As a professional business, leadership, career, and mentor coach, I’ve heard almost every excuse.

As I’ve said before, my role as coach is not to motivate or convince a client to do something. If you don’t want to do it in the first place, motivation from moi almost never succeeds. Based on my experience.

What I am curious about is what do you want to create?

Who do you want to become?

What’s your endgame?

Once we as partners gain clarity to those questions, now we’ve discovered a foundation from which we can shape the trajectory of your future.

Before we arrive at this sine qua non, essential point of reference, you’re simply grasping at straws, walking in the dark, bumping into insurmountable obstacles, plowing a path that leads to miles upon miles of excuses.

Coaching takes time. Most prospects who seek to hire a coach are nescient, misinformed in regards to what coaching is about, the structure of the relationship, and their personal forecast of how long it will take to achieve their endgame. I digress. That’s another blog post.

You see, you’ve been living with your current set of circumstances for some time now. Most likely years or decades vs. days and months. Examples:

  • An entrepreneur who’s business is sitting on a quicksand plateau
  • A career employee disengaged from a job
  • Retiree who has an unfulfilled life
  • A leader who’s faced with a non-trusting team

You’re simply treading water, going through the motions hoping for a miracle. Hello?!

Transparency is an important value for me. You’ve gotten great at managing these circumstances. So much so it’s hard to change course on a dime. So I’m here to say I don’t have the “I Dream of Jeannie” solution. In fact there isn’t an ethical coach who would tell you different.

Regardless of your endgame, if you find yourself making excuses? Do something different instead. Don’t beat yourself up as if you’re Ringo Starr’s snare drum. It’s true, it don’t come easy. Having said that, where you are is perfect and you’re in the exact place you’re suppose to be.

As a coach, I partner with my clients to help them reach a moment of conviction where the demarcation lines are drawn in such a way where excuses are futile.

The client accumulates ample fuel to turn the ignition, launch, and reach escape velocity. When the client has achieved escape velocity, there isn’t enough oxygen to feed their excuses.


Today’s guest post is by Steve Keating (CME, CSE,) Selling Skills Manager for Toro Company.  Hopefully his words will help you do something different.


Are You Too? – by Steve Keating

The excuses I hear most often when someone can’t or won’t do something usually have the word “too” in them somewhere. As in, “I’m too busy.” Or “I’m too old to learn.” Or “I’m too important to do that job.”

Here’s what the most successful people would tell you…. no one is “too” for anything. 

I understand that sometimes we don’t want to do something. I also understand that sometimes we don’t have a good reason for not wanting to do it. I get that’s why we make excuses. 

But geez, if you’re not going to put any effort into doing the thing you don’t want to do at least put some effort into a better excuse. 

I remember the story about George Steinbrenner the long-time owner of the New York Yankees who passed away in 2010. A group was visiting Yankee Stadium and for whatever reason no one was available to show them around. Steinbrenner offered to do it himself. 

While attempting to lead the group across the field they were stopped by security. Mr Steinbrenner was informed he didn’t have the proper credentials to cross the field. The security guard directed him to take the group back up the long stairs and walk the long way around the stadium. 

The guard didn’t recognize the owner of the team. Rather than pull the “don’t you know who I am” card Steinbrenner dutifully lead his group all the way back up and around the stadium. He wasn’t too important to give a tour and he wasn’t so important that he felt the need to embarrass the security guard who was merely doing his job. 

George Steinbrenner wasn’t too important to do any job.

I recall years ago meeting a man who would become a good friend and mentor. He was already arguably the very best salesperson who ever lived. He had sold billions, yes billions, in life insurance yet I met him in a sales training program. He was well over 60 years of age at the time. I expressed a little surprise that someone of his “experience” would be in a sales course. He said, “well, intelligence begins with the knowledge that you’re never too old to learn.” 

He was in a sales training program to learn, one that I was going to help teach, yet that single sentence taught me more than I could ever teach him.

As for those who feel they are “too busy” I have very little sympathy for you. No one has more time than you! Everyone has 1440 minutes a day. The people who manage to get everything important done in that amount of time have simply stopped long enough to learn how to prioritize. 

They know what’s important and they know that most things aren’t important. They are never “too” to accomplish what they need to do to succeed. 

The most successful people don’t make excuses, they make things happen. They are never too busy, too tired, too old, or too important to do the things that less successful people simply don’t like to do. 

So…are you too?

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