Success In Business (and life) Is NOT a Linear Upward Climb…

dip-leapHere is the dirty little secret about achieving success that the “guru’s” and motivational speakers/authors won’t tell you…

And actually, I’m often afraid of sharing it with people myself, because I don’t want them to use it as an excuse not to attempt to do something great.

But, I just got off a coaching call with a client who was feeling discouraged and frustrated by some of the challenges that she was being hit with.

What I explained was something very powerful, and something only those who have had multiple successes, in multiple areas, over a sustained period of time really ever begin to understand.

While I’m a big proponent and believer in the concept and practice of “Continual and Never Ending Improvement”, in reality, success is NOT an ongoing, straight-line upward progression.

What I’ve found in my own life, and in the lives of my highly successful friends and coaching clients, is that success or upward progress often comes to us in big leaps, followed by plateaus.

You struggle and work, and struggle and work to improve an area of your life or business and at times it may seem like you are not making any progress or forward momentum, and then in a short period of time you take a big leap and jump up to the next level!

This holds true in so many areas of life…

From growing your business, to practicing a skill or talent, to improving your health and even in strengthening your relationships.

Even though you feel like you are “doing everything right”, you don’t see immediate and measurable progress or results.

This causes most people to quit and say, “This stuff doesn’t work!”

They justify their giving up by telling themselves, “I did everything the course/book/coach/mentor told me to do, and I didn’t get the promised result!”

What they don’t understand is, what they were doing WAS working, and had they just kept going just a bit longer the results would have begun pouring in.

It’s a bit like using one of those old-fashion, manual water pumps.

You have to pump, and pump, and pump and pump and nothing comes out. So most people think, “the well is dry. There is no water down there.” So they stop pumping.

But what they don’t see, is that the entire time they were pumping, water was slowly rising up the pipe, getting closer and closer to pouring out of the spigot.

The problem is, as soon as they stop pumping, the water level drops all the way back down the pipe to the bottom!

So if they want the water, they will have to start pumping all over again from the beginning.

The trick to making those old hand-pumps work is to KEEP PUMPING!

Because as soon as the water starts flowing, it becomes so much easier to keep it flowing.

You no longer have to keep frantically pumping…

You can ease off and give it a gentle pump here and there and the water keeps pouring out. But if you pause long enough for the water to stop flowing and fall back down the pipe, you have to start all over!

(This is why building and maintaining MOMENTUM is so critical to your success!)

People are so used to instant gratification these days, they simply give up and quit when they don’t see immediate results.

That is why persistence is such a common trait among the world-class and highly successful.


Part of this has to do with the law of sowing and reaping…

It’s like being a farmer. You work for months and months, preparing the ground, planting the seeds, pulling the weeds and watering, all without anything to actually show for your efforts.

But unseen, underground the roots are growing and taking hold to support the rapid growth that occurs right before you get to harvest.

That is how success in life actually occurs.

You don’t plant the seeds, and then immediately get to begin picking a little fruit everyday.

You plant the seeds today, and the harvest comes all at once, often months (or even years) later.

Here is the other part about success that few people will tell you…

Often (not every time, but often enough) right before you take your big leap upwards, you will get blindsided by an unexpected setback or reversal in progress.

It is almost as if success likes to test you to make sure you actually want it bad enough before letting you jump to the next level.

Like I said, this doesn’t happen every time, and I’m reluctant to even mention it, because I don’t want you to use the fear or expectation of this trial as a reason to not attempt something great.

But I want to make you aware of the potential for this happening, so if and when it does hit you, you recognize it for what it actually is, and use it as a positive sign that you are getting close to your next big leap upward.

This awareness is important, because so often this reversal or setback comes right after an intense burst of effort, work and attempt at personal or business growth.

It can take you by surprise and derail your progress, by making you question the path you are on and effectiveness of the efforts you are making.

You may think or say to yourself, “Here I am, doing everything I can think of… Working harder than ever… Making every possible effort to grow and achieve more… Doing everything right… And none of it seems to be working! I’m actually losing ground and going backwards!”

It can feel like you’ve been punched in the gut! (I know… I’ve been there many times!)

But the good news is, once you recognize what is going on, and understand that this is simply your “final exam” before the floodgates open and you make the leap to the next level, it becomes much easier to push through the challenge and pass the test.

So if you’ve been struggling and working hard to move to the next level in your business (or any other area of your life) and not seeing the results you think you deserve, or worse, seem to be losing ground… don’t lose faith.

Keep pushing forward, because the success you are seeking (and your next “big leap”) may be far closer than you think!

Eric Graham (6 Posts)

As an in-demand professional speaker and the founder and CEO of multiple highly successful online and offline companies Eric Graham helps entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and coaches maximize their incomes and magnify their impact on the world. On this blog he shares valuable, actionable and insightful content (articles, videos, tips, opinions, ideas and news) that you can immediately put to use in your business and your life. Follow Eric on Twitter!


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