I'm not sure exactly when Jon Taffer and his TV show Bar Rescue first landed on my radar screen, but I can remember how riveting it was to watch Jon and his team walk into an almost-broke, underperforming bar and transform it in a few days into a bar that was beautifully remodeled and set up for success.
The real beauty of the show is how Jon identifies exactly what the bar owners and managers are doing wrong (things like allowing their friends to pour their own drinks, running a remarkably dirty kitchen, or hiring people who don't care about customers) and then confronting them with their mistakes. As you can imagine, this often generates a lot of drama. And, while the bar owners and managers usually embrace the lessons that Jon teaches them, sometimes they don't, and the bar ends up failing.
Jon Taffer just wrote a book, Don't Bullsh*t Yourself: Crush the Excuses That Are Holding You Back, where he takes what he knows about turning around failing bars (which ultimately comes down to being a better leader) and applying these lessons to take charge of your own life and business.
According to Jon, there are six main kinds of excuses that get in the way of our success and happiness:
We all know the power that fear can hold over us--fear of the unknown, fear of hurting someone's feelings, fear of being criticized, fear of failure, and all the rest. Fear can paralyze us and get in the way of the success we so richly deserve. Don't make excuses based on the fear you feel. Instead, take action. As Dale Carnegie once said, "If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
What's interesting about knowledge is that it can be a two-edged sword. You might not know enough about something, which can cause you to make excuses, or you might think you know everything there is to know about something, which creates its own problems. The key is to know what you know--and what you don't know--and to take action accordingly. Always be open to learning.
We're all busier than ever with work and life in general, and it's extremely easy to use a lack of time as an excuse for not doing something. As Jon points out, when you use lack of time as an excuse, you're saying that you are inefficient and it's your fault that you're that way. Says Jon, "Each day when we awaken, we all have twenty-four hours. We can use those hours wisely or we can make up excuses and use them poorly." Use the time you have wisely--don't waste it.
One of the big excuses that many of us routinely use is that our circumstances--external factors outside our control--stand in between us and our success. We're in a bad location, we don't make enough money, we've got lousy employees, government policies are killing us, and on and on. This is definitely BS. As Jon says, "Unavoidable or unchangeable circumstances do not prevent you from accomplishing goals or succeeding." Period.
Our egos often get in the way of our success. When you hear yourself making excuses along the lines of "I'm too young," "I'm too old," "I'm too short," "I'm too tall," "I'm not good enough for them," "I'm too good for them"--that's ego talking. And it's a sign that you're making excuses that are getting in the way of your success.
Again, people often use the excuse that they don't have enough of something to succeed. They might say, "I don't have enough money" or "I don't have enough time" or "I can't do it until I get rid of all this debt." As Jon points out, scarcity is usually a temporary condition. "I know from personal experience," he says, "that there's no reason you need to be stuck in a cash-poor state forever. You can start or turn around a business, pay off a loan, and expand your horizons, even with very little."
As Jon Taffer says, "I don't embrace excuses, I embrace solutions." Think about your own life--are you making excuses, or are you kicking them out of the way and stepping up to the success you deserve?
What's your choice--excuses or success?