Personal Development

6 Reasons You Might Be Struggling to Succeed (& How to Fix Them!)

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics
18 Articles Written

We have all heard that two-thirds of business startups fail in the first decade. If you’re like me, you encountered this statistic but dismissed it, telling yourself, “That won’t be me!”

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Now, a couple of months or years later, you may be wondering why things haven't taken off like you thought they would. This issue could be plaguing your real estate business, social media platforms, a startup business… maybe even your personal brand.

Why You’re Struggling to Become Successful

Here are the six reasons I find most people struggle to find success—and how to fix them!

1. You’re not setting goals

Would you depart friendly lines with a convoy without knowing your checkpoints? No.

Would you step off on a hike without knowing your mission? No.

So why would you walk through life without goals?

The short answer is you shouldn’t. The Marine Corps teaches the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. The acronym refers to:

  • Specific: Rather than saying “get in shape,” define what you specifically want to achieve, such as losing weight, toning up, etc.
  • Measurable: Rather than saying “lose weight,” say “lose 10 pounds in two months.” This is a quantifiable goal and can be tracked.
  • Attainable: Ensure your goal can be accomplished.
  • Realistic: Be honest with yourself, and keep in mind any obstacles you may need to overcome.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline. Deadlines are key to accomplishing your goals, but you must adhere to them!


2. You don’t practice accountability

Nobody is perfect. We all know this to be true. For that reason, it is extremely helpful to have someone holding you accountable to your goals.

Going back to our fitness example above, even the most motivated person will eventually have a day where they don’t want to work out. A good workout partner will hold you accountable and not let you skip.

This works the same with any goal. Accountability can take many forms—it could be a weekly mastermind meeting, your spouse, a friend who you ask to hold you accountable, etc.

The important piece is to have checks and balances in your life that ensure when your moment of weakness comes, you can resist it!

3. You’re making excuses

Nobody cares about your success more than you do. So stop making excuses, and start doing. Stop worrying about problems, and start finding solutions.

It is imperative that you do something every day in order to move the needle forward. Making excuses will accomplish nothing; it’s simply wasting your time (and anyone unfortunate enough to be listening).

This is why I have friends like Alex Felice, who are so quick to tell me when I’m starting to make excuses. We are all human, and it is natural to make excuses—sometimes without realizing it. Much like accountability, a friend who can see through your B.S. is invaluable!

There is a popular phrase in the military, “Excuses are like a**holes, everybody has one, and they all stink!”

While crude, this is the way you need to think of excuses. They don’t move the needle forward, they don’t make you feel better (in the long run), and they have no place in your life!

Related: 6 Ridiculous Excuses That Are Holding You Back From Real Estate Success


4. Your network sucks

It is said that your wealth is the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If you’re the smartest person in your network, you need to find a new network.

These statements might sound cliché, and I’m sure you have heard them before. But there is a reason they are repeated often: they are true!

You don’t need to cut all of your friends out of your life, but there is nothing wrong with ditching the “negative Nancys” for some “positive Pauls” (pretty sure I just made that up).

Seriously, if the people around you aren’t helping you grow as a person and accomplish your goals, you need to improve your network. A good way to do this is to attend real estate investor meetups and get busy meeting people with similar goals!

Every time I attend a real estate investor meetup, I am amazed by the growth I experience. Improving your network is (in my opinion) the most important thing you can do to become successful!

5. You aren’t learning

You need to learn something new every day.

Formal education is great and all, but that isn’t what I mean. You need to learn something every day that will help you achieve your definition of success.

For real estate investors, this could mean reading a book on real estate, listening to a podcast, or having lunch with a mentor. Search Google for useful blog posts or YouTube videos during your free time!

Top Six reasons you’re not succeeding

The point is that you need to set aside time every day for personal development. I believe that the best investment you can make is in yourself!

Don’t overlook opportunities for growth. Daily growth compounded over time will make you into a very successful person.

Conferences and seminars offer a bonus perk: they are an excellent way to combine personal development and networking! I love attending these events to grow personally and build my network, while simultaneously getting a motivational boost!

Related: The 4 Levels of Learning in Real Estate Investment

6. You’re not taking extreme ownership

Everything is your fault! Much like making excuses, failure to take responsibility for your situation is a waste of time and not conducive to improvement.

In his book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win, Jocko Willink uses the example of being five minutes late to work.

Is being late to work because of traffic your fault? Yes. Because if you had left the house 10 minutes earlier, you would not have been late.

Will Smith has a great motivational video about the difference between fault and responsibility. In his short clip (which I recommend that you watch by searching “Fault vs. Responsibility” on YouTube), he states that whether or not something is your fault, it is still your responsibility.

An example is that it’s not your fault if your significant other cheats on you, but it is your responsibility to decide how you’re going to react. It is also not your fault if somebody passes away, but it is your responsibility to cope with it.

The main theme with both of these resources is that we need to act less on a “woe is me because X, Y, or Z happened” mentality, and instead think in terms of “this happened, so how do I fix it?” or “this happened, so how can I ensure it doesn’t happen again?”

It isn’t easy to take extreme ownership when things go wrong, but it is much more productive. This mindset shift will open a lot of doors to you as a leader, and the better I get at this, the more successful I become as a leader of Marines.


Now that you are aware of these six reasons you’re not succeeding, it is time to utilize extreme ownership and change!

Knowing your deficiencies will always give you an edge over the competition. But that edge is useless if you don’t constantly improve. That is why you need to constantly work on all six of these issues, and look for ways to grow.

What are you currently working on for personal development?

Share in a comment below!


David Pere has been active in the U.S. Marine Corps since 2008. He got his start as a real estate investor in 2015 and since then has bought and sold over 50 rental units, partnered on multiple fix...
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    Kurt Michaelson from Yukon, OK
    Replied about 1 year ago
    No matter where a person is at in their real estate investing experience, these are all great points to consider whether or not someone is moving forward, and it might be that 1, a few, or all 6 of these things are the reason why the struggle is taking place. The good news is that once identified, and if the person is willing to change, then things can move in a very different and positive direction. Semper fi Marine.
    David Pere Rental Property Investor from Oceanside, CA
    Replied about 1 year ago
    I agree completely, this doesn’t just apply to real estate investing, but life in general. Thank you for the feedback brother, Semper Fi
    Martin Carstens Investor from Edmonds, Washington
    Replied about 1 year ago
    David, Bravo! Great tips for getting refocused and kicking it in gear! Thank you!
    David Pere Rental Property Investor from Oceanside, CA
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Thank you Martin!
    John C. Investor from New York, NY
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Good stuff!
    Brianna Ware from Miami, FL
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Needed this refresher!
    Keith Shadle from San Diego
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Very great post! Not just the standard lists of “whys” but more of the tougher things to hear. Got “Extreme Ownership” on my desk right now:!
    David Pere Rental Property Investor from Oceanside, CA
    Replied about 1 year ago
    I love (and sometimes hate) that book. Tough, but necessary principles to follow!
    Account Closed Realtor from Lekki, Lagos Nigeria
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Good stuff. Thank you David Pere
    David Pere Rental Property Investor from Oceanside, CA
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Thank you!