7 Phrases to Ban From Your Vocabulary If You Want Success


Since being a successful entrepreneur is as much about what you say as it is about what you do, it’s no surprise that great entrepreneurs have managed to master the “language of success”. It goes without saying, then, that if you want to become more successful as an entrepreneur,  the best way to start is by making a habit of talking and thinking more like those who are already successful. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 7 phrases you’ll never hear a successful entrepreneur utter. Banish these phrases from your vocabulary and you’ll find yourself a few steps closer to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

#1) That’s impossible!

Entrepreneurs are the people who make the impossible, possible– it’s kind of their job. So, pointing out that something’s “impossible” is just like saying “I don’t really want to put in the energy or brainpower to make it possible.” In fact, there’s probably no better indicator of a “can’t-do” attitude than uttering this infamous phrase. Take Naveen Jain, for example, who’s company, Moon Express, will soon be the first privately-owned company to successfully land on the moon. While I don’t know the exact number, I’d venture to guess that Naveen had to put up with more than a few peers exclaim “that’s impossible!” as he laid out his plans for Moon Express.


#2) I don’t have time.

First of all, none of us have time– we make it. In today’s fast-paced world of business, it is difficult to find time for much other than the necessities. But the most successful entrepreneurs have learned the delicate science of creating time and making it work for them. The trick is having a whatever it takes attitude. Highly successful people know that opportunities are not to be wasted and, even if they feel they are “too busy”, instead of putting up a wall with the phrase “I don’t have time!”, they find or create time. After all, it was Lao Tzu who said: “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’”


#3) I don’t have a choice.

It was the French existentialist philosopher, Sartre, who said: “I am my choices. I cannot not choose. If I do not choose, that is still a choice. If faced with inevitable circumstances, we still choose how we are in those circumstances.” So, basically, your inability to make a choice is BS. Further, it is generally true that when we use the phrase “I didn’t have a choice,” It’s often because we regretted the choice we made. But being able to take responsibility for our failures is necessary if we ever want to claim responsibility for future victories, so stop saying you didn’t have a choice– you just made the wrong one. Learn and move on.


#4) That’s not my problem!

#1, yes it is. #2 so what even if it weren’t? Doesn’t this excuse sound a whole lot like a child’s argument wherein one exclaims “she started it!” and the other says, “No- he started it!.” The point of course, which seems to impossible for a child to grasp, is that it really doesn’t matter who started it. What matters is who can resolve it. It’s the same with the aforementionedtitle phrase. It doesn’t matter who happened to notice the problem, if it’s your company– it’s your problem. It’s also been said that “you are paid in proportion to the size of the problems you solve.” Perhaps that’s why the most successful entrepreneurs seem to target the largest problems.


#5) But that’s not fair…

Ahhh, one of my first lessons on the real world, as a child. We should all know by now that the world is anything but fair, and bad things, unfortunately, will continue to happen to good people. Great entrepreneurs are able to take the relative injustice that are the laws of the universe in stride, at times even cracking a smile at the humor of it’s un-fairness. The fact is that there will always be some things that remain out of our control, and no matter how much effort we put into a certain outcome, it may not work out just the way we planned. One of the most essential traits of an entrepreneur is persistence in the face of this adversity.


#6) There’s no point.

The truth of this statement, philosophically, for you, really depends on your own spiritual beliefs. However, I venture to say that the majority of times this phrase is uttered, it’s about melodrama rather than a deep spiritual truth. Whatever you believe, it’s hard to argue that a view of pointlessness won’t get you much in the way of success. Purpose and passion are the fuel of entrepreneurship and It’s hard to envision a successful entrepreneur without them. Jack Canfield, Author of the widely popular “Chicken Soup For The Soul” book series, says it best when he explains “It’s not an accident that musicians become musicians and engineers become engineers: it’s what they’re born to do. If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.” So, there is a point, and there is a purpose– you just have to find yours.


#7) It’s too late!

It’s never too late. For instance, Brian Rose, host of the popular podcast LondonReal, was told countless times, prior to launching his podcast, that the market was saturated and it was just too late to start a podcast. 5 years and 40 million views later, you could say Brian has successfully proved the “nay-sayers” wrong. The point is, if passion and purpose are pulling you towards a goal, even if the rest of the world thinks the opportunities in an industry are exhausted, think like an entrepreneur and find a way to do it differently– create a market.


Now that you know how to talk like an entrepreneur, it’s time to get active! Start growing your network by connecting with others you admire and take note of their habits. What are some of the phrases they avoid? How is their perspective different from that of your peers? Life is a learning experience– and the best part is learning from other’s experiences! What have you learned from successful entrepreneurs? Let me know in the comments!

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