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You Cannot Be Good at This & Be Good at Making Money

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Posted 6th March 2012 at 01:57 PM by David Sneen

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.~ Benjamin Franklin

The Excuse Habit

It is easy to make excuses. I remember as a kid, I would try to blame my failure to complete a task on my little sister. That did not work, my parents were too smart to fall for it. The point; we learn to make excuses early in life. Unlearning this harmful habit can remove a stumbling block to earning money, making good friends, or achieving our goals.

Excuses are a key part of the downward spiral of failure. If you messed up, were lazy, or forgot a key obligation; you can make up a good excuse. It might be accepted by others. You can work hard making others believe it...and you may come to believe it yourself. Pretty soon, you can become convinced that it is not your fault. Why is everyone blaming you? ...Now, you are a victim.

The Excuse Habit; Detrimental to Reaching Your Goals (Earning Money)

If you messed up on the job, you can pin the blame on someone else. "It was Joe's fault. He..." You may or may not be convincing enough to make someone else believe my excuse. Either way you lose; you continue making excuses. If your excuse is accepted and Joe is reprimanded your excuse habit is reinforced. Joe will turn against you...and with good reason. If your excuse is not accepted, then you lose credibility. Unless you break the excuse habit, you are likely to work harder at making better excuses. You now have a back up plan whenever your work is not acceptable. You can make more excuses! The problem was not really addressed -- no recommendations for fixing your mistake or preventing similar mistakes in the future have been made. You are not setting yourself up for a merit raise; your goal of earning more money next year may be slipping away.

Earn that Raise, Reach that Goal; Use Reasons (not Excuses)

An excuse is different from a reason. We will make mistakes, it is part of being human. When we make mistakes, we need to own up to them. Then, we need to analyze the situation. What can I do to correct that mistake? We might even need to make a request for expert advice.

Let us look at the previous work example. If it was your fault, not Joe's, you need to accept the blame. (Ironically if it was a joint mess-up and you take the blame, others will see you as being honest. Your coworkers and boss will see you as a person who can be trusted and as someone who will watch their back.) You will also want to present a plan to correct the situation or prevent it from happening in the future. If you work closely with Joe and you share your error with him, you may find that Joe has a couple good ideas that will help you put the plan together. Now with a plan to prevent future mistakes, or fix the one you made, your boss and coworkers will have continued confidence in you. That raise is likely to happen. Your goal of earning more money next year is intact.

There are many more reasons -- often hidden reasons, why excuses are destructive. One excuse often needs to be backed up with another excuse. A person who makes a weak excuse may slip into outright lies to back up that excuse. A person can spend a great deal of time constructing a believable excuse. This is time that could be better spent doing constructive things.

It all adds up to this: The time and effort spent to make an excuse is wasted. Better to own up to your mistakes. An excuse will expose you as a person with weak character. If you make too many excuses, you may lose your best friends. Excuse making can prevent you from achieving your goals and earning money. Instead of an excuse, it is best to use a reason. A reason is accompanied by an acceptance of blame whenever necessary and a plan to remedy the situation or prevent future mistakes.

You can make excuses or you can make money. You cannot do both!!!
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