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How many excuses can you make

When is an excuse valid and when is it a cop out?

This is something I've been asking myself all day, when I've struggled to finish writing this blog. Are my excuses good reasons to leave it for today, or are they an easy way to give up?

As George Washington Carve said:

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."

Now I'm not willing to be a failure, but I have loads of thoughts running round my head such as:

  • I'm really tired
  • I've got so many other things to do
  • no one is going to be interested in this blog
  • my kids need attention
  • it'll make no difference to my business

Then I get bored with all these excuses

But what can I do? I'm a single dad, I'm raising two kids on my own whilst building a business from scratch... It is hard being mum, dad, cook, cleaner, managing director, content creator, bookkeeper, marketing manager, networker, oh, and doing the job that actually earns me the money to pay the bills which is producing directing, script writing, coaching, training and editing.

So, it's ok for me to say I'm tired... Isn't it?

Yes it is...

But it's not ok for me to use it as an excuse to avoid doing the thing I said I'm going to do.

I've had a busy day achieving lots including:

  • going to a networking meeting this morning from 8 -10
  • creating a webpage and an email campaign for a workshop next month
  • writing several follow-up emails from the meeting this morning
  • confirming two jobs in telephone calls, one on animation and one for filming
  • getting myself booked as a guest speaker at an event in February
  • getting my gas and electric bills reduced by £50 a month and with a £197 refund
  • setting up two meetings for future work
  • writing most of this blog
  • cooked pulled pork, mashed potato and spaghetti hoops for tea
  • prepared myself for a two-hour rehearsal this evening

Surely I can have a break and leave finishing this blog til tomorrow, even though I said I'd write it today?

Well I could leave it, but then...

It's 10 pm. Back from our second rehearsal, a great read through of Acorn Antiques the musical, which we'll be putting on at the Radlett Theatre in May. Now I'm finishing off this blog for publishing tomorrow and printing out a 114-page script, only 93 more pages to go.

And although I've had excuses flying round my head all day, with lots of reasons for not finishing this blog, I've stuck with it... Why?

Because keeping my word is important

  • Keeping my word means I get to sleep at night knowing that I've not let myself down
  • Keeping my word means my word has power
  • Keeping my word on small things helps exercise my willpower and makes keeping my word on bigger things easier

So I listened to my excuses and said "thank you for sharing" to them and finished this blog... Well it will be finished in it two more short minutes.

What do you think?

Do you have conversations with yourself?  Do you give up when things get tough? Is keeping your word important to you?

Please leave a comment below, as I'm interested in what you think and whether the struggle I had to go through to finish this blog was worth it.

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One comment on “How many excuses can you make”

Neil Ben

Neil Ben is a Director, Coach and Trainer who works with Entrepreneurs, Sole Traders and SMEs, to help them use video to stand out from their competitors. He started his television career as an assistant producer in the BBC in the late 80s and has won many awards for both his broadcast and video productions including a BAFTA nomination and an FSB Award for Business Innovation.

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