The job site CareerBuilder.com reports that 1 in 5 employees admits to giving bogus reasons for coming to work late. Some of the best are:
- I dreamed I was fired,so I slept in. When I woke up I realized I was dreaming so I hurried in.
- I went all the way to the office before realizing I was still in my pajamas and had to go home to change. That took a while.
- I saw you weren’t there, so I went out looking for you.
Well, this sort of thing is to be expected from employees. Bogus or not. But not from entrepreneurs. And never from Renegade Millionaire entrepreneurs.
One of the things that sets us so far apart from the rest of the population is our taking of personal responsibility and not thinking, talking or offering excuses. In my NO B.S. GUIDE TO THE RUTHLESS MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE AND PROFITS, I make a very simple statement: excuses and profits are incompatible.
If you want to accelerate achievement of ‘profit’ (however you define it) in your business and your life, simply decrease the quantity, frequency,and acceptance of excuses from yourself (and others). As the latter goes down, the former goes up.
It’s a simple litmus test: can there possibly be ‘profit’ in this?
So,thinking about, buying into or discussing a bad economy, an industry downturn – can there be profit in doing so? Excusing yourself or others for bad performance because you or he are just having a bad day, didn’t get enough sleep – can there be profit in that?
When I was a speaker I often heard other speakers bitterly complaining- before going on stage to sell – about adverse conditions, bad acoustics, excess heat, bugs buzzing about, or seemingly ‘flat’ and unresponsive audiences, and I thought to myself: can’t be any profit in that. (I swallowed at least 1,000 little gnats while speaking at the Cow Palace the day after a livestock show. I didn’t miss a beat. Didn’t display distress. Wasn’t distracted. There WAS profit in that.)
There are only three possible, sensible reactions to “circumstances beyond your control.”
- Design your business life so as to avoid such things as much as humanly possible.If you take on clients or hire employees who are incompetent or clueless or otherwise troublesome, you may have circumstances beyond your control facing you as a result – but avoiding the mess in the first place was probably very much in your control. If you insist on going to the bank on Monday mornings, Friday afternoons, during lunch hour or on the 1st or 15th of the month, the long line of tortoises in front of you is not really a circumstance beyond your control.
- Wrest control. Again, as a speaker,I have forced the re-arranging of stage set-ups and even entire ballrooms,sometimes at last minute. As a salesperson, I’ve avoided conducting important business calls on a cellphone while driving, eating, peeing or combinations thereof – and on more than one occasion, on phone and in person, when it was clear I did not have the client’s undivided attention, I suggested we terminate the call/meeting and re-schedule when he was able to give it and me the priority we deserved. As a business owner – and as a consultant – I tell vendors and clients alike how they must work with me (for their benefit as well as mine).
- Accept them, give up all your power to them, and come away with some terrific excuses for failure. For some people, that is profit,and that’s precisely why they keep putting themselves in such circumstances and refusing to alter their behavior. As Eric Hoffer observed, the majority prefer convenient excuses to difficult achievement.
If somebody doesn’t really, really, really HATE not doing well, I can pretty much assure you there’s little risk of them ever doing well. What you accept and excuse is what you get. And get more of. Personally, I am usually enraged when I don’t do well at something. Mad at myself. In a truly black mood. Not anybody you want to be within fifty feet of – nor are you welcome.
It may take hours or days or weeks depending on the severity of the situation before I have reconciled it in my mind. (I can compartmentalize, concentrate and function if need be, but I’ll keep pulling The Ugly Thing back out of its lockbox and getting pissed off all over again, until I’ve chewed it thoroughly.)I’m a very sore loser – but sore at myself. Since I hate not doing well so very much, I do quite well more often than not.