being unhappy in her next relationship. But no longer can anything stop you from succeeding.

Read More: Get Your Free Side Income Idea (To Generate Passive Income)

 

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  • Andrew

    Finally got past on inertia, almost through vacillating and now well into doubt. Bookmarked this for when I hit “no progress”. Kudos James!

  • RobbieR

    You’re not ‘Dr Failure’, you just seem to have terrible exit strategies. You can’t keep flipping straight “heads” all day. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I do ok on exits also. I just try a lot of things. 

      • RobbieR

        Ok cool. How about an article on your best exits and how you decided on them?

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Start with my post on “how i sold my company to the son of the man who killed hitler.” Then maybe my post on “osama and negotiation”. 

      • UraniumC

        and that’s the key in brief:  try a lot of things and keep trying.

    • CMS

      He is the Dr Failure. Like in a tough love intervention TV show. 

      It could be a good game show.  A contestant goes on, James prods their ideas until he finds the bullshit, then proceeds to  nag the contestant until he breaks down and admits he is a failure. The winner is the first one who breaks down then formulates a feasible corrective action.

      Or the winner is the one whom a panel decides is sufficiently self critical and neurotic to be self employed.

      Japanese version could include shock therapy.

    • CMS

      He is the Dr Failure. Like in a tough love intervention TV show. 

      It could be a good game show.  A contestant goes on, James prods their ideas until he finds the bullshit, then proceeds to  nag the contestant until he breaks down and admits he is a failure. The winner is the first one who breaks down then formulates a feasible corrective action.

      Or the winner is the one whom a panel decides is sufficiently self critical and neurotic to be self employed.

      Japanese version could include shock therapy.

    • CMS

      He is the Dr Failure. Like in a tough love intervention TV show. 

      It could be a good game show.  A contestant goes on, James prods their ideas until he finds the bullshit, then proceeds to  nag the contestant until he breaks down and admits he is a failure. The winner is the first one who breaks down then formulates a feasible corrective action.

      Or the winner is the one whom a panel decides is sufficiently self critical and neurotic to be self employed.

      Japanese version could include shock therapy.

  • Todd_Andelin

    Riemann sum.
    When you are approximating the area under a curve using this method, you are always “failing” to get the correct answer.  But as you continue to execute the function using smaller pieces, you arrive at a pretty good number.  The important thing is to keep making and counting the squares.

  • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

    Yes. Me too.

  • Munich Re Event Organizer

    You need to go long her

  • SpecosaurusRex

    Only entrepreneurs are willing to analyze their sick, inert, doubtful, lazy, careless, vacillating, stagnant, delusional, back sliding behaviors (just summing up letters A through I above).  And some of them get so twisted up analyzing it, they end up creating all the said above behaviors.  Be in flow, and be gentle on yourselves, too.  Just ask any Ashtangi yogini, right James?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Ask such a person and youll see they look for those things to cultivate the opposite. 

  • https://jarvisapp.com/ Jay Shirley

    Facebook is actually profitable, it’s just a private company so we don’t see the public figures.

    It is estimated they will clear $1b in profits for 2011 (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2011/tc2011016_998330.htm)

    Facebook has become a dominate platform and a destination, much like Yahoo. The efforts for the Facebook Messaging have been to maintain more stickiness and usefulness.

    Google maintains its dominate position because it couples products for everybody. Facebook tries to do this with Facebook Pages and their advertising, but it’s limited in scope even though it is highly profitable (plus application transactions).

    (Sorry for going off-topic!)

  • Davidjohnhall

    This post is brilliant.  Maybe it’s the daily practice but reading about all of this failure is so relaxing.  It reminds me that we’re all human.  I like being human.  Failing is embarrassing but I definitely do a lot of these things.  F alone is my entire life sometimes.  Then C and sometimes H.  But mostly I’ve had a great time going after the girl in the elevator.  She’s always the most interesting.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Ha, yes to all.

  • Teen

    Jim this is one of your better lessons, the core Foundations you describe are lessons no one teaches until we actually experience them. I have attempted to explain them to potential/fellow entrepreneurs as they get ready to jump in and here you have rolled them all into one great article. 

  • Index1000

    your last line here is genius, faith is hardest to have right when you need it the most.

  • Index1000

    your last line here is genius, faith is hardest to have right when you need it the most.

  • Alex

    Wow, this is such a powerful post!  Thank you.

  • Alex

    Wow, this is such a powerful post!  Thank you.

  • Ryan Guthrie

    James, if there was only one article that people could read for the next year, this should be it.  A timely wake-up call for myself and a reminder of what it takes to succeed in this world.  R Guthrie, Toronto, Canada.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Ryan, thanks very much. I agree with you!

  • Ryan Guthrie

    James, if there was only one article that people could read for the next year, this should be it.  A timely wake-up call for myself and a reminder of what it takes to succeed in this world.  R Guthrie, Toronto, Canada.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    Inertia is the one I most need to work on. But this is all great insight into things that I think everyone does to varying degrees. The trick being to do it less than everyone else. 

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    Inertia is the one I most need to work on. But this is all great insight into things that I think everyone does to varying degrees. The trick being to do it less than everyone else. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, I think that’s right. I also think having a positive discipline that helps to “do it less” is key. But I’m not sure how much inertial you have, based on what I read on your blog. You definitely get things moving.

      • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

        Oh, I don’t think I am in some hopeless or terrible range or anything. And certainly this past year I’ve done better than ever. But I did spend a few years just blankly staring at the screen. Life was nothing but just getting through routines. 

        My routine got shaken up. Then I changed the routine. And I’ve been pretty good about making rules for myself and sticking to them. 

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

    One of your all-time best posts.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Kamal, thanks. Very high praise coming from you as you’ve probably seen all of these posts.

      • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

        Yup, all of them, and they get better and better.

  • Kevin M

    This is effing brilliant. Like a 12 step program for entrepreneurs. If I had a bulletin board, I’d print this out and hang it there. C) is my biggest issue right now, that’s why I’m flexing my idea muscle trying to figure out what I would buy and go do that.

  • Mahesh

    James,
    Success seems so hard when I read this. ( your blog, I could not read it to the end for the first time )
    Warren buffets take on Success : “I measure success by how many people love me.” Of course this is after he has made his trillions. But still easy to follow.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, but if you want people to love you (Warren Buffett’s “definition” is not a method) then you still need the above.

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

        And, to further add, success is hard. But it also pays to not be sick, not be careless, etc.

        So how does one make it easier?

        Follow consistently the methods in this:
        http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/02/how-to-be-the-luckiest-guy-on-the-planet-in-4-easy-steps/

        Its not necessarily the only way but the only way it’s worked for me and I’ve seen it work in others.

        • Mahesh

          James
          I read your 
          “How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps”   link , and I liked it a lot.
          That’s what I would want to follow. People mix up happiness and success. and I am sure there are lot of successful ( at money making) people  the most unhappiest.

        • Luannemorrison

          No way I would even pretend to respect or be happy for Bill Gates or any other such idiot that tries to force vaccinations on third world countries. People in Africa running to hide because they still remember previous “help” they were getting in the past from a vaccine. Then being forced by fines or even at gunpoint to participate. You should have used Steve Jobs or ANYONE but this guy as an example.
           

          • noahrsimmons

            I’m failing to comprehend how humanitarian efforts can be perceived as a BAD thing. The endeavor to help people who are suffering in impoverished countries is a venerable act. In your case you are grossly exaggerating the extent to which vaccinations are facilitated. Bill Gates is a perfect example. There are multifarious points that I could make concerning the issuing of vaccinations alone; however, James is not directly referring to Bill Gate’s efforts in Africa, he is referring to being successful. Simply type his name into Google; anyone can see that Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest, powerful men in the world. You are entitled to your opinion of Bill Gates, but I must say that you are wrong in stating that anyone else should be used as an example. Many consider him to be the epitome of success.

  • aclarke

    – Hey, just noticed , you just copied all this from your wifes’ latest blog entry (or vice versa) !
    – just kidding, both are excellent , esp when coupled with “it is your fault” post (taking full responsibility for ones actions (Karma theory)).

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      We were both studying the same yoga sutra. 1.30 which discusses the impediments to “happiness” – however you define that. if you translate this: vyadhi styana samshaya pramada alasya avirati bhranti-darshana alabdhabhumikatva
      anavasthitatva chitta vikshepa te antarayah – from the sanskrit, its basically a blog post.

      • aclarke

        – Ah yes, yes !, now i remember reading this from Patanjalis Yoga Sutra translation. I see the connection now.
        – Now i like this post even more !   Honestly … You are a genius .

  • http://tinystmv.blogspot.com Tiny

    One of your best yet

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks Tiny, I really appreciate that.

  • http://twitter.com/bullbear365 bullbear365

    James,
    The rate at which you put out such quality pieces is amazing.  Respect.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks bull, i’ve been trying to keep a real consistent discipline of 4:30am wakeup, coffee, reading for 45 mins to an hour, writing for an hour or two, the exercise before eating. Which is a lot of effort because I like to eat as soon as I get up so I have that carrot at the end. Its also all before the buzz of the day begins when its hard to do things.

  • http://stephaniscoe.com Stephan Iscoe

    I’ve been going to the wrong parties.

    Stephan
    (Social Media Expert)

  • razorsedge

    GREAT thanks.

  • Pablo

    Awsome article!

  • http://twitter.com/Lyrois The Alexander Becker

    Another awesome post! What I like most is the no-prisoners-taken, no bullshit approach. It’s always getting better once the gloves have come off.

  • http://economicdisconnect.blogspot.com/ GYSC

    James,
    loved the post but for the regular folks out there, you can show off and use all your points and never get noticed.  Chit, I have cloned more genes than any scientist alive, I have tricks for DNA manipulation no one knows, and I am still a soldier.  Happens.

    • Lucky Guy

      Write a paper in a specialist scientific magazine.

      • http://economicdisconnect.blogspot.com/ GYSC

        I have written 12 papers for various journals.

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Staple them together and self-publish a book. Call it “The 12 Ways You Can Dominate the Universe”

  • Catwoman

    WHO ARE YOU!?! 

    This is the 1st thing I’ve ever read of yours. EVER. Short soundbites on CNBC have not done you justice! I liked your 4-digit Apple call recently, but wondered  why you’d set yourself up for such ridicule by the Street. (Why risk credibility for a one-minute soundbite? Poor risk / reward.) Then you went and made it worse with your blasphemous, insane ideas on legalizing insider trading. (That’s it, I thought. Altucher’s lost it.)Well, I’m glad I read this article. IT’S GENIUS. YOU are genius. Now I know. After seeing you on tiny snippets on CNBC for years– but never reading what you had to say — I had no clue that you could be so entertaining, insightful and provocative. Debra Lee aka Catwoman =^..^=

  • Theinsideman77

    James I am currently starting the Daily Practice.  I am going to follow it exactly.  I’m going to be the judge of if it works.  I’m putting blind trust that it will work.  Wish me luck and i’ll keep you updated…

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Please do

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

    James, listening to this podcast by Robert Scoble, he has a different viewpoint on college, but regardless one you’ll enjoy.  “A note to my sons: Patrick, Ryan, and Milan. How to increase the odds you will have a great life.”  

    http://www.cinchcast.com/scobleizer/233257

  • pinkpeony

    Hey James… This is the first of your posts I have ever read. Grateful for these reminders. Sounds like you have some really interesting ideas. Sounds like you’re a bit of a wild man. Sounds like you have the smarts to back up the wild ideas you have and build that staircase to that castle in the sky. … As an entrepreneur, I was wondering if you could offer a little bit of advice to me on the point of being someone who is not formally educated in the world of business. I went to an Ivy. I dropped out of that Ivy. I know my industry well, however it seems like there’s something I’m missing about business in general. It seems like video game and there are super powers you can pick up and warp zones to go to. Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in augmenting her savvy. 

  • http://ashleyscwalls.wordpress.com Ashleyscwalls

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST. I needed to read this at this very moment.

  • Rigelto

    I’m printing this one.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks. This is one of my favorites. 

  • http://krishaamer.com/ Kris Haamer

    Funny and insightful. 

  • Jeraldquek

    Amazing read….so very true

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxjones ajax jones

    shit, i found crack in my ashtray :(

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      You better clean it before the VCs arrive.

  • Chris

    thanks for writing, keep it up!!

  • http://twitter.com/mshoebri Mark Shoebridge

    James
    Enjoyable read on how to avoid failure or as my kids would say #FAIL.I would like my 12 year old to read it. But there a few references that are a bit racy for my victorian outlook. Have you delivered this conversation to your kids? I know life lessons are boring but the messages here are great.   Kids hate to be told stuff by Dad. Well mine do! But a funny approach may just get in.ThanksMark

  • http://eelsecreto.com Desarrollo Personal

    Like your post and sure if you have the experience to say this, however, I agree with your wife about writing in the positive…

  • Leonard

    The most crippling feeling is the sensation that the cause of one’s failure was self-sabotage. The nagging fear that maybe you are programmed to fail and that, whatever you do, you are the toughest obstacle you’ll have to surmount; but reading your posts gives hope.
    Thanks Altucher.
    L. 

  • http://isomorphismes.tumblr.com isomorphisms

    Or your idea / strategy just sucked too much. Quit it and start doing something else.

  • steve roh

    the genius of the Inertia bit was that it read with the voice of Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver in my head — “no more bad food, no more destroyers of my body…”

  • Guest

    It’s pretty obvious this man has had real issues with women, i.e. he’s terrible with women.  He’s also painfully self-obsessed – wants to be a guru.  It’s that faux vulnerability that actually wants to dominate; an awful consciousnesses for a man; forgivable in a woman. 

    This is one site linked at Lew RockwellI I will never visit again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Barnes/604520909 Steven Barnes

    Lovely.  The more people complain about the outside world, the less I’d want to invest in them.

    http://www.diamondhour.com

  • http://www.andrewrlong.com Andrew R Long

    Your story is ridiculous and entertaining. Keep fighting the good fight. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JGQXHEDCH7MEYNDZTGDY6FVLW4 Travel

    Lovely.  The more people complain about the outside world…..

    New Year Packages

  • lisab

    Hmmm…all really good advice in the context of a modern cutthroat world where you need to rise to the top of the heap. I guess this is how a majority of people live in the developed world – finely tuned to artificial environments, using their inherently earth bound body/mind biological systems to respond to the fast paced, continual stream of sensory data, decisions made in split seconds, mirroring one another in an exchange of information that continually reinforces a version of “reality.” The small “self” in a sea of people competes in order to feel like a “somebody,” exerting itself continuously to rise above mediocrity. Success in business = recognition & making money & having vast choices for sex?

    Your perspective makes sense & could apply in other contexts too, but is still mainly based in a competitive paradigm of capitalistic reality that is about to topple. This approach to success might bring temporary outer satisfaction, but what about biological life? What about looking compassionately beyond the masks we all wear whether it’s success or suffering or failure…or that incredible night sky or that beach you walked along and got lost in its rhythm while your feet connected with the sand and the sea. For just a moment you were alone with the beautiful earth and it whispered to you, “you’re perfect and amazing because you’re here.” If you could figure out a way to orient your life to that voice of success, maybe, just maybe you would do a service to all of life by helping to keep it around…in its beautifully perfect state.

    To me, success is about taking the time to dream & listen and let life carry you…to receive the subtler messages coming from beyond the striving ego self. It’s about taking the wandering time to tap into the true genius and mystery of your biology…and then working your ass off to give back out of the gratitude you feel for the privilege of being here, giving back to the things you get for free from a planet that asks for nothing in return. The modern definition of success in business just happens to be trashing our complex, interwoven, biological life support system. Unfortunately no-one is “successful” enough to get on the next spaceship to a different planet once we’ve wrecked this one….

  • Goran Kalanj

    Nice article but I think one thing is contradictory. How can you sleep 8 hours a day and work 12 hours a day. Maybe in some other universe where day last 30 hours or something.

    • Guest

      Are you confused by what to do with the remaining four hours?

  • http://kymira.blogspot.com/ Chimera Swa

    I must say that going through all your archived articles is an energy booster for me. I want to devour them one at a time but I can’t help myself and read too many of them. thanks for the most inspirational blog I have ever read.

  • wayneswebworldsearch

    Must say Nice article . Gives a lot of motivation . Thanks for providing these 9 steps .

    Web Site Design North Yorkshire

  • Rohit

    Definitely printing this one, and are the playoffs considered as lazy as leno?

  • Ichibanokaasan

    yer uh guid riter. <3

  • Capitalistic

    Am I smoking crack??? Awesome post again.
    1. Sold my first business when I realized that I’d end up spending MORE money to prolong it’s death. I felt like a total failure.
    2. I left a consulting engagement with a US company that was determined to break every Foreign Corrupt Practice Acts law. The CEO called me when I walked away, and threatened me. LOL.
    3. I launched a business after grad school in 2009, and within 6 months, I realized that the US banks were in no mood to restructure their bad mortgages. I walked away.
    4. I broke up with a girlfriend because when I moved to Boston for school, she called me everyday to complain that I did not call her enough. My first semester, she called me the morning of every exam, and I’d tank the exam. Negative energy. I broke up with her.

    I agree James, sometimes it’s best to walk away. Go to the gym. Do some laundry. Write another power point business plan. Eat a cupcake. Chat with a barista. Rinse repeat

  • http://www.rebeccarachmany.com/ Rebecca Rachmany

    I think it’s hysterically funny that the link to the conference on failure gives a 404 error. James, you’re a funny guy, but I think this is probably unintentional.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505552937 Wayne Clingman

    Once again Thanks due to my reading you. This film should get made that a your donation of 50K :) 

  • http://thesensibleguidetoforex.com/ Cliff Wachtel

    one of the most important websites & personal favorite.

  • Afpilotgirl

    Wow. Ok Not only do I see TWO grammatical errors within the first paragraph (“why are you writing about failure? Think positive!”. No. Think POSITIVELY. It’s called an adverb. #2: “Here’s the REAL reasons entrepreneurs fail”. Again, no. Here’s is a contraction for the two words here is, however if there is more than one reason, it should read Here ARE the real reasons). Wow. You call yourself a writer?, but I picked up on a bit of sexist (“by the way pick the sexy girl”)…because god forbid there be more to a girl than just looks! Also the ‘crack whore’ picture. Really? All women are just looks! Gee, I forgot that for a millisecond…Jerk.

  • Afpilotgirl

    Wow. Ok Not only do I see TWO grammatical errors within the first paragraph (“why are you writing about failure? Think positive!”. No. Think POSITIVELY. It’s called an adverb. #2:
    “Here’s the REAL reasons entrepreneurs fail”. Again, no. Here’s is a
    contraction for the two words here is, however if there is more than one
    reason, it should read Here ARE the real reasons… Wow. You call
    yourself a writer?) but I picked up on a bit of sexism (“by the way pick
    the sexy girl”)…because god forbid there be more to a girl than just
    looks! Also the ‘crack whore’ picture. Really? All women are just looks!
    Gee, I forgot that for a millisecond…Jerk.

  • Rosalina

    Is it available for kindle?

  • 1slingshot

    I sent my partner an email about what i would say if someone asked me about our business and my email mentioned all these failures that I was literally gloating on, to prove why I should not join him at his location and meet with other successful entreprenuers, because I felt so unsuccessful.  This blog is his answer to me!  Maybe those failures are just obstacles!  Now I am rethinking all this!

  • blondie

    Finally, don’t make any of these nine mistakes. By the way, I plagiarized the post that link goes to. But you’ll never find where I plagiarized it from. Just don’t make those nine mistakes in your first year or you will fail. Free PDF of my latest book if you can guess where I take the 9 mistakes from.
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/29/how-to-survive-your-first-year-as-an-entrepreneur/

    I didn’t see where anyone guessed this or a time limit on the offer:
    Red Sutra 30 April 5, 2011 http://red-sutra.blogspot.com/2011/04/sutra-130.html

    I’ve only found your blog recently, but what great thoughts!

  • http://urbangallivant.wordpress.com/ Rohit Gupta

    The approach to avoid all the negatives to come out positive works for me often. It is slightly defensive, but it is easier for me psychologically. Meanwhile, everyone has different definitions of success. So, avoiding negatives might even turn out to be a better approach. Who knows.

  • Robin S

    What I could have done with with just a fraction of that 100 million. Boggles the mind :”( Bootstrapping *now* has been the smartest thing I never wanted to do!