“I can’t do that because I am too busy”. “I won’t be able to make that event because I have too much work on”. I really hope those of you reading this article don’t use these excuses and so many others that I have heard over the last 40 years of being in business. Yes of course there are genuine reasons why you are unable to do certain things or make certain events but many are just excuses. We all make them, but use them too often at your peril as they are the route to failure. 

Those of you who follow me on Linkedin will know that at the beginning of the year I set a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day. There have been a couple of occasions where I could have easily made an excuse not to do it, but yesterday was 300 days on the trot I have done this. I really do not accept excuses from myself or clients I work with as I know how damaging they can be to your attitude and ultimate success. Someone said to me many years ago that you can make money or you can make excuses – you can’t do both. It is a message that has resonated with me since that time. 

When you think about what we have all been through over the last 18 months, it would have been very easy for many of us to make excuses – and many did. Those who did will have severely damaged their business and more importantly their attitude and this could have a negative impact for years. Those business owners who would not accept excuses looked for the opportunities and for many, their businesses thrived. “Out of every seed of adversity comes one of equal or greater benefit”.

I am always saying to business owners that we need to focus on what we are good at and outsource everything else. Having a business mentor on your team – in my opinion – is vital for ultimate success and will help build a better business. A mentor will be an investment and this is key – we need to look at outsourcing as an investment and not a cost. I do not say this just because I am a Business Mentor but because I had several mentors throughout my business life and it was vital to my success. They helped me stay on track, gave me someone to talk to, picked me up when I was down, and really encouraged me in tough times. A good mentor will not accept your excuses as they will know what it takes to build a successful business. The first book I always recommend for business owners is “The E Myth revisited” by Michael Gerber. It will teach you how to run a business properly. 

Please be careful that you do not use external circumstances as an excuse for you not to do something. We cannot control them, we can only control the 6 inches between our ears. Yes, they are frustrating and can severely affect our attitudes and we have to look beyond them and focus on what we can do. It will make us stronger and more resilient and able to handle future issues that will arise. I have seen so many business owners use recessions as an excuse for going out of business. Most of the time this is just an excuse. It is the final nail in the coffin created by lack of action in the past. “We are today exactly where we choose to be”. Where we are in our lives today is as a result of the decisions we made in the past and where we will be tomorrow will be a direct result of the decisions we make today. Make sure the decisions you make are wise decisions and not excuses.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 01/11/2021