How to Fail in Business and in Life?

A slight departure from my usual up-beat motivational content, but don’t worry it’s not a mid-life crisis, I definitely have my tongue firmly in my cheek as I’m writing this month’s article. I was reminded of these ‘commandments’ whilst preparing for a motivational speaking engagement that I delivered last month and thought they would be worth sharing with you.

10 commandments

It’s fair to say, I’ve been very fortunate throughout my 28 years career in people development, to have coached and mentored a large number of life’s winners. Whether from the world of business or sport; mountaineering or photography; charity fundraising or the armed forces; I’ve worked with and observed thousands of people from all walks of life, some high-profile and some not, but all considered to be winners in the ‘game of life’.

As a result I’ve witnessed first hand many of the behaviours and strategies that ‘winners’ apply on a day-to-day basis. Many of which I regularly share, as I mentioned earlier, in my motivational speaking engagements or, more recently, through the various social media outlets.  Naturally over the years, I’ve also seen many behaviours and strategies that were not conducive to success. Some could actually be described as self-destructive, although I’m sure many of the people demonstrating the behaviours wouldn’t have seen it that way at the time!

So this month as a slight twist to my usual offering, I thought I’d share with you a brief summary of what I’ve observed to be the most self-destructive behaviours and strategies, entitled:

The 10 Commandments ‘guaranteed’ to accelerate business and personal failure’.

Commandment 1 – Stop taking risks!

Commandment 2 – Be content with what you’ve got!

Commandment 3 – Before you make any move, always ask yourself; “What would the founder have done?”

Commandment 4 – Rely totally on research and experts to make decisions for you!

Commandment 5 – Once you have a formula for success, never change it!

Commandment 6 – Gloss over or even hide your mistakes!

Commandment 7 – Be more concerned with status than with service!

Commandment 8  – Concentrate on your competitor instead of on your customer!

Commandment 9 – Put yourself first, ahead of your team!

Commandment 10 – Memorise the formula and repeat after me T-G-E ‘That’s Good Enough!’

In summary, whilst ignoring these ’10 Commandments’ will not guarantee success – based on my first-hand experience, I am convinced that adopting them will guarantee failure! So as you run through each of the above and on a slightly more serious note, ask yourself;

Which of these ’10 Commandments’ do I need to eliminate from my life in order to enjoy greater success?

Why not ignore Commandment 1 and take action TODAY?

Thanks for reading, until next time, onwards + upwards!

TH signature 2

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‘Motivating, Educating & Inspiring since 1985′

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2 thoughts on “How to Fail in Business and in Life?

  1. Thank you Tony –  I always enjoy reading your work – there are always things to think about in your writing.

    Quicky update – Matt has done a really good job and, with the usual caveats until such time as we have exchanged contracts, the signs are good for selling the farm. If it does go through then Jessica Taylor and her partner want a quick move so we could be out in November. PLan A was renting, so we started to look at houses to rent around Ponteland and then Newcastle. It soon became apparent that, for the same [high] cost, one might as well have a mortgage, so it was onto plan B.

    My focus now is to find a homebase that can safely house the team and where I can pay off any mortgage in three years by taking my pension lump sum early.  As you can imagine – the budget excludes Ponteland, but we have found properties that meet our needs in Low Fell and Whitley Bay – with Whitley Bay top of the pile because of the sea!. Nick is thrilled at the idea of public transport and Naomi just wants somewhere snuggly to come home to where she doesn’t need to wear a hat in bed to keep warm. Aunty M is understandably anxious about needing to manage stairs in her 81st year, having enjoyed living on the ground floor – but there are always stair lifts..

    And Simon and I are keeping our fingers crossed that this sale will go through and we can settle the debts and live within my salary – what a relief that will be….

    Meanwhile, we took Naomi to Warwick Uni last weekend and she is settling in fast and sounding very excited in her texts. Nicks is really enjoying his aviation mechanics at Newcastle College – based at the Aviation Academy at Newcastle Airport. He gets up in the morning and rarely grunts now – even tells me about what he’s done on the way home. Last Friday he said, ” Friday 9:30? Must be Theory of Flight. Good! That’s really interesting” !!! Do you recognise this child? I did a double take!

    Hope that all is well with Maureen and yourself and that Olivia is looking forward to her second year – I’m sure she is – and that Josh will take this last year at school in his stride. Will look forward to catching up with your news when you have time.

    love and hugs to you all, 



  2. Tony,

    Thanks I’ll act on them.


    Bill Tebay
    Property Services Director

    Worcester Community Housing Ltd
    Head Office/Registered Office:
    Progress House
    Midland Road
    WR5 1DU

    • 01905 670169
    7 01905 670101

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