Excuses Lazy People Make in Business


Over the years, I’ve talked to and worked with a lot of professionals in the business world. Whether it was co-workers, people I met at networking events, clients when I was in public accounting, or people I was trying to sell a product to, there is one thing I’ve realized – there are a lot of lazy people in the business world. There are a lot of really driven people as well but a shockingly amount who are more than happy with doing the minimum.

If you’re okay with where your career is at and you’re confident nobody will come along and pass you by, then that’s cool. If you are fine with not getting that promotion or raise, not growing your business, or not having a seat at the table, then that’s totally acceptable. The problem is, most of those same people also complain…a lot.

It’s not a perfect science, but below are some traits I’ve noticed about these people. Feel free to disagree. This is all just one man’s opinion.

3 Traits of Laziness in the Workplace

When something goes wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault.
We all know this type of person – quick to throw someone else under the bus and never take responsibility. Missed a deadline, “Sue didn’t get me the information I needed”. Didn’t meet a sales quota, “the marketing leads were crap”. Didn’t find a good candidate to hire, “nobody good is looking right now”.

There are times where someone else does drop the ball. I’m not saying you always should jump on the sword, but the people I’m talking about ALWAYS are quick to blame someone or something else.

I think a lot of times people go into a self-preservation mode where they convince even themselves that it isn’t their fault. When something goes wrong, take responsibility for it. You’ll earn the respect of your boss, your team, and honestly, yourself.

They’re always sooo busy.
When I work with someone or even just bump into them on a somewhat regular basis and they’re always swamped, chances are they suck at their job. Sorry but it’s true.

Everyone has times when they’re legitimately buried with work, but the people that are constantly feeling overwhelmed are probably in over their heads.

We’re all busy. We all have a lot on our plates. But those who will continue to find success, find ways to manage it. We find products or services to automate some of the busy work, we are good at prioritizing, and we say, “No” to stuff that isn’t needed or adds no value.

They don’t proactively search for ways to improve.
I should have mentioned this earlier. To me, laziness includes just continuing to do what you’ve always done, even if it has worked up to this point. If you’re not always looking for ways to improve or innovate, you’re going to get passed by.

5 Phrases Lazy People Use

Here are some examples of phrases I hear all the time from lazy people who would rather hide behind excuses rather than innovate:

  1. “I’d love to make that change (or buy that product) but my boss (or IT or the owner) would never go for it.”
    Umm, hello, it’s your job to convince them of it. If your boss or owner won’t sign off on something, clearly you didn’t present a good business case. If you did and they still won’t, and this happens a lot, get another job. Nothing’s going to change there, and why would you want to work somewhere that isn’t moving forward, which leads into my next point…
  2. “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
    There aren’t words powerful enough to explain how much I hate that phrase. It’s just dumb and not a valid reason for anything, ever. If you can’t figure out why, don’t worry, you’re not moving up the ladder anyway.
  3. “We don’t have the budget.”
    Good, prove how it will save money or make money. If it’s a huge project, build your business case to get it into a future budget. If it’s not a huge project, prove the value to whoever needs to sign off on it. Just don’t hide behind the budget excuse. It is exactly that, an excuse for probably 99% of the times it is stated.
  4. “We’re too small (or too big) for that.”
    Another lame excuse. There are times when things are overkill for what you need. In those instances, try to see if you can find a version more suitable for your company. Or see if there are parts that you can implement on your own without needing to purchase the whole solution. The problem is, too many people use their company size as an excuse and don’t bother to seek ways to make it work. And if you think you’re too big for something, I’ll save you some time. You’re not. Get off your high horse.
  5. “I want to look into that, I just need to finish this other thing first.”
    This one could be valid. You shouldn’t be trying to do too many things at once. The reason I put it on the list is most people always have something going on that they think prevents them from innovating (see above for thinking they’re always busy). At some point, you need to make time and get it done.

To be honest, I think we’re all guilty of some of the items mentioned above. It’s like exercising or eating better, you’re never really done and can always do better. We need to take the same approach in business. Allocate time to get out of the weeds, be accountable, and be consistent.

It’s why at VIP Crowd we require our employees to allocate 20 minutes a week to discovering new solutions to improve our business. This simple process helps us grow. And it can grow your business. Don’t “start next month when things slow down.” Start today.

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