Here are a few reasons why I've noticed agents fail in this industry.
1: Lack of Capital
Agents come into this with little to no money thinking they can start and run a business. Would you be able to start any other business this way? No, you need funds and a sound business plan for at least the first 6 to 12 months to run your own business successfully.
You also need to project when you might be profitable, how much you can reinvest to keep the business growing, etc. Doing this will eliminate unnecessary stress that a financial struggle can cause you.
Even if you have to work at a "real" job for a year or two to save your money so that you can break free and start your own business, do it before you do this.
2: Lack of Understanding
Do you even know what it takes to succeed? It takes work, it's a grind sometimes, dealing with people, dealing with rejection and things like that. If you want it easy, invest in lotto.
A few years ago people thought you could buy leads, get a dialer, automate emails, get a web share tool and make $100K their first year. They learned the hard way that it wasn't actually that easy. If you were to open a franchise you would have to know what it takes to succeed BEFORE you dropped a chunk of money on it. View this opportunity the same way. Learn what it entails first.
3: Lack of Training
This is a big one as you may notice by the questions being asked here on the forum. If you don't have the skill set down (both sales training and product knowledge) do not get on the phones or meet with clients. You won't have much confidence and you will fail more than you'll succeed, making you even less confident and ultimately discouraged.
As Earl Nightingale said, if you wanted to be a brain surgeon would you start by cutting open your friend's head? No, you have to learn how to do anything in order to do it well. There are plenty of free resources on the internet where you can learn about sales skills at a fairly rapid pace, through videos, audio, articles and pdf files.
4: Lack of Preparation
Training is a huge part of preparation but you should also have your day scheduled before you start it. Set goals and prioritize them in order of importance. How many calls will you make? How much do you want to earn? How many emails will you send? How much will you network and where? What's your plan for referrals and retention?
Also have your computer/desk/files organized and readily accessible before you start the day. Lack of preparation can halt or impede your success.
5: Lack of Focus
Whether it's Facebook, emails, Oprah or the NFL network, don't be distracted. On a daily basis, focus on getting sales/productive work done first, then address the rest of the tasks necessary to succeed that day. Each day you do this creates a successful week, month, year and career.
6: Lack of Commitment
You must commit and persevere since you CHOSE to do this. There can be ups and downs but so what? There are ups and downs everywhere. If you want the freedom of being your own boss and building residuals to where you can take some time off without concern, then it's worth it, isn't it?
And before you decide that this ISN'T for you, ask yourself, do you know what you're doing? If you don't, then of course it's not for you, no more than being an auto mechanic is for someone who is missing their hands.
7: Lack of support **Thanks to "nyc2phi"
You're sitting home, smiling and dialing to set appointments or sell and who do you turn to? Maybe you log onto the forum or hit Facebook (see #5) for some human contact after a few calls end in voice mails messages. We all need some support, even if it's simply a "you got this!" for encouragement.
See if you can create network of people you can refer business back and forth with. Network with the KOC's and even the KFC's who might have part time workers. If you work from a home office, change things up, go to Starbucks, or pound the pavement.
Ultimately, you have to support you but outside support always helps.
Go for it!
Obviously, these can be much more involved and there maybe other factors as well but I'm hoping these might provide enough insight as to how you can develop the career you desire.