If you’ve ever read Napoleon Hill’s famous book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ you may be familiar with Old Man IF…, a close friend of Old Man Worry, who shows up in the Epilogue. Old Man IF wrote the 57 Alibis, which are a list of perfectly justifiable reasons (or excuses) why you haven’t yet achieved success (whatever that means to you);

  • IF I didn’t have a wife/husband and family…
  • IF I had enough “pull”…
  • IF I had money…
  • IF I had a good education…
  • IF…

and so on. They are very much worth reading. (You can easily find a free copy if the book online or click the link in the Amazon widget in the sidebar if you’d like to read it.)

For now, stop for a moment and think of all the possible reasons why you might not have yet achieved the measure of success you would really have liked to. If you compare your reasons with Old Man IFs list, rest assured you’ll find something close, or a derivative of it in there. As original as yours might be, those good old 57 alibis still hold true and cover all bases.

So far so good, but you might not like this next bit… Hill states; “People who do not succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure and have what they believe to be airtight alibis to explain away their own lack of achievement.”

The last alibi, No 57 is:

  • “IF – and this is the greatest alibi of them all – I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others, for I know that there is something WRONG with me or I would now be where I WOULD HAVE BEEN IF I had spent more time analyzing my weaknesses and less time building alibis to cover them.”

Courage is, in my opinion, one of the essential tools we need to to almost anything. Facing our fears, whatever they are, is the way we grow, learn and make leaps into the unknown… and either land on our feet or not, who knows?

If you’re starting or have started your own business, cultivating your own sense of courage would be a great foundation – bags of it! You’ll need it – to start a business at all, to make decisions for your business and take 100% responsibility for the outcomes, to take risks, to stand out, to try things differently, to weather the bad times, and just when it all seems to be going well, to make changes for that next step up…. bags and bags and bags of courage!

This month, in the Artists Adventures series, we’re starting with the Aces and using them to focus on the root or base chakra, which is all about laying the foundations for building your business, so for me it’s a time to get your own Old Man IF out in the open and have a good chat! (If you’d like to subscribe, you can pick up Card No.3 here.)

I’m curious though – we’re all different and I’m sure, like the 57 Alibis, there are as many ways to build courage as not.

So, if you had to invent your own personal Courage workout, (and you could have some fun with this one!) what would you have yourself do?


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