Two years ago, my finances and career have no direction. I was moving from one company, one career to another. I was searching for my way out of poverty and looking for something that I can dedicate my life to professionally.
Along the way—whenever I was struggling with money—I constantly catch myself making excuses to justify my financial and professional situation.
After I made a decision to take my life into my own hands and quit spending time avoiding accountability for my financial and professional hardships, things started to improve.
I experienced a series of financial and professional breakthroughs that led me to build million-dollar companies—a fintech startup based in Singapore and a US-based media startup you are reading right now—with nothing but a high school diploma and tons of grit and perseverance.
Here are the most common excuses I told myself that I encourage you to avoid if you are serious about getting your own financial and professional breakthrough:
“The system is broken…”
After dropping out of college, I went to work in the outsourcing industry for more than five years. I sincerely believed that I did my very best day in, day out, but I wasn’t promoted—not even once.
I told myself that the system was broken, both in my company and the industry in general, and that people who are not good in politics won’t stand a chance to get promoted.
I was wrong. The system was not broken and you don’t need to be good in politics to be promoted and enjoy the financial benefits of getting a new and higher position. I just don’t know how the system works and those who got promoted actually deserved it.
I realized that what I need to do is to create a system of my own—a system that I fully understand because I created it.
I quit my day job right then and there, promoted myself as the CEO of my own company, and never looked back.
“The government is failing me…”
I was one of many people who felt powerless and blamed the government for everything bad that was happening in my life two years ago. It’s like no matter who’s leading the country, it’s always their fault why I wasn’t successful both in my financial and professional life.
Then, I stumbled upon this JFK quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country,” and it hit me in the gut. As a citizen of any country, our responsibility is to contribute to the development of our nation and our own lives, not just to ask what’s in it for us.
It is our own responsibility to take care of ourselves and to do our very best to find a way to succeed in life.
The million-dollar startups I built? They now employ people from different parts of the world, contributing to the economy of different nations through the jobs and opportunities we created.
If you find yourself making this excuse, ask yourself what have you done differently for yourself and for your country, and if they are truly enough. Can you do more?
“My income is just enough for living expenses and debt payments…”
This is true for most people. And sadly, most people stop here. After they realize that their income isn’t enough, they start to play the role of a powerless victim who has no capacity to improve his standing in life.
My income wasn’t enough two years ago, but I didn’t let this reality stop me from improving my life for myself and my family.
I found and created uncountable ways and opportunities so I can break free from the financial and professional struggles that are preventing me from achieving my greatest potential.
“I can’t compete in the real world…”
This is the most honest excuse I’ve ever made and heard from only a few people who are struggling with their finances and careers to date.
You might be thinking that I am an outlier, an exception to the rule because not everyone has the education, the skills, and the connections to start a business or take control of their financial lives.
But before I got to where I am today, I was only a boy who has nothing on his wall but a high school diploma. I jumped from one industry, one opportunity to the other that led me to gain so much experience and lessons in different fields and sectors.
Before I left my day job, I transformed myself into a bookworm, reading countless business, personal finance, and self-development books.
Before I built my million-dollar startups, I sold a lot of products from perfumes, sporting gears, to pizza rolls in our BPO office.
The point is, if I let my lack of education and experience stop me from acquiring the skills and the same experience I need to succeed in business, I won’t be here today.
If you ever hear yourself uttering this excuse, consider it as a sign to start improving yourself and investing the time and money to acquire new skill sets that you need to succeed in money, career, and life ultimately.
These are valid excuses and I’m sure there’s a lot more out there. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our very best and our part to find our success in life.
Excuses are healthy if we will use it to recognize where the problem lies and inspire us to think and develop creative ways to improve our standing in life.