Why I Tell My Clients “You Will Not Achieve Success”

“‘Get up you son of a bitch ’cause Mickey loves you’.”

Remember that line?

In the movie Rocky Part 1, Mickey (played by Burgess Meredith) tells Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) these incredibly powerful lines.

I remember watching this video clip again and again and again. And I watched it until my eyes got sore.

And when I had finally gotten myself a mentor, I one day shared this feeling with my Mentor. I told him how I would feel happy if he gave me affirmative statements, positive quotes and inspirational stories.

My Mentor listened to me.
Looked down on the ground.
He chuckled to himself.
And then, he told me a very simple word.

I was like “What?”, “What No?”
Confused, I asked him again, “I didn’t get you. What did you mean by NO?”

He then stated, “If you are expecting me to breastfeed you, then you are not mean to be successful. Either you are self-driven or you aren’t. If you need external motivation, maybe you were never meant to achieve success. Because for you, it is only a fleeting desire. Not an Obsession. And if anything you want is not an obsession, a burning desire and an insatiable need, you will never achieve success.”

That was 20 years ago.
Today, when I remember those words, I know what he said was right.

When anyone hears the term ‘Life Coach’ or ‘Coach’ for anything, they conjure up images of a Rocky kind of a movie moment where you get Mickey shouting and screaming & shouting in your ears when you are sweating, crawling and want to give up ‘Get up you son-of-a-bitch. I didn’t hear no bell” or they conjure images of a well-dressed, Matt Damon look-a-like, talking to you in the most gentle and kind manner, listening intently to every word that comes out from your mouth, only to smile, nod and not judge.

Well, there are coaches like these around the world. They are very positive, very bubbly, exceptionally optimistic & happy happy. In fact, if you meet them, you would think you are meeting the Hollywood version of a Perfectly sweet 80’s mom who will serve you breakfast, tell you to have your cereals & kiss you as you board the school bus.

But the truth is, these coaches are just like you and me. They have the same problems as you and me. They have the same challenges like we have. They have to go through and endure the same problems we have to endure. So why portray and show the world that “I’m so perfect & I’m so happy. So let me motivate you and get you all charged up?”

The reality of today’s world is simply this.
There are no ‘perfect’ coaches and there are no ‘larger-than-life’ mentors. We are all the same. We are all human. We all have 24 hours a day. We all have our problems, our challenges and our normal struggles. So if you are searching for those SECRET strategies, CONFIDENTIAL hacks or CLASSIFIED roadmap to success — well, guess what, there is none.

There is NOT a single coach or mentor on this planet that can guarantee you success. He can play with words and tell you “I can guarantee you a result.”

So that is why I tell people either you will succeed or you will not. And in many cases, I literally tell them on their face “You will not succeed!”.

Why? or on what grounds?

  • If you need validation to know your self-worth.
  • If you need a reminder to tell you do your work
  • If you need a constant push to even wake up in the morning
  • If you need a fire light under your rear end to help you achieve your goal

Then no my friend — you WILL NOT achieve success.

This is what you need to know you not a baby and your Coach/Mentor is not your mother.

On top of that, there are the harsh realities of life where Age, Gender, Ethnicity, Country, Socio-Political Factors look at you right in the face and remind you — No you can’t do it.

That is why when I get a 40+ year old woman who asks me if she can become the next Victoria Secret Model, if I get a guy with no job, no desire and drive to work if he can build a billion dollar business or if I get a young man who lives in the poor town of South Africa who asks me if he can someone get into Google and one day hopefully become the CEO — I have to wake them up and give them a dose of reality.

Now, I am pretty sure you will argue, why not? Why can’t this poor boy from Africa become the CEO of Google? Didn’t Obama become the 1st Black President? Didn’t Oprah Winfrey become the most powerful woman woman in the world even though she was black? Didn’t Sundar Pichai, Indra Nooyi and Satya Nadella being Indian’s occupy the most powerful positions in the world?


Then my question to you is — Out of how many people on our planet? What is the ratio? 1 in 7,000,000,000? Odds which are even greater than winning the world’s richest lottery.

Its like when Lloyd (Jim Carrey) asks Mary (played by Lauren Holly) “What are the chances of a guy (girl) like you ending up with a girl (guy) like me?” And he further adds with a sense of over-confidence “Hit me with it, give it to me straight!…what are my chances?”

And then she responds…. “Not Good”…

And then there is silence as Jim Carrey stares at her in shock…..
The romantic music stops.
There is dead silence…

And then Jim Carrey asks “Not good, you mean as in one out of a 100?”
And Lauren responds, “Not good, as in one in a million.”

There is dead silence…..
Long silence…..
And then, he responds….
“So you are telling me there is a chance….!!!”

If that is the kind of motivation, inspiration and pep-talk you are expecting, well, all I can tell you is “All the best my friend”. There are tons of Coaches & Mentors out there who would LOVE to take you under their wing, charge you oodles of money and waste your time. However, keep in mind, the results will be negligible at its best and nothing at its worst.

So what kind of a Mentor/Coach do you want?

  1. Who tells you that you can achieve anything and everything as long as you pay the money for his Coaching services?
  2. Who gives you a 50/50 chance because he wants to ensure you pay him the money. After all — hope is also not a bad strategy.
  3. Someone who tells you on the face what you seriously need to hear?

Oh and before you do choose, let me complete my story….

  • My Mentor was right. I didn’t end up achieving my goal (those days it was to be a CEO of a Multinational Company & a Billionaire)
  • Where Mickey & Rocky goes — I realized these feel good moments only happen in Hollywood. After all, who wants to pay money for ticket, popcorn and soda only to watch sad story
  • It has been 5 to 6 years that those clients had approached me for their ‘dreams’. They are still in the same position, earning the same salary and living the same life.

So the next time you want a ‘motivational, inspirational & feel-good’ Coach, Mentor & Trainer — Think about what I told you. And yeah, save yourself your precious time, money and effort.

Moral of the Story
“HOPE is NOT a strategy. But the weapon Conmen use to subscribe to their Bullshit.” ~ Loy Machedo

Loy Machedo

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