The right words can motivate your team and help you take your success to the next level. Unfortunately, the opposite also holds true.

There are some phrases that can block your pathway to success, so why keep them in your vocabulary? If you truly want your business to reach for the sky, throw these phrases out the window.

"Everybody said no."

Apple is the biggest company in the world based on their market capitalization. We can give Steve Jobs credit for most of that growth.

Today, he's regarded as a marketing genius and a business messiah, but it wasn't always that way. Apple's board of directors fired him at the age of 30, which any rational person would interpret as the ultimate "no."

But that didn't stop him. He went on to found NeXT, NeXT was acquired by Apple, and the rest, as they say, is history. But if he had taken "no" for an answer, we probably wouldn't even know who he was today.

"No" is an opinion. One rejection is not law. It's impossible to please everyone, no matter what you do, and that goes for your personal success. Don't leave it up to someone else.

"It's too hard."

Jeff Bezos thought the exact opposite when launching Amazon.

He was spurned by "regret minimization framework", and said "I knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying."

Rather than regret avoiding a challenge, he chose to revolutionize e-commerce across the globe.

Sitting on the couch is easier than achieving your goals, but nothing is harder than the knowledge that you and you alone chose to let an opportunity pass you by.

Everything worth doing is a challenge, but nowhere more so than in entrepreneurship.

"It's not my problem."

As an entrepreneur, you're in charge of the company, literally and figuratively. The buck stops with you.

If your team fails to do something, it's a problem for their jobs. But it's a bigger problem for your company. So even though you may have an employee whose job includes keeping the floor clean and emptying garbage cans, it's your responsibility when it doesn't get done. It's all on you.

"I need more funding first."

Google didn't start off in a futuristic bank of multi-million dollar server rooms. Lacking the resources, Larry Paige had to morph a bunch of smaller disk drives together to keep the primitive version of the search engine afloat.

The first Googling that ever took place was only possible from the Stanford University website, and the server itself was actually encased in Legos. That this multi-billion dollar enterprise got its start from such humble beginnings is something that every entrepreneur should take to heart.

Entrepreneurs need a scrappy mindset to succeed. This holds true before you start and 20 years after you've opened your doors. Getting funding should never, ever be an excuse unless there is absolutely no other option.

"I'm not good enough."

Do you suffer from "impostor syndrome"? According to the Caltech Counseling Institute, it's "a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true." Some of the symptoms of impostor syndrome include discounting success, such as by attributing it to dumb luck.

Even when all signs point towards victory, feelings of doubt can imprison you in a self-imposed illusion of failure. Successful people know how to block these thoughts out and achieve their victories, and know that letting even a bit of impostor syndrome seep in can put into peril everything that they've worked so hard to accomplish.

"Because I said so."

Successful people source their ideas from everywhere, not just from other successful people. Relying on authority or seniority will shut this process down and bring with it a slew of other problems.

That's why many of the greatest adopt a holacratic strategy and apply it to their businesses. It allows them to reach new heights of success in the process.


The New York Times famously predicted that no matter what, no matter how far technology reached and no matter what the aerospace industry came up with, the human race would never, ever reach the moon.

What if people had listened?

The greatest success stories are those in which the impossible was accomplished, where that which was thought of as "never" achievable was achieved. The best and greatest have employed the opposite mindset, asking themselves "what if everything is possible?"

What are some phrases you avoid to reach success? Please share in the comments.