Avoiding Common Mistakes People Tend To Make in Life

Larry M. Jacobson (attachment # 1)Hey Larry,

I enjoy reading your blogs. I have a quick question. You hear a lot about mistakes people make when they are first starting out. Can you please give me some advice on how to avoid some of these mistakes? – Jason K. (Newport, Rhode Island)

Great question, Jason.  I admire you for wanting to learn how to avoid mistakes early in your life.  I wish I had your foresight growing up.  I read a great article recently by Henrik Edberg called “Do You Make these 10 Common Mistakes When You Think?” Below are the headers from his list followed by my own insights, which is good advice for adults of all ages.

1. You Overthink – you overanalyze until you sweat the small stuff and become paralyzed out of fear.

2. You see things in black and white – Your way or the highway. You create unnecessary barriers to your own success.

3. You think the world is revolving around you – You are too consumed by your own thoughts and you ignore the common sense advice from others. Despite what your parents, friends, spouse, significant other or “mirror reflection” tells you, you are not the smartest person in the room.

4. You generalize yourself and your world – Generalizations are often unfounded projections of oneself or others.  Do not let the negative comments or views of a select few dictate how you perceive yourself or what others may think about you. Stop being so hard on yourself.

5. You look for problems even when there are none – You look for smoke when there is no fire. You always expect a shoe to drop, or something to go wrong. This can often lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

6. You are addicted to your comfort zone – As I discuss in my book, Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, one of the main reasons why so many people seem to fail and never achieve their goals and success is because they simply succumb to their fears and never make any real efforts to ever get out of their negative comfort zone. This would involve doing the necessary disciplined work to improve their current situations or, even better, understanding how to avoid their comfort zone altogether.

7. You think about yourself as a victim – No one has control or power over your life unless you give them that power. Take the appropriate actions to own your own circumstances and stop blaming others for poor decisions that you either made or did not make.

8. You think that what you feel now is just how it is – To quote the Chinese Tao Philosopher, Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”  Enough said!

9. You compare yourself to other people – Stop trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Comparing yourself to others is the quickest way to lose your own way. Do not cut corners by trying to live outside your financial and personal means. Do not make rash or emotional decisions that only create more drama and delays toward accomplishing your own goals.

10. You think you already know how things work – What possesses normal, intelligent, educated adults (young and old alike) to ignore basic common sense? Like I said earlier, you are not the smartest person in the room. Successful people listen, learn, and lead.

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzche

Best of luck and keep me posted as you grow your future success,


International Bestseller: Ready, Aim, Captivate!

Last June, I decided to leave my comfort zone. I moved away from Los Angeles and a twenty-two year career in the music industry to pursue a passion, my dream. In 1996, I sat down to write an email to President Bill Clinton in which I expressed my concerns about what I perceived to be the core subjects and skills that should be taught in every high school in America: Personal Finance, Time Management, Self-Esteem and Goal Setting. I can still remember the joy and disappointment when I received a letter back from the President thanking me for taking the time to share my thoughts and concerns. Then the letter proceeded to outline some of the educational issues that he planned to introduce as part of his administration’s ‘Goals 2000: Educate America Act’. Unfortunately, my concerns were never addressed. When our economy fell on the brink of disaster (2008), I came to the realization and asked myself: if I didn’t do something to help educate young adults and adults of ages, who would? I didn’t really see anyone in particular reaching out to this group specifically and making an effort to help them avoid repeating what we were experiencing financially as a nation.

In 2009, I remembered my suggestions to President Clinton and I set out to write a book that I wished someone would have written for me when I was fifteen years old that encompassed the core subjects I had mentioned in my letter to the President. I wanted to write a book that would inspire young adults to follow their own goals in order to make decisions that would positively impact their overall financial and personal success. I really wanted to teach young adults as a pioneer and inspirational guide to raise their awareness and empower them to identify probable outcomes in order to achieve their desired goals. After two years, the result of my efforts and vision was Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, a book designed to give young adults ages 16 to 25 the needed educational concepts and tools to be successful in all areas of their lives. I finished the manuscript and then set out to build my platform to support those who would read it. I became a speaker, focusing mostly on colleges and universities, and I’m excited to get the book manuscript into the hands of a publisher this year.

Captivate_front_cover-200x300This past August, Viki Winterton, Publisher of the highly successful Ready, Aim book series, approached me and asked to interview me for her fourth book, Ready, Aim, Captivate!: Put Magic in Your Message and a Fortune in Your Future. Viki became aware of my work with young adults and she asked me to share how I became involved with my Growing Success platform. I explained that my message was to communicate and reach young adults on their own terms so I could share my information in a way that they wanted to hear it. During the last two years, I have lectured at universities and conferences. I began sharing a lot of my ideas, which I am looking to manifest into a lifelong career and movement.

I was honored to be included as a contributing author alongside Deepak Chopra, Jim Stovall, Suzi Pomerantz, and several other impressive authors and coaches as they share their messages of inspiration, health, happiness and other important ingredients for success.

I am very pleased to now be a #1 International Bestselling Author, because I said “yes” to an amazing opportunity, which I often encourage doing as part of my T.I.M.E. model for success.

If you are interested in getting a copy of this exciting new best-selling book for yourself or someone you know who might benefit from it, you can find more information at http://bit.ly/VEM9OD.