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According to two recent studies, more than half of millennials no longer believe the American Dream is possible and half of baby boomers don’t believe their children will enjoy the same level of success they have. As the living personification of the American Dream, I disagree!

Since America wasn’t built upon a class system, people can dream as big as they wish—regardless of their social class, how much money they have or who their parents are—as long as they put in the work.

In fact, America leads the world in the area of personal growth and development. Authors such as Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Og Mandino, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy have influenced millions of people, myself included. If you learn from their work and commit to personal growth, you will go from making a living to earning a fortune.

So, why doesn’t everyone make it big in America? I’ve found seven reasons people don’t achieve success.

  1. They’ve stopped dreaming. More than half of people don’t think the American Dream is possible. The Founding Fathers guaranteed the pursuit of happiness; we’re granted the opportunity to compete. What are you competing for? What’s your dream?
  1. Closed-mindedness. We don’t have news today; we have opinions. To work beyond these opinions and achieve success, we must recommit to being readers, listeners and doers. Renewing your mind isn’t refreshing your screen. Disconnect for a while and use that time to become a student of success.
  1. Inconsistent work ethic. Americans are known for having a great work ethic; however, we’re not always consistent. An inconsistent work ethic leads to inconsistent earnings, which leads to fewer opportunities. Fewer opportunities will undermine attempts to build our own fortune.
  1. A sense of entitlement. We live in an age where many believe they’re deserving of privileges and special treatment. A great way to catch your entitlement is to catch yourself complaining. We complain because we think we’re entitled to something, but most of our complaints are actually “first world problems.”
  1. Risk avoidance. The more comfortable we become, the more averse to risk we are. There’s a difference between taking risks and managing risks; when you manage risks, you minimize your vulnerabilities and work toward your goals.
  1. The microwave mentality. Great ideas and great processes get better over time; however, we often fall prey to the “I want it now” mentality. The most successful people are able to defer gratification by resisting a smaller, immediate reward in order to receive a larger, more enduring reward in the future.
  1. Lack of perspective. It’s easy to lose perspective when we’re inundated with news and clickbait on social media. Principles don’t change, but our tactics do.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to succeed in America, visit and check out my book “The Emigrant Edge.”

Brian Buffini was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and immigrated to San Diego in 1986, where he became the classic American rags to riches story. After becoming one of the nation’s top REALTORS®, he founded Buffini & Company, an organization dedicated to sharing his powerful lead-generation systems with others. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., Buffini & Company has trained over 3 million business professionals in 37 countries and currently coaches and trains more than 25,000 business people across North America. Today, Brian reaches over 1 million listeners a year through his popular “Brian Buffini Show” podcast.

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