Excuses That Derail Progress

We’re scrutinizing excuses under the microscope, whether they’re personal, business-related, or of any other nature. Acquire the skills to master and overcome these excuses.

When establishing a new business, you will likely start by doing all the work yourself. This workload is compounded if you are also working a day job to pay your bills before the business is profitable. While creating a dream venture can be an exciting experience, this level of work output is unsustainable in the long term.

Delegate to Others

There comes a point where the workload must be delegated to others. You may be able to do most of these jobs better than anyone else—if you are a subject expert at certain tasks or the inventor of a particular process—but your time will quickly become the limiting factor in your business’ growth and success. After a year or two of being a one-person operation, willpower and motivation will deteriorate. Even if you can maintain this pace for longer, working in the business as a technician detracts from your duties of being a business owner. You need to be able to step back to plan and manage the business’ future.

Since you are so excellent at these technical jobs, you’re the perfect choice to show others how to do them well. In the process of training your replacements, the act of defining the standard operating procedures can help identify exactly what is so special and marketable about your business’ products or services. This will give you the confidence that jobs are being performed correctly in the aspects that matter most. Also, since your replacements can focus on only those tasks, they may get better at them than you ever were!

Other jobs will be difficult for you to perform. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and since starting a business requires many different skills, there’s a high chance of you having some holes in your expertise. Rather than spending lots of time learning entirely new professions, hire these jobs out. It is always faster, more predictable, and less expensive (in the long run) to recruit talent that already has expertise and experience in these fields.

Excuses to Success

There are many perceptions or excuses that business owners fall victim to when it comes to delegating responsibility. Here are some common excuses, that derail the progress of would-be successful businesses:


This can manifest itself as hesitation over making big decisions, being too conservative to spend money on growth, or micro-managing employees out of a lack of trust in the business’ systems. Successful business owners need to learn how to manage their fear and stress, to decisively take acceptable risks.


In contrast to fear, decisions made impatiently and recklessly can also derail a business. Careful planning is still required for calculated choices. Speed in decision-making for its own sake is dangerous, if it is not informed by thorough research and data.


Many people have vices they turn to when they are stressed, celebrating, worn out, or excited. A healthy dose of honesty—and support when needed—can keep food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other crutches from ruining all the hard work that goes into ambitious plans.


Being able to acknowledge mistakes and take responsibility when things don’t go as planned is a critical skill for business owners. A person who can not take criticism or accept others’ superior ideas will have stunted growth at best, or fail outright at worst. What is more important: Being right or being successful?

Take the time to reflect on your own tendencies and see if any of these points are a weakness for you. If they are, working on managing these behaviors will only accelerate your success.

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