Expectations and Hope – Two Very Different Things


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At the time I began my Rich Habits study I had one revenue stream – my CPA business. 

In my study I learned that the average self-made millionaires had at least three businesses generating steams of income.

So, in 2006 I decided to take a page out of my own research. Now I have six streams of income and this year I am adding a seventh stream.

One of the income streams is my author business. I learned in my author business that when I got major media publicity, I sold thousands of books in a matter of a few days.

In order to get that publicity, however, I had to spend 2-4 hours a day pitching the media. 99.995% of the time I got rejected or ignored.

In the beginning of my author business, I naively expected that the media would be interested in my research and my books. I knew my research was unique. But when they rejected or ignored my pitches, I became very depressed. I got so depressed that in 2011 I was thinking of quitting. Emotionally, I just couldn’t take the daily rejection.

But, for some reason, I didn’t quit. It dawned on me that the source of my depression was my unrealistic expectations in pitching the media and expecting a yes. So, I decided to change my expectations.

I now expect to be rejected or ignored every time I pitch the media. And when I am rejected, it doesn’t bother me in the least.

But here’s the amazing part. Every now and then someone in the media says yes. And when they say yes I get happy. By setting my expectations low, I became emotionally equipped to deal with the rejection.

This little shift in thinking has kept me in the game. I now expect failure and when I fail, my expectations are met and I don’t get emotional about it.

But while I now expect failure, I still hope for overall success.

Sounds like a contradiction, but it isn’t. Expectations and hope, I learned, are two very different things.

Lowering your expectations does not mean giving up hope. It just means that you realize that the daily pursuit of a dream will be filled with obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure.

Once you expect obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure, you are emotionally equipped to deal with it. This keeps you in the game.

Eventually you figure out what to do and what not to do. And that growth equips you with new skills and knowledge that will one day allow you to overcome those obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure.

If you want to be successful, you simply cannot quit on your dreams. You need to manage you expectations so that daily obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure do not drag you down emotionally to the point of quitting.

You must also keep your focus on the big picture – the hope of one day realizing your dream.

Lowering your daily expectations while maintaining long-term hope keeps you in the game and empowers you to persist until you succeed. 



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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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