“Well, if I only had the money…” Really? Since WordPress, the tools I recommend, and the advice I offer is free. What does money have to do with anything I just said?
“I’m old so I don’t know any better…” Really? You are old enough and learned enough to get here – you turned on your computer, started the browser and made your way through search engines and referrals here – why waste my time with this excuse?
“It’s not my full-time job. I’m just playing.” If you don’t want to be serious about this, go play somewhere else and don’t waste my time as this is my full-time job. Respect that it took many years and even more mistakes to get to this point.
“I haven’t learned that yet.” You are learning now. That’s the way of learning. You don’t know, you want to know, you learn, then you learned and consider yourself educated. Be patient with yourself.
“I’m new at this.” Good. I like that. Now, shut up and learn.
The proper response to advice and instructions is always “thank you.”
Ask questions to help you learn more but never offer excuses which get in the way of you learning. Excuses tell the person you really don’t want to learn, and you don’t respect them or their time.
This may be one of the more challenging Blog Exercises this year. I want you to check your excuses at the door, on your blog and in your social web interactions.
In other words, learn to say thank you more.
Thank you is the most powerful phrase in the world in any language. It shows grace, kindness, respect, and acknowledgment. It tells the person they’ve been heard, which is what we all want, right?
I didn’t learn this naturally. Liz Strauss, a fantastic mentor, taught me this concept with a whip and chain on my virtual back. I was an expert at excuses.
As you go forward blogging and interacting on the social web, directly or virtually, increase your ratio of thank yous to excuses.
Start at at work and home. If you are going to be late for an appointment, instead of spending the whole time racing there thinking up excuses for your tardiness, concentrate on getting there safely and tell them “Thank you for your patience,” and move on to the reason that brought you together. If your children offer excuses, teach them to stop and stay thank you instead. Live by example and say thank you to them when they come to you with comments or information that makes your excuses rise to your lips.
If someone says something odd, nasty, or useless on your site, say thank you no matter what you think of their comment. They put a lot of thought and effort into hitting the reply button. Just because their words may not speak well of them, they tried. Thank them.
Thank those who blog about you on their blogs, sending their readers in your direction. They worked hard to collect links and the information in this article so give them the appreciation they deserve for their efforts to connect with you. You may never know where such a connection might lead if you don’t acknowledge their efforts with a thank you first.
Someone retweets a tweet or shares a Facebook post, or your own article across the web, take a moment to say thank you when you spot it. They are doing you a favor. Thank them.
Consider thanking your readers once in a while. They are the energy force that helps drives your site forward, giving you the feedback you want and need. Say thanks by recognizing them once in a while, in the comments and in the posts. You don’t blog in a vacuum. Thank them.
Find as many ways as you can to stop the excuses and start the thank yous. Trust me, it will change your life.