Over the last 33 years since I set up my Advertising Agency, I have seen a number of businesses succeed and many more fail. There are various reasons why businesses don’t succeed but I want to just focus on one of them this week – EXCUSES.

As a business owner, I always took the responsibility on myself for everything I did. I never blamed external circumstances. It is very easy to blame a recession or blame a pandemic for you not being where you want to be or where you think you should be. When you apportion blame elsewhere other than yourself, it is just an excuse. If you look hard at yourself and where your business is today and be honest with yourself, you will see that YOU are the reason.

So lets look at a few excuses people give for their lack of success – however you define success.

TIME – Why do so many people use the time excuse? “I didn’t have time to do this” or “I didn’t have time to do that”. We all have time. We all have 24 hours in every day and it is how we spend that time that will be a key factor in getting stuff done and moving forward. You will have heard this saying I am sure, “If you want a job doing, ask a busy person. They will always find time”. Be careful though that you are not a busy fool, doing stuff to look busy but not stuff that will move you forward.

MONEY – I have heard the “I don’t have enough money” excuse so many times, but many business owners really do not have their priorities right. They will think nothing of paying themselves more than they should, or buying a car they really shouldn’t purchase, and then when it comes to some form of investment in their business, they say they don’t have enough money. This comes down to lack of planning and foresight. Just another excuse to stop the business from growing.

LAZINESS – Very rarely will we hear a business owner admit they are lazy. Many get stuck in their comfort zone if the business has been doing well for a number of years, and they become lazy when it comes to looking for new opportunities to grow the business. Having a lazy mind can really negatively impact a business, and it can be difficult to get out of that mindset. As business owners, we always have to be in a creative mode and looking for new opportunities. This is what keeps us fresh and keeps the business growing, and what kept me in business for over 30 years.

EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES – It is always easier to blame external circumstances if you go out of business or your business is struggling. As business owners we all need to take responsibility for where we are at any moment in time. The effort put into the business is the reason we all are where we are. The main issue would be our lack of planning and lack of vision. Recessions or pandemics or something that can stop us in our tracks will happen every 8 to 12 years, so if we are struggling through this current pandemic, then this is a result of the effort and planning and vision that happened since the last one. Business is about failing our way to success and we learn more from failures that we do our successes, but if we keep making the same mistakes then we learned nothing. So before you start blaming a pandemic or a recession, please take a look at what you have been doing over the last 8 to 12 years since the last recession.

I understand what it takes to go through something like this – I went through 3 recessions – and I can help you spot opportunities that can take your business forward and get you out of the blame mentality

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 23/09/2020