The promise of success is a way to charm people towards taking action. But what happens when the promise is not fulfilled? Success in business is important because there is so much at stake, so many of us try to find it by any means necessary. Here are three areas that create confusion and does not necessarily aid in small business success, followed by a resourceful alternative.

1. The “feel good” factor without satisfaction.

When I consider how many books about starting a business have been written that are considered “good” because of their style, content, or topic-relevance, I am amazed at how rarely they are put to practical use. This fact fascinates me because one cannot deny that information is given. Extrapolate that to courses and seminars and you get similar results. The success rate of the material presented is not very high because there is a mental aspect that creates a block of some sort. You read and “feel good,” but the doing gets left behind.

2. Insistence on “Planning”

There are well-respected teachers and coaches who send me (among others) frequent information on planning. This is most prevalent at or about the end of the year and at the start of a new year. They implore me to set goals and to have different types—life goals, personal goals, business goals, relationship goals, financial goals, and so on. Then there are the timelines—five-year plans, broken down into one-year plans, then into months and weeks. They promise bonuses for signing up for their services and they cite testimonials from those who, supposedly, have finally gotten their lives sorted out after subscribing. It seems so much…

3. The truth

The truth creates confusion and anxiety.

Well, the truth is that very few people actually apply the advice and that is the cause of much guilt, low feelings and perhaps even depression. People are left feeling bad and somewhat unworthy of success for not having the “commitment” to their goals sufficient to make lists and break them down on paper. Indeed, this reality feeds into the experts’ promotions of their books and seminars. Someone is always claiming that he or she has the right answer or approach, some way to sort out your planning and goal-setting. I am sufficiently experienced to be sure that it is not going to happen at any level close to what these salespeople promote.

The average person (and maybe over 99 percent of us) is not wired to operate in this way. Perhaps in a military or some rigidly structured organization we might find ourselves taking that route at the planning level. Some CEOs or high-intensity sportspeople may have a higher commitment level than the rest of the population, but I believe that the best we might see is people planning their days one day at a time. This takes a lot of the planning thrill-seekers to task.
The truth creates confusion because many people seek a quick fix. Yet, that does not come in the real world. Much like dieting, millions are left hopeful but dissatisfied.

I have taken a different approach in The Small Business Survival Guide – Insights into the First Two Years. This reference book provides useful information on many areas that impact success. It sheds light in an easy-read, non-threatening way. In this approach, persons can refer to specific problems and be directed to solutions and options for moving forward, by way of insights into what can be expected in the real world and how you can navigate towards success. It promises awareness and you decide how much you can commit. There is no promise of miracles or automatic riches. Simply, discussing what issues will arise and you decide what direction to go.

Author's Bio: 

Alrick Robinson is the author of The Small Business Survival Guide: Insights into the First Two Years. I invite you to download a free chapter and introduction to by book at You may also visit my blog at where I share small business resources and survival tips weekly.