There really are no excuses
In the online hustle and bustle of the business world, it could be easy to get lost in a sea of competitors, or to easily make excuses for what might not be working. And then hide out behind those excuses and no longer serve yourself or your clients.
Here are some tactics to nix those excuses and set yourself up for success every day.
What makes me an expert? Well, I’ve had my business for eleven years as an online business manager and virtual assistant. In 2013, I received a diagnosis of abductor spasmodic dysphonia – a condition that is neurological in origin and life-altering in it’s effects. In short the condition has rendered my voice nearly inaudible and has left me unable to do so many day-to-day tasks that a business owner requires, such as using the phone or speaking and being heard when out and about running errands.
Certainly I could have made excuses for myself and stuck my head in the sand and given up – but that’s not who I am as a person. Instead, I dug deep and found alternative methods to operate my business, attract clients and be in the flow of abundance the new business model that I operate.
I’m going to briefly share 3 excuses I could have made along the way and busted through to the other side to find peace, calm, and happiness. Not to leave you an illusion of a false sense of security – I certainly still have challenges and have bad days. That’s not what this is about. This is more fundamentally about not throwing in the towel when you feel all hope is lost.
Excuse #1 – “I’m different. Why would someone want to do business with me?”
And let me clarify here – maybe you’re feeling like you’re different and not in a good way. We’re all different. We’re all unique and individual. I believe we all of our quirks, nuances and idiosyncrasies make us the beautiful beings that we are…whether a business owner, a homemaker, a direct seller or a high-powered corporate executive. I believe this quote sums it up best:
Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. – Leo Buscaglia
I share that because I think we sometimes tend to hide part of ourselves in the business world…meaning if we’re spiritual, we shy away from sharing that when we are wearing our “business hat.” And I think it’s a true disservice to each of us individually and to your connection to Source, God, Allah, whatever that is to you.
How to know if you’re hanging out in this excuse – take a look at your calendar…how many networking functions have you been to in the last 30 days? How many new client appointments have you had? Are you willing to release yourself from the outcome of needing to keep everything separate for the sake of feeling like you might offend someone? In truth, everywhere that you are holding yourself back by not being 100% authentically, beautifully YOU, you are not serving yourself, your clients or anyone really.
Excuse #2 – “It’s too hard.”
So my first question here is “really?” When you got into the business, did someone tell you it would be easy? You’ve heard the saying anything worth doing is worth doing right, haven’t you? A number of years ago I had the fortunate opportunity to see Zig Ziglar speak at a conference I attended. I remember him sharing “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly –” and he let this what seemed like 5 minute pause lapse before he finished by saying, “Until you can learn to do it well.” Wow. That was really powerful stuff. I remember that being something that really helped me to start turning the brain-washed ways that I had been hearing how “I should run my business” to being flexible and ok with the fact that I might not know how to do something flawlessly yet – and that’s ok. Now I embrace the fact that some things still go out and have a mistake in them – or I send a newsletter to the wrong list. And that’s ok.
As I have grown my business every year, and, in particular, since 2013 with my vocal disorder, I have continued to grow my business. I found innovative and new ways to meet with clients. For example, instead of meeting by phone, I now use Skype and Google Hangout – I type while the other person talks and it works really well. I’m quite expressive, so I have learned that I don’t need my vocal cords to help me to express and articulate feelings or emotions – my body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures help me to do that. This wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took trial and error. And you know what else? It has helped me to get really clear on who I am meant to work with and who I am not. When someone introduces me to a colleague or friend of theirs, I immediately explain my condition and explain that communication with me is different than how they may be used to working. It’s been a beautiful experience and I am so grateful, honestly, that my condition has forced me out of the box of “what used to work is no longer working” and has supported me in finding new and fun ways that are working.
So I ask you – where are you afraid to fail? Where do you hold yourself back from your true brilliance? Where could you let go and have fun with the process, knowing that “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly — until you can learn to do it well?”
Excuse #3 – “No one will support me.”
This is one I hear A LOT. This is a fundamental issue of confidence. It starts with believing in yourself. Think back to a time when you were incredibly confident about something, everyone is instantly drawn to you and absolutely wants to hear all that you have to say about that particular topic? As it relates to your business, YOU are the expert at what YOU do. Your clients are drawn to work with you for your expertise and the experience they have when working with you. When you begin believing in yourself, others will begin to support you and believe in you as well. It may be an initially tough journey, but trust me when I tell you that this one starts as an inside job. You have to support yourself, believe in yourself and know that you deliver an awesome client experience every time – and that’s why new clients are attracted to you and why existing clients stay on to work with you. Oscar Wilde shares this beautifully in his quote:
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
You don’t have to do business like everyone else. In fact, when you do that, you’re not being of service to you or your clients. You are out of alignment with what is authentically you.
To drive this point home, I’ll share that when people learn about my condition, they have strange reactions (from questions like like “is it contagious?” to comments like “I bet your husband likes it”)…and I have shared with some people that the condition hasn’t affected my false vocal cords, which are those that are used to sing. On several occasions, people have shared that I ought to sing everything in conversation and that just feels completely unauthentic to me. Maybe because I’ve never been a singer, maybe it’s because I’m uncomfortable thinking of how others would perceive me singing all the time…and ultimately, I remember that I am living authentically as me, believing in myself where I am right now and that’s all I can ask for of myself.
So there you have it, three common excuses I’ve heard over the last few years while I’ve been growing my business without functional use of my speaking voice. I encourage you to embrace whichever excuse you have been clinging to, get to know it – ask it questions and then gently and gracefully kick it to the curb because it isn’t serving you or your business. You were put on the planet to make a difference and your business is one way you’ve chosen to do that. So no more holding back and making excuses, ok? I believe in you. Do you believe in you?