Entrepreneur, Getting Started

They're More Successful Than Me Because... (And Other Excuses We Tell Ourselves)

Episode 194: Show Notes

“I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t know the right people”, “I don’t have enough money.” There are a lot of excuses we make for not being or most successful selves. We’ve all used them at least once, or have heard other people use them, over and over again! But how true are they really? This is a conversation we have recently been having and we wanted to bring you in on it. In this episode, we are talking about the excuses we make for not achieving success in our business and the things we like to tell ourselves about how others achieved their success.

“I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t know the right people”, “I don’t have enough money.” There are a lot of excuses we make for not being or most successful selves. We’ve all used them at least once, or have heard other people use them, over and over again! But how true are they really? This is a conversation we have recently been having and we wanted to bring you in on it. In this episode, we are talking about the excuses we make for not achieving success in our business and the things we like to tell ourselves about how others achieved their success.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

We start off by looking at geographical location and how the attitudes toward money and status can influence the way we start to define and articulate our own success. We also discuss the “overnight success” myth and why time is one of the most misunderstood aspect of success. We also want to take this opportunity to remind you that you don’t need to know all the hot shots, or even know much at all for that matter, to be successful. The most successful people are great learners who focused, made the time, didn’t blame their kids and tried! If you are finding yourself constantly making excuses about your business, or the lack thereof, then this is the episode to listen to for a fresh perspective and a kick up the rear!

The Culture Around Money In Different Areas

Not only do you have certain connections based on where you live but you are also surrounded by certain attitudes based on where you live. In California, for example, more is more. People are flashy and they are not shy to drive a Tesla, or five Teslas, or ten Teslas. But here where we we live in Kansas City, there is this mentality of being humble about your money. People don’t talk about having money or having things. In general, there is so much diversity in the cash distribution. Mansions are right next door to pretty much slums, and because of that there is a weird culture of “If you talk about money you are prissy and braggy” and that is just not acceptable. But online it’s a little bit different... If you have an online business and you define your success financially then you are probably leaning into your economical status in your online persona, rather than showing off to your family, or to the dinner club you are in, or with the car you drive. Because in the “real” world, you almost feel like you have to hide it! Where we live can certainly shape the way we start to talk about our success and it’s important reflect on this for yourself.

So What Do You Do? Letting This Question Define You

This question came up for Emylee recently at a Kansas City leaders event. Emylee was helping put on this event for a non-profit she is a part of and there were mayors there, CEO’s, multi-million dollar company board members, leaders from state hospitals etc. Big, important people. The question of “What do you do?” came up so many times and for Emylee, she feels like what you do is the definition of success for so many people in the midwest. Emylee struggles with how to answer that. She has gone back and forth between “I own my own business,” to “I’m an entrepreneur,” to “I’m an online educator,” to “I’m the co-founder of TCC... [insert explanation].” Saying “Business owner” or “Co-founder” didn’t put Emylee on the same kind of level as some of the key players in Kansas City at this event, so she started mentioning her end of year figures just so that they took her more seriously. But why did she feel like she had to do that? If you find yourself in similar situations, it is an important question to ask yourself this too. It’s difficult to craft your elevator pitch. Abbie has changed hers 45 million times and we tend to change it for the company we are in. But her latest one and the one she is sticking to for a while is, “I am the CEO of an online education company.” Because that sounds the most prestigious in those sorts of circles. Take note of the way you decide to answer the “What do you do?” question and to the responses you get when you ask others that question. It can say a lot about how you yourself and others, measure success and define it.

Is Success Really About Who You Know?

When we first started an online business we committed pretty heavily to the idea that being successful had to do with who you knew in the online business world. We started picking people’s lives apart to figure out how they got to be connected with who they knew. In retrospect, it was pretty gossipy and juvenile. We tried to impress people in the hopes that they would connect us to the people we wanted to connect with. And we sucked at it, because it didn’t feel real. And although we are not so focused anymore on trying to circulate with the right people, we still find ourselves falling into these patterns. For example, you see another influencer at a Mastermind, they tag all the people in the room and you find yourself following all the people in the room on Instagram! This happened recently to Emylee. Of course, it is good to know other successful people in your industry and for Abbie, her social anxiety is triggered by all the things you have to do in order to try to meet someone. So Abbie now just tells herself she doesn’t need that person or doesn’t want to know them and is just going to do her own things over here. We do need people to help us leverage our business, but it’s an interesting conversation about the lengths people will go to to meet others and the different mindsets around networking. But all that being said, we have gotten this far without any big influencers really, at all. So think about where you are putting your time and energy.

You Don’t Have To Be The Smartest To Be Successful

A lot of people feel like they need to know it ALL in order to be successful. Abbie always remembers something her dad used to say which was, “Just figure it out. You don’t need my help.” And this mentality has stuck with her in her business. Emylee relishes in the fact that she is not the smartest person in the room because she just loves learning. She wants to be taught things all of the time. With an online business there is very rarely a right or a wrong way to do something – it’s just your way or the way that’s working. So the key lesson to success here is, A) Trying out something for yourself is the best way you’ll find out. You don’t need to know it all before you try. And B) Be a constant learner and adapt what you learn to fit YOU. So many influencers out there are telling their following what they should do, what they should buy – but a lot of the time we are just being manipulated! Sometimes, yes, the things influencers are recommending are genuinely awesome but they are also not the only key to your success. The tool itself doesn’t matter, it’s how you use it. Another thing is, even if you are getting the best reviews on the planet and tons of features, that doesn’t mean that your business in raking in the dough. At the end of the day, if you are not following through with your customers, and serving the people who trust you, it is just not going to work. There are those businesses that you don’t hear much about but they are millionaires! They are just doing their thing, their way, and raking it in. Which business are you?

The Overnight Success Myth We All Love

The overnight success, huh? We’ve said it once, we’ll say it a million times. You don’t know that person’s life. You don’t know if they ran seven businesses before and had all this experience. You don’t know if they watched their dad do it for 25 years. Or maybe they had a previous, unrelated career that taught them a bunch of stuff. People often say to us, “Oh how did you grow so quickly?” Well, it didn’t happen quickly. You just don’t know all the previous stuff that went into it before! So, we wish that you would stop thinking that the overnight success is real. The amount of people who say, “Oh If I just had a ton of money to go buy all this stock, then I will be successful.” “If I had all this money to invest in these software courses, then I will be successful.” Sure, money can jumpstart some things, but not necessarily. That’s not guaranteed. Money is not going to be to your detriment if you don’t have it. Emylee started her first business even  without a DSLR. She started off with a point and shoot camera that she bought for five bucks from Sam’s Club. When you don’t come from money it can become really easy to blame it. We often forget how long things take. We forget how long it takes to grow a business. So remember that “overnight” success, was probably at least ten years or more!

Stop Making The “I Have No Time” Excuse

You say you have no time for your business? There is always time. Even if it is one minute, ten minutes, or just 30 minutes a day and that’s all you have, then work with that. We were really inspired by a woman who started her own business as a single mom. She worked on her business from 9:30a-11:30a while her child was in childcare and those were the only hours she had to work on a business that would fully support them! She is bringing in consistent clients, creating a course that’s selling out and raising her prices – all in that time frame. You can have a chronic illness, you can have your brain explode, you can have a kid, you can have all of these things – but you have the power and you get to choose how you spend your time. So quit using time as an excuse! The only thing that will determine your success is trying. If you don’t try, it won’t happen. It all comes down to effort and focus. The effort is in how you are spending your time. The focus is, just don’t be distracted by Facebook and shiny unicorns when you are supposed to be doing money making activities! It’s never going to be easier than it is right now. Period. There is no time but now to harness your abilities because they could be taken away from you at any point. Remember that.


The tool itself doesn’t matter. It’s how you use it.
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Stop Blaming Your Glorious Miniature Humans

A lot of people we’ve noticed often blame their kids for not being able to work on their business. And this goes hand in hand with time. “Oh because of the kids I don’t have the time.” Or “I’m mentally drained and always exhausted.” And all of those things are true. We’re not saying you’re not drained and that you’re not always exhausted, that you are drowning in laundry and have very very little time. We are not denying that. But again, it’s deciding how you use the time that you have or the energy that you have. So let’s not use these glorious miniature humans as an excuse for us not to do amazing shit. Use them as the because. Say, “Okay I can be productive over this nap time period because that’s what I’ve got.” If you have an hour over nap time you do not have to spend that hour doing laundry or cleaning your house. All of that stuff is outsource-able or system-able, so if you can afford it, then outsource it and work on your business in those short gaps.

All of the things we’ve mentioned today are used as excuses. There are things we’ve spoken about today that can influence you, that can make a difference, but they are not to your detriment or to your profitability. You can use these things to your advantage sometimes and other times you just need to tell yourself that it doesn’t matter.


  • The Culture Around Money In Different Areas. [0:05:22.1]
  • So What Do You Do? Letting This Question Define You. [0:09:00.1]
  • Is Success Really About Who You Know? [0:12:22.1]
  • You Don’t Have To Be The Smartest To Be Successful. [0:21:50.1]
  • The Overnight Success Myth We All Love. [0:31:50.1]
  • Stop Making The “I Have No Time” Excuse. [0:39:00.1]
  • Stop Blaming Your Glorious Miniature Humans. [0:44:00.1]




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We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.


  • Business excuses.
  • Networking.
  • Connections.
  • Overnight success.
  • Who you know.
  • Business success.
  • Money culture.
  • Elevator pitch.
  • Title descriptions.
  • Entrepreneur mothers.
  • Making time.




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