Do you ever find yourself putting things off? Come on be honest! Things like launching a new product or service, joining a coaching programme or networking organisation or bringing some help into your business. I think it’s something we can all be guilty of at times.

Over the years I’ve heard all sorts of excuses and I’ve made plenty myself. ‘I don’t want to start my business until I’ve done this training and that course.’ ‘I don’t want to join a networking group until I’ve refined my offer and got new marketing materials printed’. ‘I haven’t got the time or money to pay for help now’.

It’s amazing how many excuses we can make for things we don’t want to do or are afraid of. I know we justify our decisions to ourselves and trot them out to others who ask but how often are the excuses really sound reasons? I remember a few years ago a client said she couldn’t start her business until she’d acquired two or three additional skills. When I challenged her she acknowledged that she could bring specialists in to provide those services until she could do them herself so her excuses were not good reasons for inaction.

Excuses hold us back. They stop us taking action. They get in the way of our business and personal growth. So I want to challenge you to question your excuses and ask yourself, ‘What’s wrong with now?’

Challenging your excuses.

Listen to yourself? What would you think if someone else was uttering the same words? Would you say they are just making excuses? Ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ Consider the benefits of the opposite course of action. For example, if you joined the networking organisation before you’d perfected the offer you could gather feedback on what people liked or disliked about your offer. You’d be able to identify your key marketing messages and test a variety of materials before going to the expense of printing them. Ask yourself how much more money you could earn if you brought in some help to create more time for income generating activities. Most of the gurus will tell you that you should sell a programme before you waste time developing something people don’t want; they have a point, unless we have proved that we have a market we can invest too much in producing something no-one wants to buy.

Often we make excuses because we want to keep control. We think that we’ll get things right if we do it ourselves but what often happens is that the task doesn’t get done. We don’t take the leap because it’s scary and we don’t know where we’ll land. We don’t start a business because we are afraid it will fail but we can’t succeed in something we haven’t started.

I don’t have a lot of regrets in life but if I had my time again I would have taken more risks, dreamed bigger and brought in help even when I couldn’t afford it. It’s never too late and I’m making a conscious effort to listen to my excuses, to challenge them and to take action that is well outside my comfort zone. Will you join me? Now? What’s wrong with now?