You’ve done all the right things. You set your goal and took action, but somehow, somewhere along the line, things didn’t work out and you didn’t get the results you wanted.
It snowed. The supplier was late, delivered the wrong thing, or in the wrong colour. The schools were shut, so you had the kids at home. You got a cold. The dog died. You got tangled in the duvet and couldn’t get out of bed…
You’ve heard them. You’ve given them. What are they?
They are excuses.
Noooo, I hear you yell. They are not excuses! They are valid reasons. They are REAL!
The economy IS bad. Customers ARE harder to find. There just isn’t as much money around, so we’re bound to be struggling.
So why is it that in a bad economy, with fewer customers with less money, some businesses are doubling or tripling their turnover and profits? Are they in a special “lucky” market? Do they just have more resources?
Well they might be, but in this modern age, the Internet and social networking are great levellers. Even the little people stand a good chance. So what are those thriving companies doing that the struggling ones are not doing?
It’s simple. They don’t accept or give excuses.
When you set a goal, it’s pretty simple. Either you achieve it or you don’t. You either get the result you want or you don’t.
If you find yourself not getting the results you want, it’s very tempting to look for reasons. But what if those reasons were just excuses? And what if those excuses were preventing you from achieving many of your goals?
What if you gave up your excuses? What if all those reasons that you gave for not getting the results could be overcome, bypassed or even turned into opportunities?
We learn to give good excuses when we are children. We learned that if the cat had kittens on our homework, we got an extension. If we broke an arm, we got off the 4-mile cross country run.
But this seeking out excuses doesn’t serve us at all in adulthood. And when you’re running your own business, it’s a disaster. You can’t pay your staff with excuses. You can’t take them to the bank. You can’t take them to your customers.
Let’s take this idea of “the economy” as an excuse not to grow a successful business. I’m not saying the situation isn’t real, or that it can be changed, but the way you approach it can be. Yes, people are spending more cautiously, the low hanging fruit isn’t there anymore. But what you do have higher up are very committed and keen customers. They may be harder to find, but when you find them they are like gold dust.
So here are some ways you can start to give up your excuses.
Are you being impatient?
In this age of instant gratification, we sometimes forget that some things just do take some time. Maybe you haven’t failed, but rather the results just haven’t had time to show up yet. For example, in a marketing campaign there is a time lag between taking action and the clients showing up. In the middle of this time, you need to protect your mindset. Doubts will stop you taking the very action you need to take, but you need to continue to market until you can reasonably expect results, then decide whether or not you have failed.
Is it time to try something different?
If your actions are not giving you the desired results, try taking different action. The reason many people don’t do this is because it’s risky. They know what to expect with the tried and tested methods, even if those results aren’t great. But when you try something new you have no clue what to expect. Be brave, take a risk, try something different.
Do you have a limiting belief?
The beliefs we hold shape our reality. They affect the thoughts we think, the things we say and, most importantly, the action we take. The result is, just like a self-fulfilling prophesy – we make them real.
The reality that you experience is a direct result of the underlying beliefs. For example, having no money is the reality, and no, that’s not a limiting belief. If you have no money, that’s a fact or real. But underneath that might be a limiting belief like “I can’t make money”, “I’m no good at selling”, “people don’t want to buy from a small company”, “people don’t spend money in a recession”.
Let’s take the belief “people don’t spend money in a recession”. If you believe this, how motivated do you think you will be to get out there and sell? Probably not that motivated.
So you won’t make your sales calls, you stop writing web pages or sending e-mails, and generally stop taking action around getting sales. Then it’s a foregone conclusion that you won’t have any sales, thus proving yourself right.
Now you have a choice: you can be right or you can be successful, but you can’t do both. Are you willing to go bankrupt to prove yourself right? No, thought not. So decide that you are wrong about some things. Believe and think something different and take the action you know will get you the results.
Be brutally honest with yourself
As a coach, one of my less fun tasks is to be brutally honest with people, and then get them to be honest with themselves. Be honest about where you are, the resources you have at hand and the action you can take. Pretending that it’s all going to be alright if you just say enough affirmations or do enough “positive thinking” is simply putting your head in the sand.
Use the resources you do have, take the action you can take, and you will get results. But most importantly, give up your excuses.
Dr Lisa Turner
At CETfreedom, our purpose is to emotionally empower, transform and help you lean into your joy. If you want to register for the free CETfree programme, go here: www.cetfreedom.com/cetfree