Making Excuses Is Lethal For Many EntrepreneursGuest Post
“Stop making excuses.”
Many of us heard that from parents growing up. Children often were spanked or put in timeout for making excuses, and teenagers endured a loss of privileges.
But in the business world, the consequences for making excuses can be much more more lethal.
“Entrepreneurs who make excuses are not the kind of leaders who inspire others to follow them into the unknown,” says Peter J. Strauss, a captive insurance manager and author of the book The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies (www.peterjstrauss.com).
“Making excuses can be deadly to any business, but especially to new businesses trying to capture new territory.”
For some people, making excuses becomes a way of life, he says, but beating that addiction can be an indicator of future success.
“Freeing yourself from excuses is incredibly liberating and a driver in success,” Strauss says. “When we don’t get the job done, or the deal falls through, we start searching for all the outside forces that conspired against us. Especially in a larger organization, shifting blame seems like a painless, simple process. We blame John and he can blame Jane and, in the end, nobody is to blame, right? Wrong.”’
Entrepreneurs must have the maturity and motivation to accept responsibility for their actions, whether they produce success or failure, he says. Accepting responsibility for a failure may not be easy, but it impacts an entrepreneur’s sphere of influence more than most realize.
Strauss offers remedies for entrepreneurs who may wonder if they are making too many excuses in their businesses.
- Set the example. Your employees will know if you are making excuses and so will your customers. They are watching how you handle situations more than you realize.
- Protect your personal reputation. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses with the help of family and friends. For most small business people, their personal reputation is inextricably tied to their company’s reputation. If you are known as a person who makes a lot of excuses, many people will not want to do business with you.
- Take time to reflect. You should be willing to conduct self and team examinations to learn from your failures.
“Regardless of what business an entrepreneur is in,” Strauss says, “it’s important that when wins and losses come the entrepreneur should be the first to accept blame, and the last to accept credit.”
About Peter J. Strauss
Peter J. Strauss (www.peterjstrauss.com) is an attorney, captive insurance manager and author of several books, including most recently The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies. He is the founder and managing member of The Strauss Law Firm, LLC, on Hilton Head Island, S.C, and also the founder and CEO of Hamilton Captive Management, LLC. A graduate of the New England School of Law, he holds an LL.M. in estate planning from the University of Miami and speaks regularly at public seminars.