Overcoming Obstacles to Success – Reflections on the Way to a Speaking Engagement

Overcoming obstacles to success came to my mind on the way to, and following, a speaking engagement.

Occasionally, I meet with a group of pastors for breakfast. Those are always great times of fellowship.

Overcoming Obstacles to Success - Reflections on the Way to a Speaking Engagement
Water Across the Road: A Major Obstacle

A couple of months ago, Harlen Johnson, the moderator of the East Central District Quarterly Meeting asked me If I had plans for Saturday, January 11. He then asked if I would speak on the day of their quarterly meeting. I checked my calendar, and I was glad to accept.

We reconfirmed the next time we ate breakfast together. Then he said he got a text from one of the men in his church saying that it looked a little like the weather might be dicy that day. So, he asked if I would also be able to come the following Saturday if they had to cancel that day. I said I could, so I penciled in the next Saturday, hoping that it would become available when I got to keep the first date.

Two days before the event, we confirmed we were having it on the original date. The weather was not predicted to be the best, but it was mainly going to be a rain event and not one of ice and snow.

Oak Valley church is just a little over 60 miles north. It could take any from somewhere between an hour and an hour and-a-half to get there, depending which route I took. I had directions for a safer route, but I opted for the shorter route that was listed on the GPS program.

I knew that could be dangerous. The road could be blocked at some point because of the abundance of rain we had the night before. It was not storming, but the rain was still gently coming down too.

Would I make it? Would I have to call and tell them I would be late? Would I have a cell-phone signal if I had to make that call?

It turns out that there was only one spot where water was coming across the road. The weather forecasters always tell us not to drive through water because even as little as four inches can sweep a car across the road. I had to take a calculated risk. It really was not much of a risk at all. I could that there were no strong currents, and the water appeared to only be about a half-inch deep, if that. I made it fine.

I was speaking on Jeremiah 14, and one of the things mentioned in that passage was that of natural disasters.

I was reminded that earlier this year, just south of where I live, there were communities devastated by floods–natural disasters.

Reflecting on this for the business world, when a natural disaster hits a business, there are two options. First, you can rebuild. Secondly, you can regroup and move on.

Unfortunately, there is a third option, and that is to quit altogether.

Among others, there are three major obstacle to success in business. One of the major ones is to quit. Many times, if we could have seen the future, we would have realized that success was just around the corner. It does take a while for the cumulative effect of your efforts to see fruit. Though none of can see the future. Many successful people have the opinion that others quit too easily or too quickly.

Another obstacle is that of fear. I could have allowed the fear of driving through the water keep me from getting to my destination on time. I am grateful that it was easy to see, in this case, that my fear was groundless. How many people are there who miss their dreams because of fear of failure?

A final obstacle is the perception that I don’t have time to pursue my dreams. That can be a tricky one, depending on how many present commitments you have. However, the way to overcome this is to establish whether your dream is a priority in your life. If it is, you will find things to let go in order to carve out time for new things in your life, such as that dream business. Most of us can also benefit from time-management techniques.

I run across many people who would like to write books. In fact, surveys have shown that over 80% of the poplulation would like to write a book. Yet, far less than 10% ever accomplish that goal.

Would you like “Time Management Tips for Writers”? Just tell me where to send it below:

Happy day! Happy life! Happy Business!

Plough through your obstacles!

Until next time,


P.S. I listed three obstacles to success. What are some that you see? Please comment below.

13 Replies to “Overcoming Obstacles to Success – Reflections on the Way to a Speaking Engagement”

  1. That’s the case with me. You write because you have to, as pathetic as it sounds, write when you arrive, in the tram, on your cell phone when in the birthing room you have a good conversation, on the typewriter, in the notes, in the word document. Sometimes you stare at a blank piece of paper, sometimes in a single sentence that just isn’t a slag.
    You don’t know where to go. Thanks for the good post.

    1. Thank you Kozakiv,

      That use of waiting time is commendable. Think of how much time is lost, just waiting for something else to happen. That is good advice for writers, “You write because you have to.”

  2. I have had so many experiences on this, the most recent was trying to buy a home. I made decent money but was in bad credit card debt, and it looked like it would be impossible to actually achieve our goal to purchase a home. But by putting together a plan and most importantly sticking to it, within a year we had significantly lowered our credit card bills and were approved for the house! And although there were obstacles that popped up throughout the process, we adjusted and kept moving forward. Thank you for sharing, this is a very enlightening post!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Travis. Your success in this area is an inspiration to me. I’m sure it is to others too.

  3. I can relate to what you have said here. Fear usually prevents us from advancing and in my case, I’m a blogger, it is the fear of producing not good enough content. Oftentimes, I find myself procrastinating to write as I think I’m not good enough to come up with an article that’s competitive. Thank you for the encouraging words you shared here plus your mentioning of Jeremiah 14. I will bookmark it now in my Bible so I can get back to it later.

    1. Thank you, Gomer,

      The mention of Jeremiah 14 has to do with severe judgment. There was no hope for those who would not sincerely make a change in their lives. However, that is hope for those who are sincere.

      For us writers, sometimes we just have to … write! I identify with the procrastinating. Sometimes, though, if I can just statrted, it is not long before I “get on a roll.” 🙂

  4. I can totally relate. Regarding the obstacles in business, I have to say that I’ve found myself in all 3 of the situations you described. Frankly, those were terrible moments. Days that I want to forget.

    Truly, if we could see the future, maybe we’d be a little more persistent. We’d see failure for what it really is – an opportunity to more intelligently begin.

    This has been really insightful and I look forward to reading more from you. Thank you for sharing

    1. Thank you, Rhain,

      At least if the future were always a good future, we would be more persistent. I like your comment about failure being and opportunity to more intelligently begin.

  5. Hey, thank you for your writing article. This information is interesting and informative about this article. I get much information about this post. I really liked your writing and an article of good quality.People can increase their knowledge by reading such articles and they will be able to go on the road to success.Every person wants to be successful but they do not know how to be successful. By reading such writings, people will know how to achieve success and achieve success is difficult but people are successful through a lot of hard work.It is natural to have obstacles to achieve success, but it is up to each person to achieve success.

  6. Thank you Randy for this piece, unfortunate when natural disaster stricks, a large majority of people quit and level the business. Very few people stay in and succeed.

    I am a poultry farmer, I have discovered that so many people with interest in poultry are kept off basically because of the fear of natural disasters; they don’t even come near the business. Fear is a great killer of dreams

    1. Thank you Parameter,

      I live in farm country and grew up on a family farm. I still have the farm, but I am a “landlord” now, sharing expenses and profits with another farmer.

      You are right. Fear is a great killer of dreams.


  7. I think we all come to an age where we want everything this instant! Streaming TV, Amazon Prime, Credit cards, they all gear toward instant gratification and we all just forget that it acquire hard work and time to be successful. Which mean you have to fail many times and never quit to be successful. I am actually reading a book called 10x Rule by Grant Cadone and he kept repeating to never give up. 

    Just pit my email down for your time management. Would love to learn more tips.


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