The Surprising Habit That’s Making You Fail

Everyone has bad habits. Some more than others, but everyone has them. One of the more surprising habits I see that is keeping people from success is the habit of expecting things to go wrong.

Too many entrepreneurs fall victim to what I call the Reverse Placebo Effect. A placebo is harmless medicine that works for the patient because the patient expects it work.

The Reverse Placebo Effect occurs when you expect to fail. Too many entrepreneurs focus on the reasons something won’t work rather than focusing on the reasons it will. The reason these expectations are detrimental is because if you think something won’t work then you won’t take the necessary actions to try.

When you have serious doubts about whether something will work, it shows in your efforts. You don’t try as hard. Simply expecting success doesn’t guarantee it’s achievement. Action is essential. However, if you don’t expect success, you’ll limit the actions required of you to achieve it.

Few people have achieved success while doubting they could do it. There is power within intent. You can’t go into the game expecting to lose.

Instead of going into something with large doubts, go into it with the intent of success…

– Start expecting the sale.
– Start expecting them to say yes.
– Start expecting results.
– Start expecting it to work.

Let me be very clear that I’m not talking about the Law Of Attraction or wishful thinking. By expecting results you’re setting yourself up for success. Then comes massive action.

You must create marketing and systems that support your expectations. People can get a feel for your intentions. I once spoke with a friend prior to him going into a sales presentation. His words to me when I wished him luck was “don’t get your hopes up, I probably won’t get it.” He was right.

WARNING: If you’re making excuses before you begin something it’s a sign that you are expecting to lose.

Pay attention to how you think & feel about something. That great idea you have will never work if you have doubts about it’s success. You won’t pour your blood, sweat, and tears into something unless you have the expectation you’ll achieve your desired result.

You deserve success. You should expect it.

Photo by ttimelordd

  • Greg Lehman

    Great post! You’re totally right. Your internal dialogue absolutely affects your actions and the passion you have towards achieving something.

    You gotta tell yourself ‘they’ll say yes’ and that it will work, sometimes even before you’re sure that’s true. As you said the action and follow through is so important. The hard work you put in with passion is what will make it a success. If you believe it will work, you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen and start being more creative with your eye focused on the same result.

    Not everything is a yes, but it certainly isn’t likely to become a yes if you’re always looking for a no.

  • James Wedmore

    I am convinced that the “scattered entrepreneur” with 101 “shiny red balls” (and there are a LOT of these people! Used to be one…) and unfinished projects is someone who is simply expecting failure. If you expected your million dollar idea to work, you wouldn’t spend your time on ten others at the same time.

  • John Morgan

    James, I agree with you 100% and I hadn’t thought of that before. But you’re spot on. If we had the expectation an idea would work, then nothing would break our focus.

  • John Morgan

    Thanks Greg! You’re right that not everything will go our way. Those who expecting everything to go wrong though live a very frustrating life.

  • spencer shaw

    Wow, I too have never thought of it that way. Good post dude.

  • Stephen Melancon

    I think you nailed it with “go into it with the intent of success”. I’ve run across too many people who expect a bad outcome (much like your friend with the presentation) and amazingly enough…. they are always right. What’s worse is when they are far too willing to share with others that they knew it wouldn’t work when they started. Perhaps they wish to position themselves as an expert on things that will not work in their lives, and sharing is proof of this expertise. But I digress…

    I tend to be a realist. I know that risks exist. Once I decide, I’m all in with the greatest expectations of success. If something is not a home run, it’s on to the next one.

    Thanks for the post, John!

  • Joe Peck

    Hey John!

    I just finished Brand Against The Machine on my
    Kindle and wanted to let you know what an awesome book it is! I am just
    beginning to brand myself and my company and your book really gave me some
    amazing insight.

    After reading your book, it was obvious that we
    have a lot in common: I’m passionate about following my dreams; I love the idea
    of going against the grain of traditional branding and marketing and forging a
    new path (everything in your book made perfect sense); we have the same sense of
    humor (my wife and I exchange “that what she said” jokes constantly); heck, I
    even have a daughter named Ava too (she’s 5 and a total princess by the

    Here are the ideas from your book that I have
    already started to implement: top 50 people you want to promote your brand (I
    never would have thought of this but it is brilliant!), developing a fan name
    (BTW I’m a Maddict too, and now I guess an Outcast); having a charity to partner
    with and donate part of your revenues (myself and two of my kids are diabetic so
    we’ll be supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Assn); email list (I’ve been building
    a list of thousands of names over the past couple of years of people I’ve met or
    come across).

    Thanks again for the book and your overall
    awesomeness. My company is a film production company and I target a niche market
    of the movie going public to provide highly entertaining feature films that are
    devoid of gratuitous content. My mission and goals really lend themselves to the
    principles in your book so I’m very excited.

    Looking forward to new content from



  • John Morgan

    Thanks for the kind words Joe! I’m glad you found value in the book. Keep on rocking!

  • Doug Wagner

    Excellent point John… attitude affects everything that follows.

    The big challenge is with big ideas. The amount of effort required can be overwhelming. The key is to break it down and start moving. Keep coming back to “why” for motivation.

  • Joe Peck

    Word up, man! I’ll keep you posted on my branding successes. :)

  • Elizabeth

    Happens to be resonate with me at exactly the right time. Too many personal losses (deaths, illnesses, own injury) from which I haven’t been able to rebound as I would have wished. Thanks for the words of encouragement at the right time.

  • John Morgan

    Sorry for your loss Elizabeth. Glad you found this post helpful.

  • John Morgan

    That’s right Doug. Keep up the good work!