What is Your Excuse?

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 9th, 2011 8 Comments

Debra LaFave, that infamous hot blonde school teacher who had sex with her 14 year old student had a “emotionally absent” father and a boring marriage.

Mel Gibson was drunk.

The Florida ex-Congressman who e-mailed sex-charged communiqués to under-age boys was (a) molested as a boy by a priest, (b) drunk, and (c) gay, and was rushed to rehab upon his outing.

Flip Wilson’s “The devil made me do it” has evolved from joke to strategy.

Unfortunately, nearly universal strategy. Everybody’s got an excuse, everybody heads off to rehab to begin their recovery. Nuts.

Let’s get something straight. There is a Grand Canyon sized difference between an ‘explanation’ and an (acceptable) ‘excuse’.

Hey, I used to booze and I did some really stupid things drunk – some I know about, some I’m afraid I don’t. Being drunk was certainly an explanation. But no excuse. Had I run over a kid driving drunk, there’d be no acceptable excuse.

Everybody’s up to their eyeballs in explanations they want accepted as excuses – they want to say “excuse me” and have that be the end of it.

Vendors: ‘I thought…”, “I assumed…”, “I was busy…”, ‘Mary was supposed to…”, “my equipment broke down.” Blah, blah, blah. It’s all irrelevant. You don’t pay a vendor to hear excuses. You pay for performance.

As individuals and as a society we desperately, urgently need to start saying, “No, sorry, but you are NOT excused.”

Teachers and principals who can’t get kids to learn, football players who can’t get along with coaches and teammates, salespeople who can’t sell, employees who can’t do their jobs, elected officials who can’t stop stealing or screwing long enough to do their jobs, etc., etc., they all need to be fired and exiled.

It starts with the person in the mirror. The elite minority of people I work with, who make big money, think, talk and act differently about this . They deliberately and simply accept responsibility. That usually works out better for everybody, by the way.

It’s the mealy-mouthing and stonewalling and lying and finger-pointing that gets everybody in trouble or worsens the trouble they’re in. Own your successes, own your screw-ups – and opt for the swift sword.

Government and big business is paralyzed by people far more interested in covering up their mistakes to cover their asses than in getting anything accomplished, but at the entrepreneurial level we need not follow their bad example. Choose thoughts, language and behavior that gives you the moral authority to demand much of everyone around you.

If you’re busy making excuses, you won’t be making much of anything else.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

8 Responses

  1. Charles Ogar says:

    Wow! What a great way to start off the week, a nice swift kick in the ass!! Love it, Dan!

  2. love it, and many of us small business owners really are tired of excuses from
    clients who can’t make up their minds, employees who do not want accountability, and often I think it is the upcoming generations that had life too easy and had parents, and schools enabling their bad performances. Thanks

  3. Jorge says:

    Hello Dan!

    I always wonder…. you definitely should have MORE comments, your posts are always interesting

    I like your approach, very hard and direct! not like 99% coaches who try to sugar pussy everything

    Keep up the good work, i’ve learned many valuable lessons just from your blog

    See ya and keep the B.S. out! =)


  4. linden moe says:

    This as always is very timely,..I love the line

    Opt for the swift sword,..there are clients I let get away with so much,

    when I should just opt for the swift sword!

  5. Bill Palte says:

    Excellent…as always. Excuses = BS.

    Thanks for sharing,

  6. Michael Weiss says:

    Take some effin responsibility.

    Nah! Better to blame . . . wait for it . . . anyone else.

    Here’s another article worth reading. http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/05/its-your-fault/

    Dan you Rock!

  7. Hal Hoadley says:

    Well said Mr. Kennedy.
    Maybe a campaign could be to have “Responsible Americans for Change” and everyone must wear No Excuses Jeans. It worked for Donna Rice and now she doesn’t have any excuses. Too bad Gary Hart couldn’t get into those jeans.
    Thanks for sharing…

  8. Elysa says:

    Agree with you and have been taking responsibility for my actions since forever.

    However–teachers cannot make anybody learn. Children need to come to school ready for the teacher to do her job. That means, clothed, fed, behavior problems and attitude at a minimum. Whose responsibility is this? The teachers?

    I think you know the answer.

Leave a Comment