Do you ever feel like quitting or giving up in your business or job? Of course you do. You’re human. It happens. Stop beating yourself up over it already! Also, stop listening to those experts who say you’re making excuses and you’re to blame if you’re failing in business. First of all, much of that rhetoric is fear tactics to get you to buy “solutions” from those experts. Second, “failing” is a bit subjective based on the high expectations we place on ourselves, especially if we are over achievers. And most business owners are over achievers.
In my opinion we do indeed HAVE excuses (vs make excuses) for why things don’t work in our businesses. Some excuses are valid in the moment and some we do indeed create because we simply give up due to mental and/or physical exhaustion.
To be successful you will occasionally need to give up things and people that are not contributing to your success. The true magic here is discovering what/who doesn’t work and move on to the next thing!
Recently, I challenged a private group of mastermind clients to produce selfie videos. For every video I posted in their private Facebook group they had to match me and post a video. One of the reasons for this challenge was to help them overcome the fear of using video in their marketing (personal branding) efforts. Fear encompasses many things in this activity: fear of looking stupid, including hair and make-up issues; fear of sounding stupid in the words they use to convey themselves; fear of technology in producing a perfect video. I guess you could boil this down to fear of not being perfect in their own subjective minds.
As I was pushing on one client in particular about overcoming some of these obstacles I realized that I had the same fears. I’ve re-gained some weight recently and am not happy with the way I look, I HATE the sound of my voice, I suck at technology, etc., etc. And yet I was asking her to get over the same obstacles. Shame on me that I just realized I never actually shared these fears with her when I said, “I’m challenging you to this video challenge and I’m going to do it too!”
I came up with a solution, in my opinion, for every excuse clients threw at me:
Excuse: “I don’t want to put on make-up and do my hair.”
Solution: “Then don’t. Just be you. Only your colleagues in our group will see the videos.”
Excuse: “I’m not good at doing video.” Or “I don’t know how to do it.”
Solution: “Who cares? Do it anyway and learn how to do it better as you go.”
Excuse: “I hate the sound of my voice.” Or “I hate the way I look.”
Solution: “Don’t listen to/watch it.”
Excuse: “I don’t know what to say or do in it.”
Solution (you guessed it): “IMPROVISE and be yourself. Show us your day or environment. Come as you are. Keep it simple.”
And so, I posted my first video to their private Facebook group and instead of challenging the one client, I challenged ALL of them so that we could make it a group effort. The results were amazing! Almost everyone has joined in so far, including our company team members, posting multiple videos a day. They’ve shown us their work environments, their daily activities, happy moods, aggravated moods – they were authentically themselves with technical issues, with make-up, without make-up, playing characters and LOTS of bad hair days. And with each video each one got more and more clear. Some started finding their voice for communicating business tips based on what was going on in their days. Some started featuring clients and competitors. Every video has been fun, informative or thought provoking. As their business coach, I’ve seen different aspects in them that I’ve never seen before. And I’ll toot my own horn a little – the improv training has certainly helped all of them with this!
In summary, sometimes you have to give up to get up. Give up your fears, give up your bad excuses, give up doing things you’re not good at (and give those things to others), give up others who don’t contribute to your purpose, give up trying to be perfect and give up on catching a lot of fish when you only need a few to feed your hunger at the moment.
By Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer