3 Excuses It’s Time to Stop Making

personal_responsibility_areaSome of you aren’t going to like this post much but I want you to know it’s mean to be a kick in the butt for myself just as much as it is for you guys. It’s time to remember that we aren’t just bloggers, we’re business owners and entrepreneurs. Part of that is taking responsibility for ourselves, our time, and our work.

These are three excuses that either I make myself or I hear readers make all the time and we’re going to look these excuses in the face and tell them they’re not needed anymore. We’re going to punch these excuses in the face (figuratively, because literally punching things usually isn’t a good idea) and tell them to take a hike so we can run our businesses the way they need to be run.

1. Someone already did what I want to do so I need to come up with something else.

I used this excuse for far to long in my product creation, but you know what? It was just an excuse because I was afraid. I was terrified that everyone would think the other products were better and hate mine. You may have this issue when it comes to the things you blog about, PLR packs you write, Squidoo lenses, or whatever else.

Saying that only one person can have a product out on a given topic is like saying that they should get rid of all of the other crime shows because Law and Order is so popular (which would be sad because Castle is so fun to watch) or that only one author should write about dragons. How boring would that be? You mean I could only have my Jane Yolen books or Christopher Paolini books?

highlanderThis isn’t the Highlander (is this one reference too many? lol). There can be more than one. Even in universities you’ll see two professors picking different textbooks to teach the same information because they bring something different to the table. With your products or blog posts you’ll be bringing something different than other bloggers and writers. You’ll be bringing YOU, your insights, and your experiences.

2. I don’t know how to do x, y, or z.

Okay.. and? No one knows what they’re doing when they get started. That’s part of what we’re doing here. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Luckily there are a ton of resources out there to teach you what you need to know, and a lot of them are even free!

Don’t know how to embed a YouTube video or add a contact form to your blog? Bonnie has you covered. Need to set up a Facebook page? I did a video showing you how. There are tons of other people posting awesome and free tutorials to help you do what you need to do. Saying you don’t know how and giving up is just an excuse. Get your hands dirty and figure it out!

This is one of those situations where you need to take control of your own journey. No one is going to just hand you all of the information, you need to head over to Google/Bing and find it and then you need to put in the time. Sometimes it’l be easy, sometimes it won’t be. Sometimes you’ll be sitting here with 6 tabs open trying to figure out why your Camstudios records are all playing back at 2x speed. It’s frustrating, but when you find yourself on the other side having learned and bettered yourself it’s going to feel amazing.

3. I don’t have time to work on my business.

Whaterver ClockWell, it’s your business. If you don’t have time to work on it then it’s you and the people who depend on you that take the hit. This isn’t a job where your boss is going to force you to work 8 hours a day. You have to want this and find time.

Bonnie recently told a story on her blog with a quote that really hit home. There are 24 hours in a day, which is 168 hours a week. We all have that same 168 hours a week to get things done. Think about the most productive or successful person you know. Ya, you have the exact same amount of hours available as they do.

So, how do you fit everything in those hours you have available? Everyone’s different. It may mean you need to spend a little less time watching your favorite TV shows, checking your social networking sites, drop a project to focus on others, or get better at saying no when people ask for favors.

Simply trying to find time to work on your business isn’t enough. You have to MAKE time.

Once you make time, you need to use it wisely. There are days I have maybe an hour or two to focus on work. Maybe it was a heavy errand day or I had plans with family. Either way, I need to plan ahead and use that time wisely. That means I sit down, skip checking Facebook, only read emails from readers/buyers/clients, and get to work on the most important task that needs to get done.

If you’ve been making time and you’re still falling behind it may be time to get harsher with which projects you drop or think about hiring some help.

What excuses hold you back when it comes to running your business? Leave a comment below. And I know this may have sounded a little harsh, but you and I both know that sometimes that’s what it takes! My inbox is always open if you’re having a hard time and need some help. Keep being your awesome selves!

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  1. Thanks for this, Amanda! I definitely fall prey to all three of these at one point or another. Making time for work is a big one…it’s easy to fill in the time with other “more fun” stuff! 🙂
    Iris recently posted..Being in ControlMy Profile

    • Don’t we all? I struggle with making time every once and a while which is why I said this post is for me just as much as you guys. Luckily I do love what I do so it’s not that I don’t want to work, it’s more than it’s easy to get distracted by chatting with my readers on Facebook, catching up on The Walking Dead, or listening to the Backstreet Boys on Pandora. lol

  2. Hi Amanda

    You hit the nail on the head with those excuses! Regarding time, I think it is important to keep focused on one’s priorities, in whatever way keeps it in your face ….. and then when something comes up, before committing to it, ask if it is a priority, and if not, evaluate whether you have the time this week/month/year/lifetime to incorporate that idea into your life.
    Tamsin recently posted..Caroline Myss – Divine GuidanceMy Profile

  3. Great post Amanda! I totally agree with all of it! number 1 definitely resonates with me – it’s about trying to find your own angle, so it isn’t just another product, but a product with your own unique take on the world 🙂

    • The thing I’ve been noticing is that even if you don’t try specifically to make it unique, if you’re passionate about your product and you’re writing from experience it’s GOING to be unique.

  4. I fall in the Highlander section often too – and it is an excuse. No-one else has my take on things or delivery style. I often say to people I work with, do it anyway. I need to follow my own advise lol
    Great post, and thanks for kicking!
    Jan Kearney recently posted..Local Business Video Marketing Myth BustingMy Profile

  5. Hi Amanda! This is just what I needed to read this morning—a gentle kick in the backside, with some suggestions on how to do better–ironically, now MY excuse is “I don’t have time to finish my book because of my work on my blog . . . ” lame!! Thanks so much!
    Amy recently posted..The Liebster Award . . . drum roll, please . . .My Profile

    • Well, blogging only takes so much time each day! The key is to get to it, get it done, and start on the next task. If your book is a big priority, write your blog posts, do a little promotion, and switch to working on your book!

  6. Great post! I am pretty good about these, although occasionally I fall victim to #1. But we shouldn’t worry so much about being the only one, but rather how we can make it work for us!
    Michelle recently posted..Things about Laundry I Learned From My Kids {plus Laundry Detergent Recipes & Woolzies Dryer Ball Giveaway}My Profile

  7. You are getting tough, aren’t you? Talking straight at me, or to me, or something. 🙂 You are correct. We either take responsibility or take the fall and get up and try again. I’m obsessing over the newsletter for tomorrow (because I’m not prepared) and here I am surfing blogs. Of course, the darn thing is supposed to be about blogs. Except I’ve already done you. Great post, Amanda.
    Ruth Clark recently posted..What Value Can A New Internet Marketer Give To You?My Profile

  8. Great post, Amanda!

    #1 and 3 hit home with me. #2 has held me back some, but generally if it’s something I can afford, I will learn how to use it well enough for my own purposes.

    #3 for me is a lack of good time management and doing too much social media. At times I do get like Tiff and disappear so I can focus on something, but I don’t do that often enough, to be honest.

    One problem that some work at home people have is thinking they have all day instead of a set work time. I need a pretty strict work schedule that is also flexible–and that’s hard to balance. Today, I may tell myself I only have four hours to work and I’ll get stuff done. Tomorrow, I might start thinking I have all day and it will take me all day to get four hours of work done. So, I think mindset comes into play a lot with time management–and with excuses too.

    I still struggle with #1. I know I have my own voice and my own style, but that doesn’t always motivate me.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts….and for the butt kicking. We all need it from time to time. 😉
    Patti Stafford recently posted..What is This Time Management You Speak Of?My Profile

    • Social media is so useful but it can also be a huge time sink.

      One thing that really helped with my work schedule is that I gave myself a time I had to be done by each day. Generally it’s all work must be done by dinner. After dinner I can sit down and do social media/read blogs to relax. Otherwise I would end up putting stuff off all day as well because I could just do it after dinner.

  9. I’m sorry to hear you’ve got PCOS. Do take care, and feel free to drop me a line if you need to.

    That was a good kick in the butt, Amanda. I’m just home from a week’s vacation so sorting out the blog that was hacked while I was away, doing the laundry and getting back to ‘normal’ life!

    Take care
    Shan recently posted..6 Ways to Use Waiting Time ProductivelyMy Profile

    • It was unexpected but it’s something I can deal with. It’s going to be tough but I’m a tough person.

      I love vacations. I’m going to need one soon! lol Good luck getting everything back to normal.

  10. Hey there Amanda!

    Been a while. I’ve been ‘lost in space’ for a bit and starting to refocus slowly.

    Biggest time management obstacle? Me of course. And the zillion other things I get involved in. And the lack of a clear target and specific plan. Too many generalities and half-started projects that get interrupted by the real world (income-producing work and socialising!).

    Great to see you’re still growing and developing and building your business.

    More power to you!

  11. Great post Amanda. I think excuse number 1 on your list stopped me from taking action for the longest time. It’s good to get these things down in writing because half the time we don’t even know we’re doing this to ourselves!

    Thanks again Amanda – love your blog!
    Kirsty Stuart recently posted..Why Every Writer Should Start a Lifestyle BusinessMy Profile

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