Making excuses is lethal for entrepreneurs
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC — “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 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 oneself from excuses is incredibly liberating and a driver in success,” Strauss says. “When a business or person doesn’t get the job done, or the deal falls through, they start searching for all the outside forces that conspired against them.”
“Especially in a larger organization,” he says, “shifting blame seems like a painless, simple process. John is blamed 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.
Employees will know if excuses are being made and so will the customers. They are watching how situations are handled more than most realize.
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 an entrepreneur is known as a person who makes a lot of excuses, many people will not want to do business with them.
Take reflection time
Entrepreneurs should be willing to conduct self and team examinations to learn from the 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.”
Peter J. Strauss 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.
For more information, visit www.peterjstrauss.com.