12 Phrases You’ll Never Hear A Successful Business Use

Success doesn’t happen by accident, in most cases anyway. It’s a result of determination and commitment to achieve your goals.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
Mario Andretti

Having the right attitude is essential. If you don’t accept responsibility and if you make excuses every day you will never achieve what you desire. In my experience, I have heard many excuses why people haven’t got to where they want to be and listed below are a few of them, but at the end of the day they are what they are, EXCUSES!me

1) I DID EVERYTHING ON MY OWN – Recognise those that have helped you and the recognition will be returned when you do the sam
e. Having a ME ME ME attitude only alienates people from helping you again in the future. Giving praise to others where it is due is a crucial part of building a success culture within your business and others will want to be a part of your ‘gang’.

2) I DON’T KNOW HOW! – Although there is nothing wrong with admitting that there is something you don’t know - and I would recommend this over making up an answer that could be wrong, which can backfire on you badly – ending the statement with ‘I know someone who does’ or ‘I will found out the answer’ will leave the other person with a much more positive image of your business, as a successful person will always learn how to solve a problem.

3) I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IS – Pleading ignorance doesn’t make the problem go away. Like point 2, ending the statement with ‘but I will find out’ is a much more positive response and you get to increase your learning at the same time.

4) ITS TOO LATE/EARLY – if a business opportunity is available, the time of day will not matter to a successful business. Whether it’s a 7am breakfast or a 9pm meeting. Part of being successful is being in the right place at the right time whether you’re up with the lark or dancing with a night owl. You may be tired the next day, but the connections you have made could make all the difference.too busy

5) I’M SORRY, I’M TOO BUSY – Successful businesses are always busy because they MAKE IT HAPPEN! Sometimes it may mean working a few extra hours to get the work done and as long as you set the client expectations correctly from the start, this is rarely an issue.

6) I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH – Part of being successful is having a high sense of self-worth. If you don’t believe in yourself then how can you expect a prospective client to? Get out of your comfort zone and improve your abilities. If you play safe you will remain where you are.

7) OUR COMPETITORS DON’T DO THAT SO WE DON’T EITHER – Part of what makes a successful business is finding out what problems your competitors DON’T SOLVE and finding a solution to give you the edge.

8) WE CAN’T DO THAT – If a need arises regularly, a successful business will find a solution to the issue and offer it as a service. It’s all about supply and demand. The word can’t should not even exist in your

9) I NEVER READ BOOKS – Learning new skills and reading books by successful people helps to keep you in the winning mindset. In addition, it can help to reduce stress, increase creativity and boost your memory.

10) IT’S A SHAME WE COULDN’T WORK TOGETHER – If you truly connect with someone and you think you would make a good team, then find a way to keep in touch and MAKE IT HAPPEN. You don’t know what doors this could open for you.

11) LET’S CATCH UP SOMETIME – This is said so often with no commitment or real follow-up. Successful people will get their diary out and set a date and time if they truly want to meet up.

12) TIME OFF IS FOR WIMPS – True success comes with getting your work/life balance right. After all, what is the point in being successful if you don’t stop to enjoy it with loved ones. Taking a break can help to give clarity and direction and makes you better at what you do.

So there you have it. Do any of those phrases ring any bells with you? Wanting to be successful and actually doing what is needed to be successful are two ends of the same desire but what happens in between is the magic formula and that is for you to work on.

So what phrases are you going to eliminate from your vocabulary?

Posted in Business.


  1. Did you know that explanations occur to others as excuses? Yup- learned that the hard way. Bottom line is to do what you said you would do. Success should follow. I do recognize a few points above, like not taking a networking connection further, moving things to the back burner, thinking I was right when I answered a question & later discovered I wasn’t exactly.

  2. I really resonate with #12! I learned that one the hard way. Sever burn-out from a lack of work-life balance nearly ruined my life. Finding balance is key. Great advice.

  3. These are great, Suzii, and I hear many of the same things. Makes me want to slap people around, know what I mean? 😉 I don’t use any of these phrases and work with other women to help them banish them from their own vocabularies. The phrases that drive me crazy: (1) We’ve always done it this way. (2) We’ve never done it that way. (3) We tried that once and it didn’t work.

    • Hi Jackie. I think they are the most common ones I hear too, especially in social media land. People need to remember that things change rapidly in a technology driven world and businesses need to change with them 🙂

  4. Hi Suzii,
    Wow, number 7 sounds like a huge opportunity. I’m shocked that a business would use that as an excuse. ha!

    2 & 3 are not bad unless, as you say, the statement stops there. As businesses, we solve problems for people by delivering what they want. In cases where you just can not deliver what the customer wants, at least offer an explanation and an alternative.


    • Hi Rob, You will be surprised how many business owners base their business models on their competitors and don’t think outside the box. It’s all about education and like you say, HUGE opportunities are available when they do.

  5. I particularly resonate with #12. I once had a former mentor tell us that you wouldn’t take time off in being an entrepreneur which I didn’t like because what’s the point if you don’t create your own life by being your own boss? Great article!

    • Alissia, yep i still struggle with #12 but thats more about the fact that i love what I do and I’m very fortunate that my partner is also my business partner who gets just as heavily involved.

  6. It’s so great to recognize these phrases when they come out of our mouths – and then to catch them before they do – to bring our language up to the standard of professionalism we want for our brand!

    • Catching them before they come out of our mouths is definitely the key or even wiping them from our thoughts altogether 🙂

  7. Interesting post. I would agree with most of these. Words can carry such fine shades of meaning.

    To be successful in business, you need to figure out what it is you’re going to do, not commit to something you can’t/won’t/don’t do, do what you do with integrity and not make excuses.

    The saddest part is that many business owners don’t even use these with customers; they use them on themselves as excuses or justifications for not following through–and then wonder why no one else has confidence in their business.

  8. Part of being a successful business owner means being strategic in your plans. If I were to dart off to every networking opportunity available just because I might make a connection, I’d have no time to take care of customers. Then I’d certainly fall under #12!

    • Thats very true and I totally agree, there are so many networking events on weekly you could easily spend all week attending them and not getting any work done at all. What I meant by opportunities was more if there was a business prospect wanting to meet up very early or late in the day.

  9. You nailed the soft replies here, Suzie.

    A successful person finds a way to make things happen –including finding balance. That’s a reply I find myself saying too often. Brava.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *