9 Reasons You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

Feeling down about your prospects in life? It’s easy as men to feel insecure about where we’re at today. You may be drawn to comparing your journey to other’s, or just feeling down about your status in life or the size of your paycheck. If you’ve got goals you want to get after, but keep finding yourself to be unsuccessful, consider the following reasons you’re not successful like you should be.

This whole article is some tough love for men to chew on.

#1 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

 – Laziness

There’s no easy way to state this. We all recognize laziness in others. It’s pretty easy to spot it in ourselves too. But if you’re not as successful as you should be, my first guess might simply be because you’re being lazy. It’s time to get up off your butt and start knocking out what you know you need to do.

I’ll say this: If you’re okay with being lazy, you need to be okay with not being successful.

#2 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

 – Entitlement

There’s only two people in the world that are a part of the lucky sperm club: Tom Cruise and Warren Buffett. One guy can act, sing, dance and make millions all while everyone hates his guts. The other guy is just too smart with money.

As for you and me, we’ve got to work hard for what we get. Quit thinking you’re owed something. That will only stop you in your tracks.

#3 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

 – Fear

You’re simply afraid. Fearful of looking stupid. Afraid of what everyone will say. Filled with fear of anything and everything. Imagination running wild with fear. Hey, you’re either going to let fear overtake you, or you’re going to step up and kick it in the face. I can’t convince you to stop. Imagine…what is ahead for you if you don’t hide behind the excuses fear produces?

#4 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

Negativitywhy am i not successful

If you’ve ever been accused of being a negative person, LISTEN. It’s likely you want to deny it. And it’s impossible to see it about ourselves. But you’ve got to recognize it. If you are a negative person, you’ll be a poison to people’s spirits. And you’ll never draw people to you. Without a team around you and a support group, you won’t grow into a successful person.

#5 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

–You Don’t Measure

You don’t have goals. You plan nothing.

What gets measured gets done. Without a plan, without thinking through what you’re aiming for, when, and at what time, you’ll arrive no where and stay there.why am i not successful

Set clear goals.

#6 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be


“They” don’t exist. Unless you grew up in an elite family with great resources, you don’t have a “they” to lean back on. Unfortunately, it’s just you. There’s no secret society of people controlling your success or failure. Obama doesn’t want to destroy you and his Republican opponents aren’t the Anti-Christ bent on nuclear holocaust. The truth is, you alone control how you respond to your circumstances.

#7 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

Time Waste

You’re a classic time-waster. This differs from being lazy. You’re the master of rewarding 15 sucessful minutes of homework with 6 hours of browsing the internet.

Not successful

#8 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

Thinking Big

Maybe you’re problem isn’t that you think too small, but that you think too big. I once worked for someone that wanted everyone to dream so big, that we were often missing the most important components—the small parts that actually impact people where they are at. Dream small. Piece by piece. And dream specific things, not just broad, audacious goals.

 #9 Reason You’re Not Successful Like You Should Be

Don’t Believe

You don’t believe that you’re capable. Somehow we were taught that only a few “exceptional” people born with the resources and special talents were somehow chosen to rule the land and get what they want. And everyone else has to settle. If you really want to believe that, then you’re decision is made. Otherwise, move from the back of the line to the front and fight to make a change and make a difference.

You Can Be Successful

Success isn’t just for the rich or those with great talents. I don’t think I’m naturally gifted at anything. Anything I am decently good at I’ve had to try really, really, hard at. Preparation and grunt work have always been the foundation of almost every success I’ve had. Put your skin in the game, stay consistent, and make good decisions. If you keep your ear attentive to feedback, I’m sure you’ll become a successful man.

About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.


  1. Great post Todd! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love all the points, but my wife and I were just discussing #2 last night at dinner. Our culture has made a hard shift (maybe it’s always been that way?) to a sense of entitlement. We want things to just be given to us without working for it. If you wait for someone to give you something, it’s probably not going to happen.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      You know, I struggle a little bit with the “entitlement” thing. I don’t think we are deserving to just receive stuff for no reason. But I worked with this mobile app developer earlier this year that previous owned a real estate company. The guy was so anti-entitlement (and he was a millionaire) he was a jerk about it. He was always suspecting that I had an entitlement mindset. In fact, he told me that about two weeks into working with him.

      So, that’s just to say I try to guard against judging and assuming that others have an entitlement complex. But overall, it certainly is prevalent here in the US.

      • John and Todd, the lack of specificity in your comments got me thinking. What things and what stuff do you feel people feel entitled to have?

        • That’s a good question. I think they feel entitled to unlimited “rights” since we live in a “free country”. Which sometimes is can be a license to free character.

          I think people feel entitled to insurance and healthcare. Or, they feel entitled to be taxed very little and to not have to share, and everyone has to pay for healthcare.

          I think that the earth has limited resources, and people think they entitled to accumulating as much of it as possible without sharing, and that’s a silly way to look at it. The earth is limited, and no one “owns” it.

          • Do you feel like people shouldn’t feel entitled to healthcare?

            I definitely agree with you about the earth’s resources. That’s a troubling problem, but one that can be difficult to approach. We often feel so small in comparison to the entirety of the globe, so it’s difficult to think “I’m using too much,” even when we are.

  2. I’d say the top 3 are the primary culprit for most people. Fear is a difficult thing to overcome and taking the first step out on a ledge is terrifying. Laziness has a lot to do with it too and not prioritizing your time properly.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      It’s true-I think all three are the “death combo.” I don’t know if all lazy people are truly lazy, it’s just that fear paralyzes them and they don’t know how to plan and prioritize.

  3. Todd,

    I like your comment that preparation and grunt work are the foundation for success.

    And, thank you for your vote for my blog in the Best Real Estate Blog Contest.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      You got it Terry!
      Yep, I only think there is one skill that has come naturally to me. Everything else has been grunt work and refinement.

  4. Damn, this post is terrifyingly accurate.

    I’ll sort my life out tomorrow.

    #10 Reason – Procrastination!

  5. I’d say entitlement is the biggest one I see. Just because you are born, had bad or good parents, stubbed your toe toe in 5th grade, whatever, doesn’t mean you get a free pass.

  6. great list. My personal favorite is Fear. Most people don’t try their best due to the fear. I have seen many mediocre people to be successful beyond their reach. I have not see anyone with fear to be successful to the point they should be..

  7. I can’t believe I just stumbled upon this site; freaking awesome! OK, so reasons why we fail…I think fear should be 1 on the list and then laziness/failure to act. I used to be consumed with fear and self doubt. A book that really changed my life, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. I place laziness or the failure to act second even though they are really bi-products of fear. When we get it in our heads that we got one shot at this, that life is a gift and totally unpredictable, then fear still exists but becomes a motivator rather than a hindrance.

    • Jason nice to meet you! How’d you stumble upon us? StumbleUpon??

      It’s interesting what you point out. Almost all the points really boil down to the root of fear. 1-2 points may be connected to selfishness. Other than that, fear is the hope killer, and paralyzes us from moving forward!!

  8. Not believing may very well be everything that stops you in your tracks! As a man thinketh, so is he. Knowing in your heart that you deserve it will force success to look in your direction, because the abundance of success and resources out here are only seem to be allocated to those who internalize the “come to me” mentality.

  9. Great post, Todd. Laziness is a really interesting one. I think sometimes it can actually be very difficult to spot it in ourselves. Here’s an example — I work a lot harder for my future today than I did a few years ago. I realize now that there are so many more practices and opportunities I can pursue to become more successful, and many that I overlooked primarily because I was too lazy to sink time and effort into them.

    But at the time, I genuinely thought I was working hard. I prided myself on busting my butt, and I made some progress, but not near what I could have been doing if I’d fully applied myself to it.

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