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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Are you addicted to them?

At some point in our life we have an excuse for being late to work, not paying a bill on time, forgetting a birthday, making a mistake. Its human nature yet we give an excuse that rationalizes why we made the mistake and why it is not actually a mistake at all.

Its ok to make a mistake as long as you learn from it. This is even more true with business. Some say there is no room from mistakes. I say there is. How do you learn if you don't stumble to only pick yourself up. If you walked the perfect line, there is no growth, there is no accomplishment.

What is not ok in business is to make the same mistakes over and over and always have an excuse as to why you continue. There are no excuses in business. You either do or don't. If you make a mistake, say so. Don't explain how you had no sleep, your child was sick all night, and your computer has 10 thousand viruses, and your dog ran away. Excuses only lead to more. You feel better about them and feel others are ok with it so they breed more excuses. This is when I call someone an excuse addict. You can't stop and even live for them even if only subconciously.

Now giving reason as to why something happened such as you were late because you woke up late is not an excuse. It is reason. You then correct the reason and move on. You don't talk about how your tire was blown and took forver to change it then next week you blow another tire as an excuse for another missed appointment. Although not all the time an excuse is a lie to cover a lie. Such as you woke up late but you explain the tire situation so you aren't seen as a flake.

Excuses is usually a learned behavior. You either learn from others and see them creatively use excuses, grew up in a household listening to mom explain why the electric bill is late, or you started with an excuse to avoid an embarrassing situation and continue as a coping method. Its a cycle. Others learn from you as you teach others and it continues. Some excuses give you a feeling of want and desire. Sometimes you may find a brief spike in sympathy. For example times are tough and you need help earning money so you express your plea even if you don't realize it is a plea. Sales come in for a short amount of time. Problem - this is always temporary. The first time may work. Rarely does it work again. If it does you may try a 3rd time. All the while your excuse changes so its not the same but tragedy after tragedy seems strange to some now doesn't it? At this point people begin to suspect something is up. You may even be quietly deemed a scam artist. You lose trust. You lose respect. Now your business suffers. Orders stop coming in. So in the end how did the excuse work?

I am not a psychologist but when asked how to stop the cycle, it is as simple as owning up to the mistake. No excuse just simply I made a mistake and you will correct it immediately. DO NOT go into how your water heater broke. Just you made a mistake and you will correct it. Make sure you correct it immediately. Not tomorrow or next week. Right now.

Its a concious effort. Don't let excuses ruin your business and your name. You may think it directly affects only you but it doesn't. It can affect an entire business. You may represent Widget World but because of you and your lack of ability to correct an issue customers will not return to Widget World. Example how this works - ever gone to a restaurant and received bad service? Ever decided to not return due to the bad service? The restaurant didn't do anything wrong. It was the service yet you were so turned off you didn't give them a second chance. Same with the WAHM world. Avoid the excuses, own up to responsibility, stop giving you and your business lower value, and start being professional. Break the excuse cycle. You will be better for it.


Stephanie said...

I love this! I hear excuses everywhere...why do we feel the need to explain? I agree, just own up to your mistake, learn your lesson and move forward. I'm now following your blog. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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