4) Freedom is not free. Neither is success.

Accountability means acknowledging the cost and being willing to pay it. Lot’s of people want wealth and success, but by far the majority of people do not want to pay the price. I work with a man who decided to start a business in an attempt to take control of his future. He made the investment in the equipment and truck to operate the business, but he would not quit his day job to ensure the business had the oversight and attention it required to get off the ground. Eventually, he had to fold the business and take a loss on the equipment resale. As a result of the loss, he has ever since been afraid to make the same “mistake” and continues works at a job he does not like and complain that he will never be able to retire.

Two things here:

1 – Think of how many times on Shark Tank there is a pitch from an entrepreneur for a product or invention that the sharks like, but the presenter won’t quit his day job to ensure the success of the business. The sharks are all “out”. They demand 100% of the attention of the entrepreneur if they are going to put their money into something. They demand that the presenter must be willing to “pay the price” of success by risking failure.

2 – Robert Kiyosaki writes at some length in the “Rich Dad” series of book about the fact that most people are more afraid of losing than they are motivated to win. He points out that mistakes (such as the one my associate above made) are not a bad thing, they are in fact a good thing. Once you make a painful mistake, you are very unlikely to make the same mistake again. So, when a plan fails, don’t shrink back into a hole in the ground, understand that one way or another, everyone pays for their education. Some education comes from books, and some comes from experience. A failure is just one step closer to a win.

Everything comes at a cost, whether in time, resources, money or experience. The ONLY price you should not be willing to pay is your health. When you want success enough to pay the price, then and only then will it be within your reach.

3) Accountability means being “All-In”.

Being “All-In” means that you are not “dabbling” in your efforts to become wealthy. You are not “Toe-dipping”, ready to pull out at the slightest discomfort. Being “All-In” means not finishing is not an option.

True story: In the 1968 summer Olympics, held in Mexico City, Tanzanian runner John Akhwari experienced what most would consider a crippling series of events during the running of the Marathon. Early in the race he cramped up due to the high altitude. At about the 19 km mark, in a pack of runners jockeying for position, John was hit and went down. He dislocated his knee (that’s right, dislocated a knee during a running race) and severely injured his shoulder. 18 other runners did not finish the race due to the high altitude, but John continued to run, despite both the altitude and his terrible injuries. He crossed the finish line one hour and five minutes after the winner … but he crossed the finish line.

When asked why he continued to run after receiving such crippling injuries, John said, “My Country did not send me 9,000 miles to start a race, they sent me 9,000 miles to finish a race”. While he did not win (he came in last), today, fifty years later, no one talks about who won the race, they talk about the determination and heroism of John Akhwari, the last place finisher.

Being All-In means that not finishing is not an option. To be clear, we are not saying that a failing business that was a bad idea in the first place should be kept open at all costs and ruin your family’s future.  (I can hear Kevin O’Leary saying “take it out back and shoot it”)  A business that does not work out may be the injured shoulder. An investment that goes bad may be the cramping due to altitude. A bankruptcy may be your dislocated knee. But, don’t give up on your life. We are talking about your personal finish. We are talking about your quest to become a Prince or Princess. This journey may take you many places and through many ideas or business endeavors to realize your goal. If you are “All-In” you will continue running and eventually reach the finish line.