In response to the Hustler’s Playbook, Family Guy writes: “A hustler doesn’t have a family that wants him home for dinner.” By providing this comment, Family Guy reveals his excuse: I would hustle, but then I wouldn’t be home for dinner with my family. That excuse provides the psychological air cover that Family Guy needs to feel good about his decision to not hustle, and he believes that he occupies the moral high ground.
Let’s try a few more. How about, “My competitors have lower prices than my company.” This excuse provides cover for losing opportunities and failing to win profitable business. Knowing this is true, why should you put forth the effort to identify and nurture prospects with business challenges great enough that they are willing to invest more to produce a better result? Why bother working to create enough value to make you worth paying more?
Let’s look at these, “My territory sucks. My commission structure sucks. My company’s policies suck. My manager sucks. I am being micromanaged. The economy is still too soft.” There are a lot of derivatives of excuses built on the idea that if it weren’t for some external factor you would perform better. This excuse provides a blanket excuse for all sorts of poor performance.
Your excuses do a brilliant job serving you in one specific way: they provide you with the psychological air cover you need to absolve yourself of your responsibilities. But that is the limit of the value excuses provide.
Your excuse does nothing to help you produce better results. It does nothing to improve your performance. Even your best excuse doesn’t really absolve you of your responsibility to succeed.
The human mind is a magnificent thing. It is endowed with the ability to rationalize away uncomfortable truths so that you can lower your expectations and still live with yourself. But that same mind has unlimited resourcefulness, imagination, and the ability to create solutions for any obstacle it focuses on for some period of time.
How do your excuses serve you?