There are many tasks that one must do on the road to personal and creative success. This article is about none of those things.
Success – Win by Not Losing Big
Take a Chance! Go for it! Break the Rules. Take some Risk. Reach for the Stars. Swing for the Fences. Be Daring. Live a little. Absofreakinglutely! Just don’t lose big.
There are volumes of books about how to succeed in life, business, art, relationships, pretty much anything and everything. I have read many that are fabulous. Some, not so much. Do this, do that, mix it together, shake it up, spit it out, and always be closing. Pitfalls in life are not totally unavoidable, but there are a few things we shouldn’t do to give ourselves a better chance at success in art, love, and living. Here are a few…
These won’t keep you from Success, but why chance it?
Protect your money. Will Rogers said, “I’m more concerned about the return of my money, than the return on my money,” In the economy of today, that little quote is better than anything I’ve heard a talking head say on TV lately. No matter if you have a thousand dollars or a hundred thousand dollars, it’s yours and you need to protect it. If you have money in the stock market, you must pay attention to it. You cannot afford to take big hits to your principal like so many others have in the past few years. A 33% drop in your principal means that you have to have about a 50% gain just to get even. A 50% drop means that you have to double your money to get even! That can take years, if ever. Yikes! Develop a sell strategy. Some great investors suggest no more than a 7 or 8% loss…and that’s, sell and live to invest another day.
Protect your reputation. It takes years of quality work, service, and character to build your success and your reputation, and it can be shot in an instance. One little lie, one avoidable transgression or mistake, and years of good can be lost.
Don’t Drink or get High and Drive. Go ahead and drink, just don’t drive while you are doing it. Have you ever known anyone who has hit and killed somebody while they were driving under the influence? Have you known anyone who was killed in an auto by someone who was drunk? Unfortunately, I have to answer yes to both questions (I was not involved, thank God. I want to protect my reputation here). Just getting a DWI ticket is bad enough. In my state, it’s a big fine, at least one day in jail, counseling that you must attend and pay for, loss of driving priveledges for a period of time, much higher insurance rates, not to mention a real pain in the butt to get anywhere when you can’t drive. It’s not worth the risk.
Protect yourself in a Divorce. I believe the stat is still close to 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Of course divorce happens, and it’s terrible, but you have to do your best to protect yourself if it should happen to you. Don’t assume everything is going to turn out alright. If you don’t have a prenup, and most people don’t (me neither), at the very least consult an attorney who seems like they are on your side. Everybody’s situation is different, and people do bounce back in time, just don’t lose bigger than you have to. Take care of the kids, and protect yourself. That’s really what matters.
Don’t cancel your existing insurance until your new coverage takes effect. Have you ever known someone who was getting new auto insurance on their new car, so they just up and cancelled their existing insurance before the new coverage took effect, only to get in a car wreck with no coverage? (I have, but it wasn’t me). The new car is toast, no insurance, medical bills, etc…just to save a few bucks. Don’t do that. wait until your new coverage takes effect.
Excessive credit card debt. Credit cards and credit card companies are the devil. There are times when we have to do what we have to do, (I have) but the I gotta have it fever over and over again when you don’t have the cash is a train wreck waiting to happen. Use all your might to resist the temptation.
Personal Success – Don’t Lose Big
I know success can be fickle and there are no guarantees in life. It’s good to take a chance once in a while, or every day…and there will be speed bumps along the way. But there’s a big difference between a speed bump and a head on collision.
You can probably think of people in your own life who should have success, or greater success than they do, but they lost big somewhere along the way. Do you know any of these people?
The guy who bought way more house than he could afford and has no money left over to do anything, and can’t sell the house.
The really talented person that is so caught up in the next high or the next drink that nothing else matters.
The couple that have two new cars, newer house, go on vacations, have a boat, etc…then one day, uh-oh….one of them lost there job, and now it’s bankruptcy time. All payments, no cash, and now it’s time for the fire sale and the lawyer bills.
Success and Not Losing Big – One More Thing
I would add that if you don’t follow your dreams, if you don’t try, if you never give it a worthwhile effort, you lose big inside. If you just know deep within you that you need to do something…give it a shot, stick your toe in the water, or reach for the stars, shoot for the moon, just don’t lose big. Remember too, you define your own success, don’t let someone else do it for you.
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