Napoleon Hill wrote a book in 1937 called Think and Grow Rich. He was a brilliant thinker, speaker, philosopher, and author who has inspired me for many years. It is an incredible book about how mindset really does affect our performance. How you feel and think about a thing will determine your actions.
Your beliefs determine your actions and your actions determine your results. When people come to me and ask for help growing their business or fixing their broken processes, their belief that I can actually help them will have an impact on their success. If they will not do whatever it takes to join my program, it’s because deep down they don’t believe it’s going to help them. When you truly believe that something will help to change your life, you find a way to make it happen.
Fear is a habit
Napoleon Hill ties our feelings and beliefs to our results and one of the most powerful emotions we have is fear. Here is one of his quotes on fear.
“Fear is a habit, so is self pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can and I will.”
This is absolutely true and profound. Fear is a habit, but people think fear is something they can’t control. Guess what? We CAN control habits. Think about being scared at a movie theater when your heart starts racing and you’re terrified out of your mind… but that fear is fake. As soon as the movie is over, the lights come on and your are no longer scared. So you can see that often times fear is irrational, unreasonable, and fake, but it’s still a habit. If you’re living your life in fear of taking the next step or fear of moving forward, you’re not going to make any progress.
It’s easy to live in fear because then you don’t have to take action or move forward. You can just stay in the same place your whole life. Look at your business—are you ok with it remaining at its current level for the rest of your life? Is fear stopping you from taking a risk? Some people are afraid to risk money on training or consulting (whether it’s with me or not is irrelevant). But the biggest risk is just doing things the same way you’ve always done things.
If you’re not happy with your results, it’s a bigger risk to not do anything. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time and you definitely can’t make back the time you lost waiting to take action. So stop being paralyzed by fear and inaction. If you don’t break this habit of fear it’s possible that your business will remain frozen at the same level or start doing worse, and that should scare you more than taking the risk of making an investment in your business.
Knowledge + action = money
Here’s another amazing quote from Napoleon Hill.
“Knowledge will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical plans of action, to the definite end of accumulation of money.”
Basically, knowledge alone is not good enough. I know people who read tons of books to try to help grow their business but their business is going nowhere, they’re not moving the needle at all. They’re not dumb, they have the knowledge, but knowledge alone will not fix your business unless it’s organized into a system and plan that you can follow. Random knowledge will not change anything or transform your business.
So it’s time to break your habit of fear and take a leap of faith with yourself to invest in your future. If you don’t take a risk on yourself, you many never reap the rewards you could have had with some help. It’s time to take some small courageous steps.
What are those small steps you are going to take in your business? Are you reading books and then implementing what you learned? Are you taking classes, listening to audiobooks or podcasts, working with a mentor? Are you working with a solid consultant who has a system that you can follow? Again, it doesn’t have to be with me! But just know that when you follow a random collection of advice, it’s not a system that you can follow.
How I broke my habit of fear
Many years ago I had to break through my own fear when I made the decision to hire a team of consultants to help me fix my business. They were incredibly expensive and I was terrified, but I went all-in and hired them. I conquered my fear because I had to. My business at the time was hurting and my employees were walking all over me and I had people quitting all the time. There was chaos and turmoil and my stress level was off the charts.
I finally hit rock bottom and decided I was either going to hire consultants to help me fix it or that I was going to go out of business. I took out a line of credit on my business and I think my husband sold some stuff and we pulled together the money (which was around $40,000). These Chicago-based consultants had great credentials and an incredible reputation helping to save businesses all across the country.
Within nine months of hiring them, we were grossing $1 million dollars and have done $25 million since. It was the smartest decision I’ve ever made in business, the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. I knew I was worth it. I knew if I could just fix the broken pieces that I was sitting on a gold mine. I just knew in my heart that if I had the right steps to take, I could make it.
Twenty-five years later, we’ve done millions in dollars in revenue and employ forty-five people. I’m a 100% absentee owner. The things I learned from them I refined over the years to create the business formula that I still follow today. It doesn’t go out of date! A proven formula for profitability never goes out of date.
- Break your habit of fear.
- Invest in yourself and believe in yourself.
- Follow through on what you are learning.
- You will not move forward until you break the habit of fear.
A few more great quotes
Here’s Napoleon Hill again: “Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.” In most cases your fears are not reality. In most cases, your fear is worse than what’s actually waiting for you around the corner.
Another quote: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” So it all starts with the belief that you can succeed in business, and if you believe it, you can achieve it. But you have to take action. You have to take the right steps. Sometimes we have to just work on our mindset to evaporate the fear so we can move forward.
And another: “It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.” If you don’t do this, nobody else will. If you don’t make your business successful, it won’t be. if you don’t make this happen, it won’t happen.
“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.”