3 Words You Never Want To Say On Your Deathbed

kenny I recently finished the book Unlabel by Marc Ecko, a book that hit very close to home to me as his fashion brand and mine were in the same stores at the same time for a very long time… until I eventually went out of business and he went on to become a billion dollar brand.

The reason why I went out of business was not unlike why I lot of other companies go out of business. I have learned that there is an extremely thin line between success and failure. Sometimes you realize that line is so thin that it is hard to identify until you are on the other side of it.

Destination vs. Process

I eventually managed to start another brand and then another, building one bigger than the next only to find myself on the wrong side of the line once again. I kept struggling until I finally realized that being a successful entrepreneur has nothing to do with the destination but with the process. I also came to the understanding that the successful entrepreneur is not the one who wins but the one who loses and keeps on going.

Note: This is the follow-up to a post I wrote last year entitled, 4 Words That Will Destroy Your Life (& Business)

I not only expect but also know for a fact that I will have a lot more stumbles, failures, bumps, lumps and bruises in my life before I punch my ticket. I have accepted that and so should you.

Marc Ecko said a few things about failure that I very much admire. He said “You will only stop having failures after you take your last breath.”

He also said “anyone that doesn’t talk about failure being part of their path to success… is full of sh*t.”

I am only slightly paraphrasing because I only read (listen) to books on Audible and cannot find the bookmark where he said this but I think you get the point.

My Business Bucket List

I have a lot of things on my business bucket list. I understand some will not happen, however at the end of the day, I will only regret the things that I never took the time to at least try my best to accomplish.

Some of these things I have consciously made a decision to put off in order to focus on what I have in front of me as I try not to dilute my energy and wear myself too wide and thin so to speak. Those are conscious decisions I have made and I am cool with those choices.

That being said, I think that it is important that we be very careful with what we decide to focus on and what we decide to put aside as, if the world ended tomorrow, or if we were on our deathbed, there are 3 words I think you will agree we never want to say…

IF… ONLY…. I

In business as in life, if you are lucky, there will be a lot of goals that you will not achieve. I say if you are lucky, because if you consistently set goals throughout your lifetime, you are being proactive and going after what you want in life, as opposed to being reactive and just letting life happen.

To me, a big part of my life is setting short-term goals, accomplishing them (or not), only to set new goals in order to go out and achieve them as well. Some goals take longer to accomplish then others and, at the end of the day some of those goals will never be met. That is a fact.

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

Setting Goals & Being Proactive

Setting goals and proactively going after what you want is the only way to prevent you from saying if only I on your deathbed, however let me clarify… goals are not etched in stone and should be changed and modified if and when necessary.

A lot of times what we think we want changes and some things become less important and some more important allowing for new goals take their place. Again, that is part of life and the flexibility to change and modify can only happen if we are open to change and modification.

One caveat… changing and modifying goals can be tricky. In my opinion, goals shouldn’t be changed simply because they seem too difficult or impossible to attain. History shows us pretty much everything within reason is possible. I say within reason because if your goal is to be able to fly… that is not within reason.

Your Homework

Not to be morbid, but close your eyes and pretend you are on your deathbed. Pick up the voice recorder on your phone and record what you regret you haven’t accomplished.  You will notice these regrets fall into one of two categories.

In the first category are things you have not accomplished but are currently proactively working on. The other list is what you have given up on or have been putting off.

Write down those items on your list that you have put off, print it out and put it in a place where you will be forced to read it every day. Prioritize them. When one of the goals you are focusing on is achieved, move the most important one from the given up on or put off  list and add it to currently working on list.

Keep up this pattern. You will find the more you accomplish the more new goals get added to the list that you never thought of, simply because you have scratched something off your bucket list so there is room for something new to take its place.

Note: To view all articles in this blog on startups, click startup advice

The Wrap-Up

Accept the fact this list is never-ending and will never go away… and know that it shouldn’t. The moment we have achieved all of our goals we will have nothing to look forward to. Tony Robbins explains this well when he talks about people who reach their goals and then think to themselves, “Is that all there is?” …

Your ever changing, ever evolving goals in life will enable you to accomplish more than you ever possibly imagined.

Have a great day!

MJ

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