I am part of several online groups made up of people from all walks of life. Many of them are business owners, like me. I contribute to the groups when I have something to offer, but often I just listen in on the conversations. I’ve noticed a curious trend in these groups, and it’s gotten me thinking about some things.
The truth is, I sense a real desperation from people. They are trying so hard to make their business work, but just aren’t able to get it to the next level. At first I was sympathetic, but then I dug a bit deeper, and saw what was really going on.
The following are the main reasons I’ve observed as to why people say they can’t grow their business.
- I’m not techie enough to learn tools like MailChimp and WordPress.
- I don’t have the time to write daily.
- I have an idea for a new service offering but I don’t know how to communicate it to my prospects and clients.
- I want to build an online course but I don’t know how.
- I don’t understand Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram well enough.
- I can’t afford to attend conferences.
- …and the list goes on.
See any similarities in this list? I’ll give you a hint. I don’t. I’m not. I can’t.
I hate to burst everyone’s respective bubbles, but these are not reasons. These are excuses.
My parents are in their 70s. Mom has an iPad and and iPhone, Dad has an iPad and is an expert at digital photo manipulation. Your excuse is invalid. There are thousands of online tutorials out there that help you learn new technology. Or you can contact me and I’ll teach you. Not being techie enough doesn’t fly in this day and age if you want use online tools to grow your business.
Don’t have time to write, or learn a new social network? That’s unfortunate, because I can tell you from experience that my ability to crank out 800 words in under 15 minutes and my 80,000 plus Twitter posts have helped to drive a lot of business to my company over the past 6 years or so. Saying you don’t have time is an excuse. There’s always time. I am writing this post at 6am on a Wednesday morning. I write most of my posts at 6am, when the house is quiet and before the rush of the day. How do I manage to get up so early? I don’t stay up half the night bingeing on House of Cards. I go to bed at 9:30pm at the latest. Every. Night. There’s always time. Find yours and reclaim it.
Don’t know how to do something? I learned everything I know about digital marketing from the Internet. Back in 2006 when I first got interested in this stuff, there were no courses. There were very few books on the subject. Everything I learned I had to learn one of two ways…by observing others and by just buckling down and trying stuff. Look, I’m all for taking courses (I’m a teacher, after all) and I think they can provide a lot of value. But until you actually APPLY what you’ve learned, you haven’t really learned it. So if you don’t know how to do something, stop making excuses and figure out how you’re going to figure it out.
Can’t afford those fancy conferences that all the cool kids seem to be going to? There’s still plenty of opportunity to learn. TEDTalks are free and accessible any time. There are lots of webinars by really smart people like Chris Penn and Scott Oldford and Owner Media Group that are free or almost free, that can teach you as much if not more than some fancy conference will. And those online groups I mentioned before? There’s no better place for networking, in my opinion. Check out Dave Delaney’s NBN group or The Secret Team. You won’t be disappointed.
The bottom line is, your excuses need to be shown the door. If you want to, really want to make a go of your business, then you need to stop making excuses for all the things you don’t know or can’t do and figure out how you’re going to make it work.