What’s Your Excuse? 7+1 Listed Here

I keep an extra 15 lbs on me to keep me humble and more approachable.  Really?  That’s creative.  How about because it’s easier than working to get it off or because I love to eat?

Excuses really do nothing for us except delay the inevitable.  Since the anticipation is frequently worse than the actuality, why do we do this to ourselves?

Here are some counterproductive excuses I’ve made or heard lately that I’m trying to learn from –

“It” will work itself out.  If this works for you, please send “it” to my house so it will work for me.  Reality:  YOU will work things out or they will not change.  There’s no substitute for hard work.  Ask Ashton.

False idealism.  Optimism is a good thing, but only when balanced with realism.   Realistic optimists value accuracy and know that short cuts don’t usually work.  Idealists comfort themselves with delusions.

Failing to ask questions.  Where do I stand with you?  What more do you need?  What can I do for you?  If you are trying to close a sale, solve a problem, address a customer concern, you must ask questions in order to RESPOND to them.

Ask harder questions next.  Last week I was working to close a prospect who’d already told me no.   I needed some proprietary information from him in order to complete an analysis to justify my price.  Because of my inexperience with this analysis, I’d erroneously already asked him for incomplete data.  I was agonizing over asking him to send me more information!  Why?  I didn’t yet have his business, so I had zero to lose!  I finally did ask him to send me more data and he refused and I felt embarrassed.  Again, why?  There’s no shame in failure.  There’s shame in lack of effort.

Failing to listen to the answers that come your way, even the unpleasant ones.  Do you only seek the feedback that you want to hear?  The safe stuff?

Take risks.  There’s a reason things change.  It’s called risk.  No risk = no change.

Embrace failure when you are learning something new.  This is how you learn something new.  If you aren’t making mistakes, you’re not trying new things.  Learning new things does not feel safe.  It shouldn’t.

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Baby steps.