You can have results or excuses. Not both. – Anonymous
For some reason, humans rarely strive to do more than they need to.
It’s as if we’re hard-wired to do whatever is enough to be satisfied and live a standard life.
And I’m not here to say this is a bad thing. But let’s be honest, if we didn’t have people who didn’t just sit back and accept things as the are, it’s likely you would never have the device you’re using to read these words right now.
Our brains are hardwired to stop us from doing things that could put us into unfamiliar or challenging circumstances. As a result, we tell ourselves these silly excuses for why different business ideas won’t work or why we shouldn’t ask for a raise in our current job.
Unfortunately, these excuses are often times made up in our head and not a realistic picture of the truth. Below I reveal some of the most common excuses that our brains trick us into believing when we should be out chasing our dreams…
“I’m too young/too old”
Mark Zuckerberg co-found Facebook while he was in his dorm room and Evan Spieal did the same with Snapchat. At the same time, we have folks like Matt Mullenweg who found WordPress at the age of 19…
Sure, these folks might immediately seem like outliers, and they are, but they show that age doesn’t matter. You might not start the next Facebook or Snapchat, but that’s okay!
Start something. Start anything that connects with you on a personal level and keeps you up at night thinking about it and dreaming about it. Embrace that idea and chase it.
And if you think you’re too old, remember this:
At the age of 30, Fusajiro Yamauchi found Nintendo. At the age of 32, JK Rowling released her first Harry Potter novel. At the age of 35, Jimmy Wales launched Wikipedia. At the age of 37, Doris Fisher founded Gap. At the age of 42, Soichiro Honda found, well, Honda. And at the age of 62, Col. Harland Sanders founded KFC.
Check out this great video from Gary Vaynerchuk on the exact topic:
“I really don’t want to miss out on….”
Reality check: you’re going to have to miss out on things if you have big dreams.
FOMO is the “Fear Of Missing Out.” And it’s a symptom that is sweeping the nation and causing people to go hang with friends instead of putting in the time and effort to make dreams a reality. I’m not suggesting you always put your friends on the back-burner but if you do the things you’ve always done, you can expect to get the things you always get.
Don’t allow momentary bliss to stop you from achieving a lifetime of rewards. One night out with friends can be a great time. Don’t get me wrong. But the ability to go out with those same friends without any worries about when your next paycheck is going to come in – is even better….
“There’s not enough time”
I hate the term “Time Management”
It’s a term I hate using but use because there’s a common understanding of what it means. The reason I hate the phrase is because you cannot actually manage time. It’s impossible. Time is a constant whether we like it or not. Right now. As you read these words, time is passing you by…
And guess what?
You can’t do anything to stop it. It’s going to continue. And continue.
I think you get my point.
You see, time management doesn’t exist but self-management does. And that’s the way I view it. It’s our ability to manage ourselves that will determine whether or not “there are enough hours in a day.” It’s on us to identify our priorities and plan our week in advance to ensure we’re doing the things that we feel will help us achieve the goals for the week.
Your goal could be to create a blog post. It could be to write the first chapter in your book. It could even be to spend at least an hour a day with your kids or loved ones. Whatever it is, YOU are in control of finding the time to do it and carving that out of your schedule.
No excuses. We all have 24 hours in a day. It’s what we do with them that matters most.
“I can’t find the right idea”
Reality Check: In today’s world, this is no longer a viable excuse.
The problem isn’t that you can’t find the right idea, the problem is that you just don’t want to start. You’re afraid of something. It might be fear that you’re chasing the wrong idea. It might be fear that you’re going to look silly in front of friends. It might be fear that you’ve never done this before and have no idea how it’s going to work.
At the end of the day, the idea is one of the least important pieces of the puzzle in business. There are tons of great ideas that have been started but have fallen apart because the person who was supposed to execute them, couldn’t deliver. I’ve always loved this graph inspired by Derek Sivers:
It shows the value of an idea in comparison to the value of execution. I really resonate with this and try to share it with people who tell me they have “a great idea” whenever I get a chance. The idea matters little in comparison to execution.
And if you’re truly stumped on an idea, I’ve got 60 business ideas that you can start this month.
“I don’t know anyone”
I lived this one…
When I graduated from University, I was really confused as to where to start. The majority of the people I knew and grew up with were not white collar professionals. The majority of the people I knew were working in blue collar industries and had very little insight into what the corporate world would look like. So what did I do?
I networked like crazy. And my focus was using Twitter to build those relationships with people from the appropriate industries. I reached out to every advertising agency in the city with questions and with feedback to projects they were working on. I was doing everything I could to build a reputation for myself in the local scene, through persistence and hardwork.
You can’t meet people if you don’t try to connect with them. Send an email. Ask for a coffee. Retweet their content. Leave a comment on their blog. Do the little things that make people know your name and connect with them on a human level.
The reasons we do things aren’t always logical.
That’s why we need to study psychology and ourselves, to understand our own cognitive biases.
Understanding the stories you will mistakenly tell yourself and having the understanding to identify when you’re creating your own problems – is the key to being able to move forward instead of standing still.
The next time you resist change, get to the core of why you’re resisting.
Evaluate whether it’s real. Understand your biases and don’t allow excuses to stop you from achieving and becoming everything you desire.