I’m going to share a shocking truth that I experience practically on a daily basis. It still, even after decades of entrepreneurialism, never ceases to render me speechless. I want to share it so that it will help you to attain far greater success in shorter time frames. So, here it goes…

The truth is that there exist two classes of achievers. There is the genuine achiever and then there is the counterfeit variety. And, here’s the tricky part. It’s sometimes very difficult to discern which one a person is. One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to decipher is that a large segment of the counterfeit achiever class truly believes they are the real deal! They go to work each day, have all the key social media channels up and running, network, make sales calls and set appointments. On the face of it, they appear to be doing what successful people do. But, they have certain habits that if you aren’t aware of or chose to ignore, will rob you of achieving maximum success in minimum time.

Here Are the Top 6 Habits of the Success Bandit:

1. Catfishes: Lures prospects into a relationship (business or personal) by means of a fictional online or offline persona. Yes, they do this not only on Facebook, but also on Linked In.

2. Disrespects Your Time: Sets appointments only to cancel at the last minute, stand you up or show up late. And, often has the gumption to continue to contact you time and time again.

3. Doesn’t Follow Through: Has a great offering, but doesn’t ever put in the work to close the deal.

4. Talk and No Walk: The smooth talker. Charismatic, smart, knows what they are talking about and repeatedly makes promises and fails to honor them.

5. Regularly Goes Dark: Here one day and gone the next which always leaves you wondering if you will ever hear from them again. Until, yep, you get that text, email or call saying, “I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m still here and working on it”, only to disappear again.

6. Unrealistic: They frequently pursue that which is beyond their level of expertise

The number 1 way to avoid both the intentional and unintentional success bandit is to do your due diligence no matter how good something sounds or looks.  Due diligence means you never rush into anything regardless of your need to have something happen right away. Before you formally engage someone, ask for and call 3 references that they’ve done business with in the last 6 to 12 months. And, most importantly, do not ignore the signs of the success bandit!

Lastly, if you identify with some or all of the signs, and consistently wonder why you aren’t achieving the kind of success you feel you should be having, be honest with yourself, modify your habits and behavior, and watch as you finally become a genuine achiever.

This is not a personal rant. This is me, sharing my direct experience, to help you in becoming hyper-vigilant to quickly and expertly recognize who to choose to associate with that will most easily and effortlessly expedite your time to achieving the outcomes you desire. Cut to the chase and weed out the chaff! It doesn’t make you mean, it makes you smart and successful.

In Closing My Shocking Confession: I was interviewing companies to award a contract to handle a very important aspect of a global operation. I reached out to my colleagues to get recommendations feeling like that was the smartest way to cut to the chase and weed out the chaff. I was excited and confident about the prospects because they came from high profile and highly reputable corporations. Wow, was I shocked and disappointed. The CEO of the #1 prospect arranged three separate conference calls over a protracted period of time (often leaving me wondering if she was ever going to follow through) pulling in different senior executives each time to be a part of the needs analysis. I documented each call with a follow up email. On the last call, we clearly defined next steps. I never heard from them again, they never sent the needed documents. I moved on to my next best candidate. Lo and behold, many weeks later, I get a phone call from the CEO asking me to call her back. There was nothing more to talk about. The Success Bandit had already wasted enough time and energy.

My mistake here was that I had failed to perform my standard due diligence practice of talking to at least 3 references and had ignored the red flags because she had been referred by a hugely successful global corporation.