So…What’s YOUR Excuse?

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We all have our favorite excuses for not being where we want to be—in our lives and in our businesses. “I don’t have enough money.” “I live in this little backwater town.” “I don’t know the right people.” “I don’t have the proper education.” “I have a funny accent.” We’ve heard all these excuses, and dozens more just like them. We’ve probably made more than a few of them ourselves. But when you think about it, they’re all variations on the same theme:

“I can’t get there from here.”

And that, of course, is a load of crap.

When the Beatles were first starting out, they didn’t have money, they lived in a little backwater town, they didn’t know the right people, they didn’t have any musical education, and they had funny accents. So, if you’ll forgive me for asking, just what the hell was your excuse again?

Liverpool may seem like a cool place now (and it is), but back in the late 50s it was decidedly “un-cool.” People from elsewhere in England (particularly in posh London) tended to look down on those grubby, working class Liverpudlians (yes, that’s what people from Liverpool are called). The only thing of note to come out of Liverpool was the occasional vaudeville comedian. So the idea that the biggest musical act the world has ever known would hail from Liverpool was patently ridiculous. “You can’t get there from here.”

I don’t know what your current situation is. Maybe you’re in great shape, maybe you’re struggling. But wherever you are right now, that’s your starting point. That’s your Liverpool in the 50s. Don’t have all the money you need? Neither did the Beatles. Don’t have the contacts that can help you to the top? Neither did the Beatles. Don’t have the training or education? Neither did the Beatles. Think you can’t get there from here? Well, that’s the difference. The Beatles never doubted it for a second. They knew the odds were against them, but they persevered. They took it one step at a time. They got the contacts, they got the training, and they eventually got the money. But perhaps the most important thing was that, all along, they believed they were going to make it. Even when nobody else believed in them, they believed in themselves.

Now, clearly, belief in and of itself isn’t going to do the trick. The Law of Attraction—thinking it makes it so—is only the first half of the equation. You also have to put in the work. Remember the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams? What was the tag line from that movie? “If you build it, they will come.” Take a look at the first part of that sentence again: “If you build it….” Not “If you think it….” Nope, you have to roll up your sleeves and build the damn thing. But before you do that, you have to believe it’s going to happen.

So, wherever you are right now, I’m telling you that you can get there from here. First, you have to believe you can get there from here. And then, you’ve got to do the work. The belief drives the work, and the work drives the results. The Beatles had all the cards stacked against them, and they didn’t care. They didn’t make excuses, they made history. So, again, just what the hell is your excuse?


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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