The upside to a challenging economy is that it inspires an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s common for someone to look at a lay off as an opportunity to pursue a dream, to create the job they always wanted and stop working for “the man.” Problem is, for every successful business venture there are countless others that fail. Now failure isn’t always a bad thing. It’s how we learn and make improvements so we can become excellent. However, there are established businesses (or so we thought) who mess up, don’t fess up, get comfortable and lose their edge and hunger. Here are a few reasons why people and the businesses they run fail and what to do to breathe new life into an existing company to prevent its fall.

#1. They don’t dominate their space. Champions Dominate! Competition is for sissies and wannabes. Competition is for the whiners of the universe. Do you want to be motivated and excited? Look at mega brands like Coca Cola, Google, Apple, in their prime they dominated. Ford Motor Company, domination. I remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers dominated, the Dallas Cowboys dominated, Chicago Bulls dominated, and the US government dominated, and now they don’t. So what happened? They started thinking as competitors, not dominators. Now they battle to keep up with everybody else. Dominate your space. Quit playing in it.

#2. People are OK with average. Do you want to be more motivated? Quit settling for good. Never settle for good when you can be great. Each of us can be great and only we can commit to greatness. Ask yourself, how can I be GREAT, not just good? It doesn’t mean you will succeed today. But keep going for great everyday. I have to personally keep that in front of my face to keep me pushing ahead. If you think good is your target, you might end up with less than good. If you think great is the target, good you will attain. Then, you’ll be dissatisfied when you don’t get great. Not being satisfied is a powerful motivator.

It’s all up to you. Just make a decision. What’s your target, good or great?

#3. They believe the negative noise. Be deaf when someone says you can’t do something and proceeds to list the reasons why something can’t be done. Tune them out. Great people, highly motivated, successful champions are able to actually have what’s called selective hearing. They can actually cut communication off when it’s negative. When someone says you can’t do something, that it can’t be done, that it’s not possible, that it will never happen; silence them. These negative people aren’t nice people. These are dangerous people. The fact that they are not intentionally trying to hurt you, and can still stop you or prevent you from getting what you want is even worse!

#4 They partner with the wrong people. Get great partners. Make sure they’re great, not average. Not mediocre. They need to bring great ideas, a fantastic attitude and they need to bring great customers with them. Get great partners. Think great things.

#5 They see obstacles instead of opportunity. Stop doing the things that don’t challenge you. Look, you’ve got to get challenged. Do the things that challenge you the most. Make a list of things that would challenge you most. For instance, when I am making sales calls, I don’t make the easiest ones first. I make the most difficult ones first. I want to get those ones that challenge me the most out of my way or I want to conquer them. Either way, I win. If I make the hardest call first and I win, dude, I am on fire! Now, if I make that most difficult call and I lose, at least it is out of the way. Most people take the easiest things first.

There are so many reasons businesses fail but the common thread is knowing how to maintain control, have a positive outlook, strive for excellence and surround yourself with engines not anchors. You don’t want people dragging you down. Be clear on your business goals and stop at nothing to achieve them. Become obsessed with success.