Back in 1992, Michael Hyatt did something that few of his millions of followers and admirers imagine possible.
He failed at something.
In fact, he failed in such a big way that he was too broke to go bankrupt.
“I’d started a business that expanded so quickly that we burned through all our cash,” Hyatt says. “We couldn’t go bankrupt, because we had pledged all our assets to creditors. By the time they took everything, there was nothing left to put into bankruptcy.”
Hyatt recalls the story when speaking about his new book, Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals, soon to be published by Baker Book House.
Years later, after a highly successful career at book publisher Thomas Nelson, Hyatt realized it was time to take the plunge and start his own speaking and consulting business.
He understood that if he did not work through the feelings behind the business failure he had gone through, he would not be able to start the new venture.
So he reviewed what had gone wrong back in ’92, made peace with the past, and started the new business, which has grown mightily without any of the problems the prior enterprise faced.
Facing our past regrets squarely and getting beyond them is one of the key themes of his new book.
“Most people don’t want to think about their failures,” Hyatt says. “But by sweeping them under the rug, they often keep themselves from much greater levels of success. That was certainly the case for me.”
Hyatt’s most recent book, Living Forward (Baker Books, 2016), written with Daniel Harkavy, was on the best seller lists at the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, among others.
Your Best Year Ever is likely to have the same or greater level of success, because Hyatt’s name is a household word with millions of high achievers.
“People want tools that will allow them to succeed and cut through the clutter,” Hyatt says. “I focus on the proven productivity tools and skills that make a difference. I’m proud that millions of people consider me their virtual mentor. I take that as a huge honor.”
Hyatt’s five steps as outlined in Your Best Year Ever: understand your beliefs; complete the past (deal with your regrets); design your future; find your why; and make it happen.
“It’s very rare that someone drifts into success,” he says. “The reality is that it takes a plan. But if we’re going to act on a plan, it’s because we’ve got leverage over ourselves, we’ve completed the past, and we know we are on the right track.”
Hyatt’s book comes from a coaching program that started off five years ago with 8,000 people; to date more than 25,000 have gone through that program, 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever, which is revised, with new videos, every year.
“Working through one’s regrets is a big part of the online program, and therefore merited a step in the book,” Hyatt adds.
“It’s not about making yourself miserable by reliving every painful detail of the past,” he cautions. “Instead, it’s about recognizing that we do have failures in our past, and we need to come to terms with them.