Success: It’s All in the Follow Through

Sometimes it is hard to follow-through with a new project after the excitement as worn off.  Success comes from sticking with what we have been working on and seeing it through to its success.  A familiar belief is that so many people don’t follow through on what would make them successful because they are so used to failing that they don’t know what would happen if they were successful. If you never follow through you will never be where you want or need to be.

A friend of mine has great ideas, but for many years didn’t have much success with those ideas. People were always saying, “I don’t see how your ideas don’t work out. You have such great ideas.”

My friend’s response was always, “Ideas have never been my problem.”

My friend was not too great at following through. He had good intentions, he tried hard, but somehow once the excitement of a new project wore off, he couldn’t seem to keep going.

Once my friend mastered follow-through, his life took off in directions he could never have imagined.


I know that follow-through is difficult for many of us. It’s like we’re just not wired to finish things, or at least not everything.

Before I talk more about the importance of follow-through, I want to say that I don’t believe you should necessarily finish everything you start. Some things don’t need to be finished, and some things should definitely be abandoned early.

That said, I think finishing the important things, following through on our big dreams and projects, is extremely important, and I think I know why this follow-through is so hard.

I believe if we’re honest with ourselves, the reason we don’t follow through on so many things that would insure our success is that we’re so accustomed to not succeeding, we’re afraid of what might happen if we succeed.

I think many of us may not realize that what we’re doing is avoiding the what-if of success.

But if you really commit to success, if you let go of thoughts of failure, what would happen? What would you find if you agree to keep going?

Any golf pro can tell you it’s not just in your swing, it’s in your follow-through.

That’s the key to success, too. You may be great at initiating projects, and even getting them on the road to success.

But if you can’t follow through, you’ll never be where you want and need to be.

I believe there are three key ingredients to great follow-through.

First, you have to be committed to your project for the long-term. You have to tell yourself and everyone else that you will, absolutely, carry this through.

Second, you have to plan carefully before you embark on a new venture, to know what it’s going to take to complete the journey. Where are you going, and what roads will you travel?

Third, you have to sure that what you’re about to do is really what you want to do. I think this may be the biggest cause of failure to follow through, at least for many people I know. It’s easy to get excited about something, but then how do you keep the excitement up? The only way I know is to choose something you have a high level of passion for from the beginning.

How can you make sure you follow through on your next project?

  • Choose something you know you won’t get tired of quickly
  • Commit to following through on this project, no matter what obstacles you face
  • Plan your actions in following through on this project.

Thanks to More Than WE Know for including this post in the Carnival of Small Business Issues.

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