What Keeps You Going?

Have you ever wanted to quit? Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t go any further? Things were too tough. They didn’t go the way you expected. It was too much to overcome. We’ve all gotten to that point with something in our lives. So, the question is, did you quit, or did you keep going? Did you push on, or did you give in? The reality is, you are going to have encounters like this with something on an almost daily basis. In business, it happens all the time. In life, curve balls constantly come your way. With relationships, there are always going to be challenges. Whatever your situation and no matter you level of success, we all run into roadblocks or turning points in our lives. You must be able to overcome and keep forging ahead when everything in you says, I just can’t do it anymore.

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, these thoughts face me often and the more successful people I talk to, the more I realize that we all have these doubts sometimes. The difference between success and failure is the fine line between winning and giving up. Here are some tips that have helped me when I face insurmountable odds and have to keep going and I hope these will sustain you as well when that next challenge comes.

1. Focus on your Purpose
When you get caught up in the current situation, it is easy to get knocked down or feel defeated. However, when you realize you have a greater good to serve or focus on, you can push through anything. When your why is greater than your how, you can achieve any goal.
Are you fighting for you or for someone else? Are you here in it for the money, or are you here to help others? Are you working to feed your family, or is it all about ego? When you shift your mindset to a cause greater than you, the results start to change in all aspects of your life.
I know my purpose is to make a positive impact in people’s lives. Therefore, I don’t focus solely on revenue growth, business generating activities, or sales strategy. I focus on people. Helping people and serving them to the best of my ability. If I do that as good as I am capable, the money will take care of itself. Do I need to be efficient and proficient at my job? Absolutely. But if I keep purpose and people ahead of profits and tasks, I will be in good shape in the long run.

2. Continue to grow
If you are facing challenges you have been facing for a while, look in the mirror. What are you doing differently to change the outcome this time? Are you the same person you were 5 years ago? No better, no worse? Be careful with that answer. I would argue that if you aren’t getting better, then you must be getting worse. It is very hard to maintain in a world that is constantly changing. If you haven’t improved as a father over the last 5 years, you are probably behind. If you haven’t learned any new skills in the past 5 years, you are probably not the best business person, or employee you could be. If you aren’t learning on a regular basis, your knowledge is not keeping up with changes in society.
I don’t tell you this to discourage you. I tell you this to challenge you. To encourage you. The good news is, it is easier to learn today than it ever has. Anything. Anywhere. Want to know how successful people run a business? Youtube. Want to know how to become better at just about anything? Google. You can look up just about any topic you want, anywhere in the world and gain knowledge in the palm of your hand through a smart phone.
You can always go to the Library and read or download a book online. But if you aren’t the best reader and still want to learn, stop making excuses. Anyone can learn today if they want to. Keep striving to improve yourself in all aspects if you want to have better tomorrows.

3. Mentors: Find one or Be one
Is there someone you want to encourage you? Someone you aspire to be like? Ask them to go to lunch or grab a cup of coffee. If you want to know how to keep going in tough times, ask someone who has achieved success about the obstacles they have had to overcome. We all need people to speak life into our situation and we all need a kick in the rear sometimes. Mentors are people who should do both. If you have been mentored before or feel like you have knowledge to share with others, Mentor someone else. The best model for continued growth in this area is to have someone pulling you up, while you reach back and pull someone else up. You want accountability? This is an accountability sandwich. You are held to a higher standard at the top and the bottom and you will be forced to improve.

I have had some great mentors in my life and I am thankful for all of them. Life, Business, Spiritual, etc. we all need these critical people that we can reach out to in good times and bad to seek guidance. Sometimes I will reach out for a word of encouragement. Sometimes I need prayer. Sometimes it is simply catching up with them to make sure I am doing things the way I should.

If you don’t have a mentor and you are struggling, this should be the first place you start. Everybody needs somebody and if you are isolated, it is so easy to give up. The goal here is to find someone you can trust, that you admire, and who is ahead of you in some regard in an area you want growth. Call the person or connect on Social Media. Ask if you can sit down with them. DO NOT TRY TO SELL THEM SOMETHING OR DO BUSINESS. If business comes from one of these relationships; that is great. Let it happen naturally but these aren’t prospects. These are long term relationships that can be there through thick and thin and allow you to learn in a comfortable setting.

4. See a Coach, Pastor, Trainer, or Counselor
Depending on the level of struggle, you may need to seek professional advice. While I have never experience depression, I do know that the struggle in real. Sometimes we are going through a season of drought. Sales, business, life, or marriage can have these seasons of good and bad. A tough period of time becomes overwhelming and it is hard to get out of the slump. When you feel like this is your situation, it is time to seek professional advice.
If your business is failing, your marriage is on the rocks, you are struggling with some kind of addiction, or facing something else critical, you need to go beyond these steps above.

A Coach can challenge you and hold you accountable. A Pastor can speak to your spiritual being and put things in a larger perspective. A counselor can help with relationships or other aspects of life’s struggles. A trainer can help you improve in fitness or grow other skills as needed. All of these people may have some pre-requisite for meeting with them and some will have a fee. However, they should also have professionalism and an ability to keep your confidential information out of the public. Know the level of your struggle and how much help you need. If it is beyond the point that you can handle and it is something that requires additional guidance, talk to those who are in the profession of helping in that area. It never hurts to get the advice of a professional or admit that you need help for something too big for you.

Challenges will continue to come our way on a daily basis. I hope these ideas will help you the next time you feel like giving up. Push through the best you can with these guidelines and if necessary, seek professional guidance. Best of luck in all your endeavors and never give up!

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Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a 2003 Graduate of Georgia Southern University in Business Administration. Upon graduation, Matt entered outside sales and shortly thereafter, started a Mortgage Company in Atlanta where he was born and raised. In 2006, he was recruited into the Financial Services industry and moved to Birmingham, AL in June of 2007 where he was mentored by his Father in Law for 8 years. In March of 2015, Matt started his own firm, Perpetual Lifestyle Planning, and it is here that Matt currently works with clients to develop plans that help people have the Lifestyle they desire. Matt believes that he is in a position to help people in all aspects of their lives as people come to him for financial issues but he likes to make a positive impact beyond that. Matt holds a Series 7, 66, and many state Life and Health licenses as he has clients around the country, and has a certificate in Financial Planning from Kaplan University. In 2017, Matt created an inspirational podcast called Living Life on Purpose and partnered with Andrew Wells of Executive Lion, a Coaching and Consulting company that has a mission to create a community of executives that encourage and inspire each other through their struggles and successes that lead to a positive work-life balance. Matt is married to Jamie Wilson and has two daughters, Britton and Gabrielle. Matt is active in the community and he serves on the Board of NAIFA Birmingham as Past President and the State Board of NAIFA Alabama as President. Matt is the Outreach Coordinator for Church of the Highland’s Grandview Campus and serves as a greeter and small group leader. Matt serves with The Just People Project and is a Trusted Advisor for Farm for Hope. Matt is on the Board of Ady's Army and the Advisory Board of Planet Fundraiser. Matt has served on the National MS Society’s Advisory Council and was a part of the Leadership Class of 2012. Matt is part of a Leadership group that meets regularly with Congressman Gary Palmer and he travels to Washington annually to meet with members of Congress on behalf of his industry and clients. Matt has received many awards in the Financial Services Industry including being named one of NAIFA Birmingham’s Top Advisors under 40 in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Matt has a passion for mentoring and he has many young people that he is helping grow in life and business. Matt enjoys spending time with his Family, exercising, outdoor activities, golf, the beach, lake, college football and serving others.

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