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An Entrepreneur's 3 Steps to Success You're bound to fail if you don't take a long hard look at your programming, environment and goals.

By Geoff Woods Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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How do you know if you're a true entrepreneurial success?

A lot of entrepreneurs strive for the kind of success that can be measured in cars, beach houses and Rolex watches. But according to my wildly successful mentor Jim Bunch, true success can only be measured in terms of happiness, health and wealth.

Where most entrepreneurs fail is in thinking they can simply buy their way into a happier life, a healthier body or a lasting experience of wealth. The truth is that it's completely impossible to achieve and maintain any of these things without first looking at your programming, your environments and your goals.

Most entrepreneurs fail because of unconscious programming, poorly designed environments and setting the wrong goals.

Audio: Geoff Woods interviews Jim Bunch

Let's take a closer look at these common problem areas and find out how to solve them.

1. Failure to recognize your unconscious programming.

Take a good, hard look at your finances, your love life and your physical health. If you're like most people, you tend to remain stuck with the same income, the same type of partner and the same health problems or weight issues for decades. That's because each of us has an internal "thermostat" that's been set to a certain temperature where we feel comfortable or, more accurately, uncomfortable!

If we deviate too far from this temperature by making "too much" money or losing "too much" weight, we'll quickly find ways to get back into our "discomfort zone" -- by sabotaging relationships, losing deals or gaining back weight.

SOLUTION: Get clear on your personal programming by making the unconscious conscious. By becoming aware of your internal settings you will begin to recognize behaviors that keep you stuck in repeating patterns.

Next, learn to recognize resistance when it manifests as fear, anxiety, apathy or anger. For instance, if you experience a wave of laziness right after you've lost 10 pounds, or find yourself thinking you can "afford" to start eating unhealthy foods again, catch yourself! This type of thinking is an unconscious attempt to keep you at your old, unhealthy weight.

Finally, set reasonable goals that gently stretch you beyond your current "temperature." Attempting to make an exponential leap ("I'm going to lose 100 pounds in a month!") only sets you up for failure.

Related: The 8 Traits Shared by the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

2. Failure to create the right environments.

Your environments are the single most important factor in determining your success and, according to Jim, there are "Nine environments of You." If you're operating in the wrong environments and using willpower to force change, it's practically impossible to achieve your goals as an entrepreneur.

SOLUTION: Begin by taking stock of the nine environments in your life.

  • What kind of environment is created by the five people you spend the most time with?
  • How does your work environment make you feel? Does it inspire innovation or make you feel stifled?
  • Are you spending time in environments, such as fast food restaurants, that could be sabotaging your health goals?

Only by consciously creating and designing your environments will you be able to achieve lasting happiness, health and wealth.

Related: The Best Way to Change Your Habits? Control Your Environment.

3. Failure to set the right goals.

Most people do not understand the purpose of a goal. Most people think the purpose of a goal is to attain or achieve something. If your goal is to finally buy that sports car, beach house or Rolex, relax -- I'm not going to take away your dream!

I am, however, going to highlight the difference between surface level tangibles and the deeper experiences of true happiness, lasting health and the kind of wealth that permeates every area of your life.

Most people set goals hoping to achieve more of the same thing -- a better car, a bigger house, or a buffer body. But when we focus our goals on the attainment of stuff instead of experiences, we completely miss the real purpose of goal setting. The purpose of a goal is not to attain or acquire something, but to "evolve you" into someone who will experience greater happiness, health and wealth into your life because it's who you are, not what you've achieved.

SOLUTION: In order to do this, you should:

  • Set inspiring goals that add energy to you, verses goals that expire or drain you.
  • Never set goals in a familiar environment, which will only generate familiar results!
  • Set 90-day, action-oriented goals instead of focusing on an overwhelming 30-year plan.
  • Consider your personal vision, mission and values when setting goals.
  • Focus on intellectual and spiritual expansion in addition to financial gain.

If you want to avoid the three areas where most entrepreneurs fail, you must get conscious about your programming, environments and goals.

Related: 6 Apps That Help You Stick to Your Goals

By resetting your internal thermostat, modifying your environments and setting the right kind of goals, you can achieve lasting success in the areas of happiness, health and wealth.

Geoff Woods

Host of The Mentee Podcast, Medical Device Salesman, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investor

Geoff Woods, a medical device salesman by day, is the host of The Mentee Podcast where he documents his journey from employee to entrepreneur and highlights conversations he has with his high-level mentors. Woods's passion is helping others accelerate their success by surrounding them with the right mentors and the right ideas.

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