The Surprising Reason Businesses Fail

May 18, 2020

Anchor on the things that matter most and let’s win together.

What’s the cause of failure for most businesses? Not strategy or products… It’s usually based on relationships.

Joshua outlines three specific points to work on to add meaning to relationships:

1. Number one, decide what your values are and stick to them.

2. Number two, choose to be selflessly submissive in relationships rather than being a scorekeeper.

3. Number three, prioritize first things first, and show your commitment to your priorities through the time you spend on them.

Watch the video to get the full training.

Full Transcript

What’s the cause of failure in most businesses? In fact, what’s the cause of most misery in most human beings in their lives? Like this feeling of being unsettled, fearful, frustrated, and not really feeling like you’re achieving or accomplishing what you want to do. Having that sense of not being fulfilled about reaching your goals and your fullest potential.

I had this conversation with my personal coach. I’ve got a personal development coach. She has coached hundreds over the years, has coached with hundreds of some of the most successful people in their various industries and in their various spaces.

She made an interesting comment to me that I thought a lot about, and that I think answers this question.

I want to give you three things that you can do today to not only avoid having that pain, and misery, and failure in your business, and failure in other areas of your life, or discontent or feelings of being unsettled in your life, but also find ways that you can have that success and have greater joy, so I’m going to give you three specific things you can do.

Here’s what my coach, Marcy, said to me. I was talking to her and she said, “All right. So what do you want?” We’re at this transition phase and she said, “Well, what do you want to work on next? What do you want to focus on next?”

I said, “I don’t know. You’ve seen a lot of really successful people, Marcy. What do you feel like would be of most value to me right now in my life?”

She said, “Well, that one’s easy.” She said, “It’s interesting that I’m a business coach and also a personal growth coach. Most people, they come to me and they want to talk about a business strategy, marketing growth inside of their financial world. That’s great. I know lots about that stuff. Happy to help,” she said, “But eventually, what happens is we end up talking about relationships. We end up talking about what’s going on in their marriage, what’s going on with employees, what’s going on with themselves, what’s going on in their spiritual life, all those kinds of things.”

I want to talk about relationships today and I thought this would be a perfect setting for it. I’m sitting in our motorhome. Last night, I said to my dear wife, Margie, actually, she’s right here behind the camera. You want to say hi, babe?

Margie: Hi, guys. [laughter]

Joshua: [laughter] It’s early in the morning. We just woke up and she wasn’t prepped for the camera. I’m not sure I’m prepped for the camera with this hot green shirt that I’ve got on. I did find a comb in the back of the motorhome and I did comb my hair.

Last night, I said, “Hey Margie, let’s go on a hot date.” It was Friday night. I said, “Let’s go on a hot date.”

She said, “Okay. That’s great.”

We go on a date every Friday. I said, “We’re going to do it a little different this time. We’re going to take the motor home.”

I stole her away in the motor home. We drove down to a big piece of property that’s down here out in the forest and just parked the motor home. It’s literally just she and I for, I don’t know, miles around here. We enjoyed a nice evening together, turned the generator on; we had some treats. We watched a movie.

We spent some time together in the evening just talking. We went on a hike earlier, walked around the forest and just had a great time, and then snuggled down, opened up the windows, the cool breeze through. We just had a great, awesome, I don’t know if you enjoyed yourself, babe.

Margie: Yeah. It’s been wonderful. Thank you.

Joshua: It has been wonderful. [laughter] We’ve enjoyed some wonderful, wonderful private, just close-knit, intimate, fabulous time together where we just thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I thought this morning as I woke up, “Wow, I should talk about relationships because fun, cool, spontaneous things like this are really, really great for a relationship.”

Now, I want to give it some structure. Let’s talk about three specific things that you can do. I don’t hear people talk about these three things but these have been – Margie and I talked about this this morning about what I could share with you – and there are three specific things that we have done in our relationship that have made all the difference.

Now, as I think about other relationships in my life, these three things apply to any relationship, so as a spouse; in spousal relationships, husband and wife; significant others; with your children; business partners.

If you’ll do these three things, they’ll have a dynamic and positive impact on your relationship and help you to have more success. See, what happens is when you have failed relationships, you end up feeling stressed out, disconnected. You feel frustrated about a lot of stuff. It’s hard to focus and it’s a major, major cause of financial failure, and it brings this discontent and this lack of feelings of success and well-being that impacts every other aspect of your life.

I want to give you some tools that I think will really, really help you. I’m going to tell you a couple of stories that I think you’ll find fun.

Number one. The number one thing can be illustrated like this.

Early on in my writing career, I had the opportunity to write for a huge company. They were a communications company, and they did political stuff. They did business stuff. They wanted me to write op-eds and articles and all kinds of different things. A great, big, huge communications agency.

I was really excited to write for them. They came to me and they had served, I had done stuff. They had a contract with Boeing. They had a contract with General Motors. They had a contract with Verizon. They had a contract with Microsoft. All these major companies.

I was cranking out content and copy and articles for huge, huge companies and getting deep inside of their company. Then, they came to me and they said, “Hey, we want you to write for this one certain company.”

Now, the thing about this company is they’re a major tobacco firm, and they said, “And we have another client we want you to write for and they’re a major casino gambling firm.”

This was at a time when we were struggling financially. I was new in my writing career. I really needed this money. They would pay me extra for these projects and working for these specific clients.

I decided that I needed to sit down and define more clearly to them what my personal values and morals were; not in that position to criticize or judge them or anybody else but to plant my anchor down, to step my feet onto solid ground, on the solid bedrock and say, “Nope. These are my values. This is what I hold dear. This is what’s important to me. No matter how much money, no matter how much lifestyle, no matter how much benefits come, I won’t move off of these values.”

I made a list of different industries and different companies that I would not write for and I gave that to them. I was nervous that they would say, “Well, if you’re not going to do what we say, then you’re out.”

Instead, the opposite was true. They gave me a raise; they respected my values; and it strengthened the relationship that I had with the company. I worked for them for five years and didn’t for a few years, and then worked for another couple of years and had great relationships; great success with them. We did lots of really cool stuff together that I really enjoyed and they really benefited from.

The principle there is in the relationships – and this holds true for Margie and I – the way that it shows up for Margie and I is that we made the decision early on in our lives independently of each other that the first, most important thing for us would be God, and our Christian values and our perspective on those things would be more important than anything else.

For me, as much as I love Margie, as much as I put her first in my life, I actually put God first in my life, and there’s that moral foundation.

My first suggestion for you in having a strong relationship in every category of your life is make sure you know what your values are. What are your morals? What’s your moral compass? Anchor yourself down on that bedrock.

Whatever those values are, whatever those morals are, make sure that you take time to anchor yourself down on the bedrock of that, so that you have a position of power; you have a position of strength; you have a position of stability in life so that you can nurture and strengthen your other relationships.

If you’re always clingy, you’re always needy, you’re always uncertain, you’re always on unstable ground, it makes it so difficult to have a great relationship because the other person feels like this:

When I was a lifeguard, when we would go out and get the other person, we had to be very, very careful that the drowning person didn’t drown us. It happens to lifeguards all the time because they weren’t using their equipment right; they’re not using their techniques right; they’re not on a steady, stable foundation, and so they get pulled right down with the drowning person.

Nobody wants to be sucked down into the water and be drowned. Don’t do that. My first suggestion is define and anchor yourself on solid morals and values. You’re going to decide what those are; you’re going to define what those are, but do it. That would be the first thing that you get to do inside of your relationships.

Second thing. We have a fun little story.

Margie and I were at a party one time, and it was in our childbearing years. We were with other people in childbearing years, and so we had a bunch of our children around. These couples had a bunch of their young children around and this conversation ensued between this husband and wife, this couple.

The conversation was basically like this, “[sniff] Oh. Oh, little Johnny stinks. You got to change the diaper.”

“I’m not changing diapers. It’s not my turn.”

“No, it’s your turn to change diapers.”

“It’s not my turn to change diapers. I changed three diapers this week. It’s your turn to change the diaper.”

“Well, I changed 20 diapers this week, so it’s your turn.”

Back and forth and back and forth, they argue. In the meantime, this poor little baby is sitting there with this diaper sagging down full of brown stuff. The poor kid is in misery and these parents are arguing about who gets to change the diaper.

Margie and I I talked a lot about that. By the way, this particular couple ended up in a really ugly, hard divorce and the relationship didn’t last. It completely shattered. We realized that one of the things that each individual in this relationship did is they were constantly keeping score of everything. It wasn’t just about the diapers. It was everything in their life. How many times were they making love? How many times was the diaper getting changed? Who made the food? Who took the garbage out? When did the floor get cleaned? Blah, blah, blah. I mean, on and on and on and on it went. Everything was a scorecard and each individual was trying to win by keeping score.

My second suggestion for you in strengthening relationships of every kind is stop keeping score and realize that selfless submission is the only way to win in a relationship.

Now, obviously, that has to be tempered with the point number one that I gave you where you have your values, you have your morals, and you’re not changing those for nobody, not know how, not no where, you’re not doing it.

But outside of that structure of those morals, values, things that are infinitely and internally important to you, you’ve got to be willing to submit. My dear Margie is the ideal example of this. She could run huge companies. She could do anything. My wife is so talented. She literally could do anything that she wants and yet she chooses to selflessly submit a lot of those things and put us as a family first to give her very best efforts, her very best time, her very best resources, even though sometimes it’s not something she would prefer to do or like to do or want to do – but she never keeps score.

She never tracks like, “Oh, well, I did this or I did that.” She just endlessly, infinitely, selflessly gives and gives and gives. I invite you to stop keeping score in your relationships. It’s not a tit for tat. It’s not a, “Oh, I’m going to do more or they did more or you’re going to get this point to that point.” Stop keeping score and recognize selfless submission is the only way to win in a relationship.

Number three, the third point that I have for you is this. I’ll tell you a quick story.

Early on in our marriage, we came across a book called The Christmas Box. The Christmas Box is a fabulous book by a guy named Richard Paul Evans. Richard Paul Evans wrote this book and it became this incredible classic. It’s about healing for parents who have lost children. If you know of a parent or you yourself have lost a child, this is an incredible book that just has miraculous healing powers.

It’s an amazing book, but he wrote another book. Richard Paul Evans wrote another book called The Christmas Box Miracle. It was about how he wrote the book, and the miracles and the circumstances surrounding his writing of this book, and how it got published and self-published, and how it became an international bestseller, and made him millions and millions of dollars and sparked a whole new career. It was just really an incredible thing.

The book’s out of print now. We got an audio of it, The Christmas Box Miracle, and we listened to this on an audio cassette. I remember we listened to this once traveling from Montana to Utah when we lived up in Montana.

There’s a certain point in this book where, so he was an advertising marketing guy, Richard Paul Evans was before he became an author. He was working long, long hours. He would leave before his family got up. They had a little daughter. He would come home late at night after she had gone to bed.

In the middle of running this career and doing all this stuff, one night, he came in really late and he had promised his daughter he was going to read a story with her. Now, he tells a version of this, real-life experience in The Christmas Box, but he came home and he promised his daughter that he was going to read her a story.

He came home late at night, and he peeked into his daughter’s room, and she was laying on the bed with a book next to her waiting for her daddy to come home. He stood there. Her room was dark.

Light from the hallway was streaming in on her. He heard a voice or a thought come into his mind, and it said, “Richard, you are stepping over diamonds to reach for dimes.”

He realized that his daughter’s childhood was fading away while he was busy, busy, busy putting his best time and effort into other places. That expression, “you’re stepping over diamonds to reach for dimes,” has stuck with me all these years and has made a big impact on my focus on my family and focusing on things that are most important.

What it’s allowed me to do is, and I am an imperfect guy but I tried, and that is to try to prioritize the things that matter most in my life. To have the balance, which sometimes means I need to make money and focus on my business, and oftentimes, it means I need to do enough to make enough but then spend more time with my children to reach for the diamonds instead of the dimes.

Now, every relationship is like this, and you have prioritization in different areas of your life. My third suggestion to you is prioritize things that matter most. Prioritize things that matter most.

I’m in the middle of major projects. This is not to toot my own horn, but I’m in the middle of major projects, building out a new company, a new brand, new projects, all kinds of stuff. I certainly could have spent all evening, but we left on our hot date, Margie and I did, at about 4:00 or so yesterday afternoon. I certainly could have worked till 6:00, or 7:00, or 8:00, or 9:00, or 10:00. I could have gotten up this morning early instead of doing this.

Like I said, I’m doing a video right here. I’m spending a little time with you on my hot date with my wife. That shows you how prioritized you are and how much I love you guys, but I could spend a lot of time doing other things, but instead, I prioritize what matters most.

For me, and you’re going to have your own priority sets, but for me, that’s my wife, and my children, and my business partners, and you guys. I want you to just think for a little bit. In strengthening and building out your relationships, are you prioritizing things that matter most to you? If not, make some adjustments.

These are my three suggestions for you. It started to get all emotional. These are my three suggestions:

Number one, anchor yourself on your personal morals and values. Number two, selflessly submit so you can win in all your relationships. Number three, prioritize and make emphasis on things that matter most to you.

Hopefully, you’ll go out and do that. I’ve tried to do that. It’s made a huge difference in my relationships. I think it’ll make a huge difference in yours. When your relationships are good, man, it adds life. It adds feeling. It adds spark. It adds joy. It adds fulfillment. It adds pain. It adds all kinds of stuff to your life that makes your life richer, and fuller, and more fulfilling, and more exciting, and more dynamic. It just makes for such a higher quality of life and puts you on a solid foundation where you can build, and grow, and achieve, and have greater success.

Anchor on the things that matter most and let’s win together. Talk to you soon. Bye now.

Joshua T. Boswell

Founder & CEO of Copywriter Marketer


He’s been the personal copywriter and business trainer for startup founders, authors, 
public speakers, entrepreneurs and over 5,000 clients around the world. His techniques have been show to dramatically improve career success, work quality, copywriting tactics, marketing skills, income and even overall life and relationships! Now Joshua Boswell can be YOUR virtual coach!

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