Last year I started working with a client named Vance.

Now Vance was a smart guy. He was good at what he did, knew how to run his business, and delivered amazing results to all of his clients.

But he had a problem.

After breaking through to 6-figures–more money than he’d ever made in his life–Vance started to self-sabotage.

He had the business and the systems in place to hit his first million dollars, but he just couldn’t seem to do it.

Projects would fall through. Employees disengaged. Major clients would be lost due to preventable errors.

Through all of this, I attempted to coach him and help him remedy the mistakes he was making. But he was so stuck in his little world of perpetual self-sabotage that my hard-won lessons went in one ear and right out the other.

No matter what advice I gave him or how many times I warned him about pending setbacks,  there was always some new (and completely avoidable) problem holding Vance back from breaking through to the next level.

Until one day when he’d finally had enough.

“Craig!” he exclaimed on one of our coaching calls, “I just can’t do this anymore. I’m so sick and tired of watching people dumber than me make more money and achieve the success I want.”

And that’s when I knew…He was ready to listen.

“Vance,” I responded, “They’re making more money than you are because they are coachable. They know how to listen to people who already have the results they want and take action on what they hear.”

“If you’re ready to do that,” I continued, “I know how to solve the problems you’re facing in your business.”

For the next hour, I shared with Vance the critical mistakes he was making that were holding him back from the income he wanted and the exact steps he needed to take to fix them.

Nine months later, he had his first $85,000 month and today, he does well over $100,000 in revenue each and every month – and best of all, his business is very, very profitable!

To help you replicate his results and achieve your first 7-figures, I’ve created a list of the most common mistakes you’re probably making that are stopping you from becoming a millionaire.

If you will listen to what I have to share with you and, more importantly, take action to fix it, you may make your first $1,000,000 by the end of this year…faster than you ever thought possible.

Let’s dive in.

Mistake #1 – You Believe Someone Else Will Save You

The first, and most sinister mistake that holds entrepreneurs back from hitting their first 7-figures is what I call the “Man on the White Horse Syndrome.”

And it goes like this.

You believe, as do many “wantrepreneurs” that someone else is coming to save you. You’ve abdicated yourself of responsibility for your life and results and instead opted to place that burden on the shoulders of someone or something else.

Instead of taking full responsibility for your life and success, you rely on hope. You hope the next course you buy or coach you hire or event you attend will solve all of your problems and transform your business, allowing you to finally make the income you desire.

You hope the new employee you just hired will magically fix your shoddy marketing campaigns or turn around your company’s finances.

You keep waiting around for someone, anyone other than yourself to fix the problems you’ve created…But guess what? They never do and they never will.

If you want to achieve massive success, earn your first 7-figures, and still maintain your sanity while doing it, you must take responsibility for your life.

Coaches, courses, masterminds, and employees are essential to your success (and we’ll talk about each of them throughout this article). But if you aren’t to accept complete and total responsibility for your life and results, they can’t help you.

Until you take extreme ownership of your life and results and intensely commit to achieving your goals and dreams they will never happen.

You are the only person with the power to change your life and the sole arbiter of your success and failure. And to achieve the goals you’ve set, you must accept this.

Accept that you are the reason your business is not yet netting $1,000,000. You are the reason you work 16 hours a day and miss out on time with your spouse and kids. You are the reason you make it to the end of the month with barely enough money to get by.

But guess what? You can also be the reason why your company breaks through the 7-figure mark. Why you reclaim your schedule and make the time for the things and people who matter most. Why your health, finances, relationships, and business ‘work’ and everything in your life seems to fall into place.

Remember: When you take full responsibility for everything in your life and everything not in your life, there’s no one to blame but yourself.

Mistake #2 – You’re Dreaming, Not Doing

Albert Einstein once said, “Vision without action is hallucination.”

And quite frankly, I see a lot of entrepreneurs spending too much time dreaming and not doing. They become “professional white boarders”, covering walls with ideas but never gluing their butt to a chair and getting work done.

They see the goals they want to achieve. They have their ideal life written down. They’ve spent hours creating the perfect vision board. They’ve even changed their Instagram bio to “7-figure entrepreneur in the making.”

But they aren’t actually doing anything to bring their vision into reality.

They’re hallucinating–mentally tripping to the idea of success without ever taking the action required to experience it. Sure, they talk a big game. But when it comes time to actually execute on the things they’ve written down and shared with the world, they are nowhere to be found.

The reason is simple…They’ve set unrealistic expectations.

I was recently on a coaching call with a client of mine, we’ll call him Steve who was complaining about a new product he’s creating.

“Craig,” he told me, “Selling premium products is so hard. I can’t seem to make any headway…I think I’m just going to take the easy route and sell cheaper products.”

But he was missing the point.

Success is supposed to be hard. If becoming a millionaire was easy, everyone would do it. There would be no need to read essays like this one or work with coaches or attend events or develop your skills.

It’s not easy…and it’s not supposed to be… but it can be SIMPLE.

And the second you stop expecting success to be easy is when it actually becomes easy.

When your expectations are aligned with the reality of achieving your vision, it won’t feel hard anymore. You’ll still face challenges, you’ll still be uncomfortable, and you’ll still struggle to live in alignment with the vision you’ve set for yourself.

But you will expect all of these things, making them easier to contend with and easier to sustain.

It’s only once you accept how hard success will be that you can take the steps required to achieve it.

When you expect to make your first million with 15 hour work weeks and a single ad campaign (newsflash: this is NOT going to happen), you’ll quickly fall prey to discouragement and burnout.

But when you expect it to take months, even years of hard work. When you expect the long hours and the failures and the frustration–you won’t get discouraged and you won’t give up.

You’ll show up everyday, put in the work, and eventually you will hit your first 7-figures and live your perfect life.

Mistake #3 – You’re Stuck in the ‘Thirsty Donkey Paradox’

So there’s an old wives tale that if you put a thirsty donkey between two pails of water that are equidistant from it, the donkey will sit in the middle for hours, not knowing what to do.

Both pails are equally close and both are filled with water. But the donkey is unable to decide which pail to walk to and will stand in between them until it passes out from thirst.  

Now.

I don’t know if this particular tale is true or not, but it illustrates an important struggle that holds many entrepreneurs back from their first 7-figures (in some cases, even their first six).

And the struggle is this. Most entrepreneurs struggle to overcome shiny object syndrome and develop singularity of focus.

They have so many different options and opportunities and ideas they could pursue they fail to ever pick one and focus on it. Instead of going all in on their ‘One Thing’, they waste years trying to figure out what to chase, bouncing from idea to idea, business to business, and skill to skill until they find themselves–a decade later–having made plenty of motion without gaining any momentum.

To achieve your first 7-figures you must overcome the thirsty donkey paradox and develop that single-minded focus required to go after your biggest goals and dreams.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t certain what you should do right now. Do something, go all in, and if you believe you made the wrong decision after giving it your all for 18-24 months…then you can focus on something different. Not before.

As my mentor Mark Ford shared in his essay on getting rich:

“When I was 33, I decided to become rich. And I made that my supreme and overriding goal. There were plenty of other things that I wanted to do – like reading books and playing sports and traveling. But I made them all distant secondary objectives. The lion’s share of my time and mental energy would be devoted to getting rich.

This decision radically changed my life. I went from broke to kinda rich in about 18 months. I became a deca-millionaire about six years later.

Having a single supreme and overriding goal gave me laser-sharp focus and shark-like ambition. Day-to-day business decisions – once complicated – were easy to make. I simply asked myself, “Which is the option that will bring me the most money?” Presto! The choice was clear.”

Pick ONE goal and go after it with all of your heart. If it doesn’t work out, you still made more progress, learned more lessons, and cultivated more connections than you would have sitting on your couch theorizing about what you should do.

Mistake #4 – You Underestimate the Importance of Environment

My friend and client Jason Capital–a strapping young man who made his first million at 23 and has gone on to build an 8-figure business at the age of 30–has a saying:

Environment is destiny.”

Not, “Environment is important.”

Environment is destiny. It is the x factor that will determine whether you achieve wild and rapid success or spin your wheels in the mud for years.

And this applies to both your local and global environment.

Your local environment (i.e. your office) determines the quality and productivity of your day-to-day activities.

If you have a distraction free office space completely optimized to facilitate flow states and keep you on track, successfully executing the processes required to achieve your goals will become easier.

When your living and working environments are tailored to your specific needs and goals–I’m talking about everything from having premade meals delivered to having the right lighting to buying a set of noise blocking headphones–success becomes more automatic. You’ll have fewer obstacles in your path and won’t waste time trying to overcome the inertia of a distracting environment.

On the other hand, your global environment–the people with whom you surround yourself, the events you attend, and the information you consume–is just as important, if not more so.

We’ve all heard that “You’re the average of the five people you spend your time with most.”

But what most people don’t know is the research actually bears this out. A study at the Harvard Business School found that individuals who spend time with smokers are more likely to smoke, people who have obese friends are more likely to gain weight, and people who surround themselves with positive, happy, and successful people are more likely to become positive, happy, and successful.

You become who you surround yourself with. And if you aren’t surrounding yourself with millionaires, whether through your network, coaching, events, or even virtually…you stand no chance of hitting your first 7-figures.

Whether you have to fly across the country to attend my 3rd annual Perfect Life Retreat event (be sure to block off November 8-9th to join me in beautiful San Diego, California), hold a garage sale to pay for coaching, or simply get in your car and drive yourself to a local investors meetup…Do WHATEVER it takes to surround yourself with people who think big and act bigger.

Levelling up your network is the closest thing to a ‘success shortcut’ you’ll ever find.

So do what it takes to get the right people in your life and watch your life and business explode.

Mistake #5 – You Are Failing to Delegate and Communicate

Most entrepreneurs fall into one of two camps.

  1. The do-it-all-myself’ers
  2. The do-it-all-yourself’ers

To hit your first 7-figures you must avoid them both.

Listen, I know so many entrepreneurs who are operating their life and business from a place of scarcity. They’re afraid to hire a new employee or assistant because they don’t want to lose out on that extra money. They’re afraid of outsourcing tasks and delegating responsibilities so they try to do it all themselves.

They waste hours and hours each week mired in busy work that is actively stopping them from earning more income and achieving the life they desire.

On the other hand, I know plenty of entrepreneurs who fall victim to the “Man on the White Horse” syndrome and outsource too much, expecting employees to run the show for them, developing the company vision, executing on that vision, and somehow keeping themselves motivated while the CEO shirks their responsibilities and outsources every activity but eating.

If you want 2019 to be the year where you make your first million, you must learn to strike a balance between these two extremes.

You must learn how to outsource the right tasks while controlling the most important parts of your company. To let go of the busy work and minutiae and focus only on the activities that drive the most profit and growth.

You can’t do it by yourself and spend years suffering in silence.

But they can’t do it all for you either.

You’ve gotta find that sweet spot and put the right team in place so you can stop being the bottleneck in your own success and finally achieve those big goals and dreams.

Mistake #6 – You’re Missing the Roadmap for Millionaire Status

Brian Tracy has a saying: “A genius without a roadmap will get lost in any country. But an average person with a roadmap can find their way to any destination.”

If you don’t have a roadmap and a blueprint for achieving the life you desire and building the business you’ve always wanted, you will never actually do it.

You’ll waste years, maybe even decades, running around in circles and allowing yourself to get pulled in a dozen different directions without ever making progress in one.

Without a proven blueprint for success, you will always be one step behind of your competitors and fail to see the forest through the trees.

So right now, let me ask you:

Do you know exactly what outcomes you want to achieve by the end of the year and, more importantly, what processes you must follow on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to achieve them?

Do you have your targets and goals for the next 90 days clearly mapped out and have a crystal clear understanding of exactly what needs to be done and how you’re going to do it?

Do you know your biggest priorities for this week and the most important things that must be accomplished by Friday to ensure you’re one step closer to that big vision?

And finally, do you have your day tomorrow perfectly mapped out, knowing exactly what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and how it’s going to propel you towards the attainment of your biggest goals?

If your answer is anything other than a resounding, “Heck yes!” this could be the factor holding you back from your first 7-figures.

With a clear roadmap for success, everything becomes easier.

You no longer have to waste your time wondering what to do. You already know what to do. You simply have to show up and do it.

If you want to gain access to the exact blueprint you need to build more structure into your days and create a plan guaranteed to help you achieve income you desire, then click here to grab a free copy of my book The Perfect Day Formula so you can conquer the chaos around you and focus only on those things that will drive real results in your life and business.

Mistake #7 – You Lack the “Missing Link” to Get to the Next Level

Listen. You can have a bulletproof roadmap for achieving success. You can surround yourself with amazing mentors and a rockstar network. You can outsource the “dirty work” and spend all of your time focused on strategy and leadership.

But if you don’t consistently show up each and every day and take action, none of these other strategies will matter.

And the only way (at least that I know of) to consistently take action and step up to the plate to swing, even especially when you don’t feel like it, is to hold yourself radically accountable to someone you deeply don’t want to disappoint.

Coaching and Accountability are proven to be the missing links to millionaire status.

Over the past few years, I’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs increase their income and I’ve personally coached dozens of top performers to the million dollar level.

But the surprising thing they’d tell you is that the strategy we created together wasn’t the most important part of their coaching experience. It was the accountability.

The thing that pushed them over the edge and helped them finally tap into their greatness and build the business they always wanted wasn’t the tactical referral scripts or the done-for-you marketing campaigns…It was waking up each morning and thinking to themselves, “Gosh, I really don’t want to show up today…But Craig I told Craig I would do it and I don’t want to let him down.”

Now whether you decide to work with me personally (see below) or work with another coach or mentor, the ONLY way to create and sustain the success and income you desire is to build unshakable accountability into your life and business so you have no choice but to succeed.

This has been a game changer in my life and the lives of all of my top performing clients. And if you’ll take action on this and apply it to your life…It’ll change the game for your life and business so fast you won’t even know what hit you.

If you want help overcoming these 7 mistakes and reaching your first 7-figures in 2019, I can help.

Send me an email at support@earlytorise.com for more details.

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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