Is Your "But" in the Way?

How often do you think or say, “I would do it but…”

We all think or say some version of this statement from time to time. In that moment it seems like the truth. But upon further examination, you will find that it rarely is.

Some ‘yeah buts’ are half truths and some… well there is just no truth to them at all except that you believe it.

Here are some half truths:

“I would like to start a new venture but I can’t because I have a family to support”

“I would like to start a new venture but I can’t because I am single.”

In all of the above statements, the second half of the sentence is accurate, but the first half is a lie. (Really it is.) The true part is that this person has family to support or is single but the lie this person is telling themselves is that they cannot start a new venture because of it.

If it was true none of the married or single people in the world would have started businesses or changed careers or made changes of any kind. They found a way to do it and if you wanted to, you could too.

Here is another half truth:

“I want to grow my business to a certain level or create a new product, etc. but I can’t because the economy is in a recession.”

Again, the second half of the statement is true, we are in a recession but that does not mean you can’t grow your business. It just may take re-visiting your focus (what wants to happen) and marketing (in a way that is creative yet authentic). Make a point to look at the companies that are doing well right now rather than focusing on the ones that are not.

“I want to make my business successful but I can’t because I need to spend the time with my kids.” is another half truth.

Is it that you can’t grow your business because you need to spend time with your kids or is that an excuse some people are using to stay small? Now that may make some of you mad. Please note I am all for spending time with family, and I believe you can do both and have lots of examples of people who are doing both successfully. (You can find some great examples of this in my book “I Can’t Believe I Get Paid to Do This“.)

I know you are probably thinking, “but my situation is different.” There is that “but” again. Yes, your situation is unique to you, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t work around the “but” and find ways to do what you really want to do in your business, career or life.

This often takes really looking outside the box with creative ideas and putting structures in place to support that which you want to create. It also may mean looking inside to see what the belief is that needs to shift.

Here are some examples statements that are not true at all:

“I would like to grow my business but I can’t because I don’t know where to find clients”

“I would start a business but I am not good at marketing so I could never be successful”

In the first two sentences, the “but” is about something you don’t know how to do. How often do you get stopped because you don’t know how?

Where can you learn how? From whom can you learn how? Be willing to ask for help. Whenever we decide to do something new, there is a learning curve. You can let that learning curve stop you or shorten the learning curve by learning from those who have done it.

“I would hire a virtual assistant or a coach or a bookkeeper, etc but I can’t afford it”

In the last example, I would say that if you are in business for yourself, you cannot afford not to hire support to do the things that are not the best use of your time or to learn from those who have done what you want to do. Doing it yourself is the slow, arduous path. Be willing to invest in yourself and your future – it’s a safer bet than most investments these days 🙂

Here is an example of where a “but” almost got in the way:

I was working with a client who was exploring career options. He had several areas of interest and quickly ruled out organic gardening/farming because he loved it but her thought he could not make enough money doing it. He researched all the other areas of interest and found they weren’t really a good fit for him. When he came back to organic farming, he saw 3 things for himself.

1) It fit the list of requirements with the exception of how much money he thought he could make doing it.

2) When I asked him to look at how much money he needed to live comfortably, he saw that he did not really need as much money as he thought.

3) After getting past his “but” and getting into a place of possibility, he can now see that it is possible to make a good living doing what he loves and has stepped into his passion.

And I say thank goodness for that because we need more good tasting organic food in the world 🙂

Where is your “but” getting in the way?