When I say “Get off your but,” it’s not a typo. I mean: stop making excuses.
Full disclosure: I came upon this phrase because a viewer of the #AskGaryVee Show, Theresa, asked me about it. And I loved it immediately.
When you start a sentence with “I want to…” then end up with “but” midway through, you’re making an excuse. That’s all but is: an excuse. It’s not a word to use when you talk about your dreams and aspirations in life. If you are serious about your dreams, nothing will get in the way. Just keep moving forward, and eliminate “but” from your vocabulary.
A lot of people approach me for help with their business goals, so over time I have heard a stunningly overwhelming amount of buts. And I like to think I can offer some advice on how to avoid them, and how to move away from them. I pride myself on not being a “but” guy (no double meaning intended, I swear).
So, what are the buts that I hear the most? You can probably guess a few, since you have probably used one or two in your life: “I didn’t have any money,” “I didn’t have a chance,” “I grew up in a poor neighborhood,” “I didn’t have a mentor.” People are loaded with buts; that’s why the majority of people fall into a standard life.
For me personally, my “but” is usually that I love the process and the climb. If I don’t achieve the maximum upside in my career (which is: buy the New York Jets), it’s going to be because I loved the climb too much. I liked the grind more than the end game, and that didn’t allow me to scale and create the level of wealth needed to pull it off.
Let’s understand that there is some very real stuff going on in the world. You could be born in a part of the world where your only option is to live under a dictatorship. Or an extremely restrictive way of life. Do I think it’s easy as to be a female entrepreneur in the Middle East as it is to be in New York City? No. Of course not. Just like any white male born in a semi-affluent environment is bound to have a leg up on minorities in poor communities.
However, there is a flipside to that. The hustle that you get when coming from less is a huge advantage. Some people think you’re dead on impact, that you have to stick with the restrictions you’re born in; that if you’re born into a bad situation, you’re bound to fail. But I think being born into luxury is worse; everything comes easily to you, and you end up not understanding what is required to get anything in life.
Don’t let anyone tell you that your circumstances determine your outcome: You control that. Use any scrap of your already existing personality and place in the world that you possibly can to make your dreams come true.
So, it all comes down to how you operate. If you’re a go-getter, you won’t let a but bother you. If you’re not, maybe you just need to cultivate that part of yourself more, to eradicate the buts. But (I know, I know), I will tell you this: I hate excuses. I hate them with all my heart. When something is wrong with my agency VaynerMedia, that’s all on me. I love taking that blame and not passing the buck. Because once I take the blame, we can work to start coming up with solutions instead of talking about the problem over and over. Stop saying “but,” and you’ll be forced to move forward; there will be nothing standing in your way any ore.
I take pride in taking the blame. Learn to do that and you’ll move forward in leaps and bounds.
This article was originally published on Medium. It has been republished with permission.