My son thought he had a word, but we pointed out that what he thought was a lower case “d” was actually a capital “P.” When he started explaining his mistake, his friend aggressively yelled “EXCUSES ARE THE NAILS THAT BUILD THE HOUSE OF FAILURE!” Everyone around the dinner table got really quiet. The friend looked a little embarrassed and sheepishly said “Too intense?” The rest of us looked at each other and fell out of our chairs hysterically belly laughing. It was a great moment that I will probably remember for the rest of my life. By the way, it is a saying his older brother heard on his high school track team.
I started thinking that, though hearing this come out of a very sweet, naïve 11 year old boy’s mouth was a little surreal, the saying itself is pretty wise. I know I am guilty of “adding nails” to many tasks that I should do correctly the first time, but for some reason did not. I have made excuses in my own businesses and here at Enterprise.
I even used the saying with the girls’ 3v3 soccer team I coach, though I said in a slightly nicer and less passionate way. After all, the intensity in a state championship 3v3 soccer game and Boggle are incomparable. Nothing is more intense than “around the dinner table” Boggle. Priorities, priorities…
Excuses do give us a justification for not doing what needs to be done. These are some that I heard this week from clients.
Question: “Why are your financial statements inaccurate?”
Answer: “I didn’t have time to enter the data into Quickbooks.”
Question: “Have you made your sales calls to past customers this week?”
Answer: “I got caught up with another project so I decided not to make the calls.
I am certainly farrrrrr from perfect and make similar excuses. Just ask my wife about the weed eating and edging that I have not done for the past four weeks. Let’s see, my “nails” have been, my ankle hurts, it’s too wet, it’s too dry, it’s too hot, no gas (though the edger is electric) and I have to prepare for the upcoming soccer tournament. These all seemed reasonable at the time, but, honestly, they are pretty lame reasons to avoid doing something I hate that is actually pretty important.
It is hard to point the finger at someone else when you are equally as guilty. So hopefully, with the help of a very intense 11-year-old Boggle maniac, we can all learn a little lesson. “Honey, I am coming home to weed eat and edge!…. tomorrow.”