If you are disinclined to work, don’t enjoy putting in that extra effort and you are way too proud to admit to a mistake or failure then you will struggle to achieve your goals so you may want to stop reading now!

One of my goals this month is to get my fitness back up to scratch after several months of being particularly busy and being unable to find the time to squeeze in visits to the gym. I really enjoy exercising and I have missed it – but unfortunately the longer you don’t do something, the more it becomes the norm not to do it and the more difficult it is to get back into it.

It’s the same with starting something from scratch – the more you procrastinate and make excuses, the longer it takes you to get started, if ever.

Thankfully I’m now back into my routine, motivated and back on track and what I’ve noticed during my daily visits to the gym is that I am surrounded by many like minded people – all on a mission to get fit – or fitter, rather than fatter! This is typical though of January. Everyone starts off with great resolutions only to give up after a couple of weeks. In fact I’m willing to bet that 80% of my current gym-buddies have thrown in the (sweaty) towel by the end of this month.

Now, that might sound a bit negative, and of course there could be a number of different reasons why people give up on things having only just started, but whilst it is indeed negative, it’s also perfectly true and mostly people give up because it all seems ‘just too hard’.

Well, I’ve got news! Yes it is hard. Of course it’s hard! If you really want something you can’t just expect it to ‘happen’ without you making it happen! All that you do, all that you achieve – it’s all down to you because you are the one who is in control of your life. You can have outside help – be it a personal trainer, a mentor, a teacher or just a friend to motivate you – but ultimately you are the one that will make it happen.

You’ll remember that I said at the beginning of this eletter that I let my fitness slip because I’ve been too busy and couldn’t find the time to go to the gym…Ah that old chestnut of an excuse! ‘I’m too busy’. But if I’m being really honest with myself, that’s a lie! I was lying to myself. I wasn’t really too busy.

Yes I have been working extremely hard, time is precious and there are only 24 hours in a day, but if during the past few months I had really, really, really wanted to get to the gym, I would have found the time to do so. ‘Too busy’ was just my excuse for not doing it. I couldn’t be bothered to make that tiny bit of extra effort – and I’m not ashamed to say that. It happens to us all at some time or another.

This mindset applies to many people, in many different areas, including the resolve to start an online business. Just recently I’ve encountered more procrastinators than ever before and at this point I think I’ve probably heard every excuse (because that’s exactly what they are) under the sun on this topic:

‘I just simply haven’t got enough time in the day. Period.’

  • But I bet you’ve got time to spend looking at social media, making online purchases, texting friends or going shopping?

‘I’m working all day then I have to come home, cook the dinner, tidy up and look after the children.’

  • Of course, and I understand that working and being a parent is challenging – I do both of these things myself. But meals get eaten and children go to bed eventually! A little bit of untidiness never killed anyone! Those hours could be used productively instead of wasted, sitting down watching TV.

‘I work away from home and spend hours on the road, there’s absolutely no way I can get a business off the ground.’

  • Alone in a hotel room with a laptop, pen and notebook? This is an ideal opportunity to research ideas and get the basics up and running.

So you see. I’ve got an answer for everything! But seriously, what it mostly comes down to is how much you really want it. Those who succeed, those who achieve, those who reach their goals all have several things in common.

Fact – Successful people do the work

If you put in a little effort, that’s good. If you put in a little more effort – that’s really good! If you put in some really focused effort that is when good becomes great! Owners of successful small online businesses spend many hours developing that business and ensuring it works. No shortcuts, no get rich quick scenarios. Simple effort, that’s all.

Fact – Successful people work more

Yes, I know, you haven’t got time! But I know from experience that most entrepreneurs work many more hours than the average person in an average job. Whether that’s during evenings, weekends, lunch-breaks or whatever – the hours are put in whenever there is an opportunity. It’s not just the fact that there are lots of things that ‘need’ to get done, but that there are many more things that ‘want’ to get done!

There’s a difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’ and those ‘wants’ require a lot of time. However, even if it’s a huge workload, successful people actually embrace this because it means that they are striving towards their goal.

My theory is that if you view your workload as a ‘need to do’ then the end goal doesn’t really mean much to you at all…

Fact – Successful people are not proud

Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has to apologise once in a while, everyone should have the ability to laugh at themselves or shrug off a problem. Everyone should be able to ask for help if they need it and everyone should be able to admit that they failed…and try again.

Successful people have all these abilities. Do you think that Sir Richard Branson woke up one morning with a global empire? Nope. In fact one of his most famous failures is that he tried to grow and sell Christmas trees back in the 1960’s. The venture failed miserably. In fact Richard Branson failed in business 14 times! If you are interested to know exactly what he failed at you can find out here – it makes very interesting reading!

And it’s not only Sir Richard Branson who failed before becoming successful. The genius Albert Einstein couldn’t speak until he was four! 10 publishers turned down JK Rowling before she secured her book deal for the Harry Potter stories and Decca rejected The Beatles. But look, let’s not dwell on failure.

My message today is simple. If starting an online business this year is what you dream of doing, then do it. Find the time, put in the effort, stop coming up with excuses – and when you are offered help take it and learn from it.

Don’t simply come up with even more excuses not to progress, because trust me, this is a sure sign that you just don’t want it enough and you will continue to invent problems and never become successful in which case you may as well just move on and forget about it. This may sound harsh, but it is the truth.

I hope this has given you something to mull over during the weekend.