There was recently some buzz in the news around the most overused business words of the year. I admit I'm certainly guilty of using some of them including content (check), social media (check) and literally (gah).

But there are a few other words I'd like to kick to the curb in 2014 and I'll tell you why.


This is one of the words that should make you stop and question your motives. How many times have you said, "I can't do it." Only to realize a bit later that you really could? Can't tries to insert itself into everything... that butt-kicking workout after a big holiday feast, that big presentation in front of your board or a project with a deadline that seems impossible.

How many times have you been in a customer service situation and the rep says, "No, I'm sorry, we can't do that." My favorite response? Tell me what you CAN do. It's amazing when you flip the positioning on can't into CAN what you can do. So the next time you, or someone on your team says, "I can't", ask them what they can do. You may find it's more than they think.


I've written about my loathing of this word in the past. And I'm still a big believer in living in the moment in business. Why wait? At my email marketing company VerticalResponse, we laser focus every minute on bringing in new customers, making sure they're taken care of,  generating revenue and making our customers happy.  

If a day goes by that we slack off on those objectives, that day is gone... forever. That's right, there's no making it up. And the same goes for waiting for something to be perfect before launching it or sending it out. Of course, you want it to be prime-time ready and the best it can be, but let's be honest. Is anything ever really perfect? You get my point. Instead of waiting, start doing and you may be amazed at what you can accomplish.


As a marketer by profession, I often hear the phrase, "I'm going to send out my next email blast next Thursday." While it may seem like I am nit-picking here, the word "blast" just seems wrong.

Do you want to be blasted by a message? Do you want to blast your subscribers? I think not. Email marketing has come a long way baby, and the days of spray-and-pray are over. You can use your email marketing to build deeper relationships with your subscribers through targeted messages based on your reader's preferences and desires. If you're not, you might be missing the boat.

So there you have three words I'd like to kick to the curb in 2014. Have any to add to the list? Share away in the comments.

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