The excuses I hear most often when someone can’t or won’t do something usually have the word “too” in them somewhere. As in, “I’m too busy.” Or “I’m too old to learn.” Or “I’m too important to do that job.”
Here’s what the most successful people would tell you…. no one is “too” for anything.
I understand that sometimes we don’t want to do something. I also understand that sometimes we don’t have a good reason for not wanting to do it. I get that’s why we make excuses.
But geez, if you’re not going to put any effort into doing the thing you don’t want to do at least put some effort into a better excuse.
I remember the story about George Steinbrenner the long-time owner of the New York Yankees who passed away in 2010. A group was visiting Yankee Stadium and for whatever reason no one was available to show them around. Steinbrenner offered to do it himself.
While attempting to lead the group across the field they were stopped by security. Mr Steinbrenner was informed he didn’t have the proper credentials to cross the field. The security guard directed him to take the group back up the long stairs and walk the long way around the stadium.
The guard didn’t recognize the owner of the team. Rather than pull the “don’t you know who I am” card Steinbrenner dutifully lead his group all the way back up and around the stadium. He wasn’t too important to give a tour and he wasn’t so important that he felt the need to embarrass the security guard who was merely doing his job.
George Steinbrenner wasn’t too important to do any job.
I recall years ago meeting a man who would become a good friend and mentor. He was already arguably the very best salesperson who ever lived. He had sold billions, yes billions, in life insurance yet I met him in a sales training program. He was well over 60 years of age at the time. I expressed a little surprise that someone of his “experience” would be in a sales course. He said, “well, intelligence begins with the knowledge that you’re never too old to learn.”
He was in a sales training program to learn, one that I was going to help teach, yet that single sentence taught me more than I could ever teach him.
As for those who feel they are “too busy” I have very little sympathy for you. No one has more time than you! Everyone has 1440 minutes a day. The people who manage to get everything important done in that amount of time have simply stopped long enough to learn how to prioritize.
They know what’s important and they know that most things aren’t important. They are never “too” to accomplish what they need to do to succeed.
The most successful people don’t make excuses, they make things happen. They are never too busy, too tired, too old, or too important to do the things that less successful people simply don’t like to do.
So…are you too?