When it comes to finances I’ve heard all of the excuses in the book.
I don’t have time. I don’t have enough money. When I make more money then I’ll…
I don’t know how…
When starting a new year we like to make resolutions and set goals. Whether it’s about your finances, or lifestyle, I think it’s good to start planning for the future. But none of that thinking and planning matters if you can’t get out of your own way.
I know you don’t want to hear this, but if you listen to your excuses and let them keep you from moving toward your goals, I can guarantee that 2012 won’t be like you hope.
WHAT 50+ MILLIONAIRES TOLD ME
In 2011 I interviewed over 50 millionaires and I found one common thing from them all. They have a “No Excuses” approach.
I’m not saying they don’t have excuses. They do, and so do I. But they don’t let their excuses get in the way. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to get past excuses, and I wanted to share them as we start out 2012.
Definition from Google:
A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.
Be honest with yourself, because if you don’t know it’s an excuse you will think it’s true!
Be aware. It can be really easy to hear excuses from other people but hard to notice them when they come out of your mouth.
Ask a friend you trust to call you out. Or have a mentor or fellow business owner call you out. This part might be painful to hear, but it will be one of the fastest ways to get you to notice them. (I know from experience!)
Commit to Something Way in Advance
Let’s say you want to grow your business, and know that public speaking or even cold calling would help. Most people (and many clients of mine!) come up with a million excuses not to head down that route. Instead, don’t let the excuses stop you, but make the commitment far enough away that you don’t need to sweat about it right now.
This technique helps your brain (which is full of excuses) know that it’s not in any immediate danger, and still allows you to do the things you want to do. Yet the event will be booked and much harder for you to get out of later!
So book a speaking gig in 4 months. It’s not scary because it’s so far away. Or create the list to cold call, but don’t do it until next week. (When next week comes, just set a time limit of only 10 minutes at first to make as many calls as you can!)
Mark a date to do that item in your life or business that you are scared about.
Get to the Root of It
A lot of excuses come down to fear: fear of failure, fear of admitting you were wrong, etc.
So what is the fear? Frank McKinney, a real estate developer (creating 30 million dollar dream homes), said:
“Realize there is a force at work subconsciously in your mind that is tempting you to say no. That’s the primary difference between my career and most others especially in real estate, is that I don’t let the fear that is there stop me. I do not let it stop me. That is the primary difference. “
I’ve used a tactic called the worst case scenario. You write down the worst things that could go wrong. Then you figure how probable that might be (usually < 1% and only if 17 other things go wrong first!) and work out solutions to those problems. It helps to ease your mind in knowing you can figure it out even if the worst happens.
Accept your fear and do it anyway. Try writing down your worst case scenario and what you would do to prevent or fix it.
Logically Counteract It
Pretend you are in a debate and you need to prove this excuse false. GO.
Role play with a friend, or just write the logical defense in a .doc or journal.
You want 2012 to be the best year yet. So let’s start acting like it now. You can only control your thoughts and behaviors (even though many times we wish we could control others!). Work on eliminating excuses from your vocabulary this year.
You may be surprised to see what happens!
Photo: San Francisco’s Transamerica Building In The Morning, SD.