Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Excuse shopping

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     People spend too much time looking for the next excuse. The problem pervades our culture on every level. 

     Looking for the next excuse is related to procrastination--but with a difference. And the devil is in the details.

     When you procrastinate, you simply put off doing something. When you look for the next excuse, you grab at a warm feeling to support your decision. You might procrastinate and do it later or you might go off in another direction.

     Example: Sam began his business designing websites for small business clients. Things went well for the first few years, then his business declined. People began taking advantage of the free websites being offered by companies--simple websites could be up and running at little or no cost. Rather than looking his new competition squarely in the face, Sam began bad-mouthing free websites when speaking with potential clients. When it didn't work, Sam began looking for the next excuse--the economy was bad, small businesses were reluctant to spend, clients didn't understand. Today, Sam has closed his business and is working for another company. He spent too much time looking for and embracing excuses for the decline in his own business, and not enough time figuring out how to grow into a better future--in step with the changing times. 

     Example: Susan is a massage therapist. She concentrates on several types of massage and has attracted a following. She wanted to grow, and she looked around for ways to establish a full-blown wellness center. It seemed to be a good plan, but everywhere she turned, she saw big problems. Where would she get the money? How could she establish a bigger place with a higher rental? What would attract others to be a part of a wellness center? She talked with nutritionists, hypnotherapists, acupuncture practitioners, yoga experts, even people in Chinese herbal medicine. All of them expressed interest, but how would they be paid? It all seemed to come down to money--and her lack thereof. Instead of finding a pathway through this money maze, Susan backed off, giving herself the excuse that the timing was not right, that the other practitioners just did not see the value of banding together in a single destination wellness center. Maybe one day. Susan is still running her massage therapy operation. Looking for the next excuse not to proceed.

     All of us fall into the false thinking of excuse shopping. It is the easy way out of today's problems. Blame someone else or blame anything. 

     When you spot a market opportunity, you sometimes must move heaven and earth to take advantage of it. Never give up, and never go excuse shopping. 

     The marketplace today is moving faster than ever. Stay on top of it. Pick the opportunity that makes sense, and go for it. No excuses.