9 years ago if you had asked me “Hey Michael Hernandez, what is your purpose in life?” I would have probably looked up from the bar floor I was lying on in a drunken stupor and mumbled some kind of incoherent reply…before passing out for the night.
My life back then was booze and narcotics so my purpose was to get high. My idea of success was drinking a whole bottle of Scotland’s finest and not blacking out. I believed that success was escaping the world and losing myself in drugs and alcohol to fill the void in my life.
But my alcoholism and drug abuse forced me to look at my life and really ask myself what WAS my purpose in life…and that became the most challenging mission I’ve ever had to face.
Without that terrible confrontation, I may never have understood my real goals and dreams in life. I wouldn’t have discovered that I had a hidden talent inside of me for a business that has made me the successful entrepreneur I am today.
During my drug and alcohol detox it seemed impossible at times to see success through the darkness, but what kept me going was knowing it would only be a matter of time until I reached my real destination. Success was right in front of me I just had to reach out and grab it.
After fighting to stay clean and sober, I was able to see that being a successful entrepreneur is a whole lot more than just making money. Financial success may seem like the ultimate goal but I am here to tell you more about what being a successful entrepreneur really means.
Today, I will be sharing with you 5 vital things you must avoid if you want to become a successful entrepreneur.
1. Playing it Safe Every Time
My addictions were born out of one dominating emotion…fear. The uncertainty of making decisions, taking risks to further me professionally and spiritually all caused me absolute panic. I was terrified of facing difficult choices in case it all fell apart. Drugs and alcohol was my coping mechanism to escape from stress and fear.
All that fear did be lead me away from any chance of success. I didn’t know it at the time but I was missing out on opportunities because I was too afraid to take a risk. Once I got out of my comfort zone when I was sober and able to focus and no longer hide behind my addiction, doors began to open.
Being a successful entrepreneur is about taking a risk when the moment is right. It’s true that many risks carry consequences, but in my experience when I have gone with my gut and known which risks are worth taking, that is when my greatest successes have come to light.
2. Not Knowing the Difference Between a Good/Bad Decision
As a successful entrepreneur, my business depends on not only making decisions but knowing the good from the bad. I’m not going to lie and say I never make bad decisions anymore because let’s be honest, nobody is perfect.
I do, however, try to be more mindful of the decisions I have to make by looking at my past experiences, logic, and goals. Analyzing your options before making a decision can help you identify a good or bad choice.
To be a successful entrepreneur you must remember that great success comes with hard work and dedication. If it’s too easy then it’s probably too good to be true.
3. Avoid Aimless Wandering and Set Your Goals
When I hit absolute rock bottom during my addiction I had absolutely no clue where I was, what I was doing or where I was headed in life. I had the typical “let’s see what happens” mentality that a lot of addicts have because focusing and setting goals is simply not important.
9 years on and I realize that I was completely lost. Wandering aimlessly without a clue had only thrown me deeper into my alcoholism. I had nothing clear to focus on so I didn’t see the point of setting objectives.
Goals don’t have to be huge outrageous statements that are so unrealistic they never even see the light of day. Small achievable objectives give you purpose, daily milestones like creating a new and attractive idea or boosting your online presence in the market by a couple hundred more Facebook likes a day, can help you grow as a successful entrepreneur.
4. Isolating Yourself from Others
This one thing to avoid is absolutely essential. I’m going to tell it to you straight…you can’t be successful alone. It might sound awesome to be the lone wolf who became the most successful entrepreneur single-handedly, but it is unrealistic and actually negative.
Even the world’s greatest entrepreneurs had help.
I used to think that I was Superman and didn’t need help from anyone and looking back I’d now say that arrogance was the catalyst for my addictions. I drank and used drugs to cope with stress…the stress I put on myself by trying to be a hero.
The real hero turned out to be my Mom who kept me from ending my life too soon. Without her and my family to support me through those dark times and now to this day in my success, I wouldn’t be the strong entrepreneur I am now.
Build strong teams and business partnerships with like-minded people, attend conferences and meet new talented people you can forge strong ties with instead of isolating yourself.
5. Avoid Becoming Sedentary and Unhealthy
After I successfully beat my addictions my lifeline became sports particularly basketball. Staying active keeps me focus and sharp so I always feel like I am doing something worthwhile.
Eating well and taking care of myself after years of polluting my body with alcohol and drugs has been a total gamechanger that reflects my success as an entrepreneur. When you are in great shape you feel great and those around you notice that. Be dynamic and fit for the ultimate entrepreneurial success.
I hope that sharing my experiences with you today has helped you on your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Remember that focusing your mind and body on your goals and dreams can truly give you the success you deserve.
Being a successful entrepreneur means building strong teams and partnerships, never being afraid to take risks or ask for a helping hand, setting achievable goals and analyzing your decision making. Your success is right around the corner, so go get it!
Do you have something to share about the things to avoid to become a successful entrepreneur? I’d love to hear from your experiences on your own success so please leave a comment below.