My Zero Tolerance Policy

Ok…before we jump into one of my psychological rants where you get a peek into the psyche of Robb Sutton (I know…on the edge of your seat aren’t you?!), I want to go ahead and warn you. This following dialogue might put off some people, but it is one of those things that I feel needs to be said…especially to those in the blogging world. If you only listen to one thing that jumps off your screen that I happen to throw up there, let this be the article that kicks you in the ass to get going. The rest of what I put on is purely fluff if you do not take this one article seriously. So are you ready?

My Zero Tolerance Policy

I have absolutely zero tolerance or compassion for lame ass excuses. I think a lot of this stems from the experiences that I have had in my life where I have shown myself that you can get out of any situation through action. No matter what you do in life, you are not going to get anywhere by making excuses. You only see and realize success through taking action.

I hear so many bloggers, semi-entrepreneurs and employees whine about how bad they have it…how hard things are…what they deserve and don’t get…the list goes on. There are more people in this world that will whine and complain instead of actually taking the first step of action to change their outcomes. There are also more people that would rather stick there selfish hand out looking for something free even if it means that their “free” comes at the expense of someone else.

If you really want to make a run at making money online, starting your own business or even getting that raise you have been bleeding for…it is up to you to take the actions necessary to get the job done. No one owes you a damn thing.

There are so many people in the blogging industry that want to talk about how they are going to create the next big thing. The reality…99.9% aren’t willing to put in the effort to actually get it done. Do they have the ability? They might…but we will never know because they are full more excuses of why it didn’t happen than they are with action that is at least trying. That’s ok though…these same people make marketers rich by buying “next big product” that is going to bring them to the next level. So what do they do? They spend their money, read the great content and then do not apply a single bit of it to their blogging. They just sit on it and wait for that next big product.

So who’s fault is it today? Who didn’t give you the promotion you needed? Who didn’t just help you get over that last step? Why were you too busy? Why is it so hard? Why wouldn’t we understand?

The human brain is capable of fantastic things. I have seen people you would think would never amount to anything get to the top of the world, so don’t tell me that the successful ones are smarter or got better breaks than you did. In all reality, they probably had to overcome bigger obstacles than you could even imagine and it is your jealously that is labeling their journey as “easy”.

This might not be you. You might be taking the steps right now to insure your success down the road. But I challenge you to have a zero tolerance policy with yourself. By minimizing excuses and pushing forward with action, the windows of opportunity that will open to you are endless. It just takes the willingness to put in the work and taking responsibility for your own future. You are not a victim of circumstances…you choose and define your own future and destiny.

Zero Tolerance Image by nimboo

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Elie February 17, 2010 - 8:38 am
I like this! Sure, some people make it big because they got a "lucky break", but if you look at the vast majority of success stories, they'll include sections on the tough times, how the subject of the story slogged through mud to get where they are today. With blogging, it's no different. Sure, you could get a lucky break (for example, you write good content, and then someone with a large amount of influence randomly decides to feature you on his/her site), but for everyone else, you can get to the same point with sweat equity. No, the guys who made it big don't owe it to you to do anything. The only person that owes you something is yourself - you owe it to yourself to be the best that you can be!
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:30 pm
The long term success stories tend to have a rags to riches aspect to them for sure. Typically, lottery winners end up more broke than they were before they won. The sweat and tears make you appreciate it once you have it.
Angie February 17, 2010 - 9:25 am
Amen! Just reading an ebook isn't going to get you anywhere if you don't implement the plan. And just throwing up a website/blog and doing nothing else is going to get you the same results. None. As always, great read and even better advice!
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:29 pm
Thanks Angie!
Brandon February 17, 2010 - 9:44 am
Hey Robb. I like the points you bring up. I do think that some people are trained psychologically to be the way they are but once again it's their job to realize that and jump out of the mold. People get a great idea and they think that is the main key to success. Yet they do nothing with it and they wonder why they are not successful. I know people with might I say STUPID ideas that are massively successful because they believed in it, took massive action, and didn't stop until they got where they wanted to be. Makes your head spin wanting to help these people but only they can do that. Keep up the good work. Brandon
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:28 pm
"some people are trained psychologically to be the way they are" I agree with this to a point. Typically there is a "snapping out of it" point where you quit being another statistic and start living the life you want to live. I have seen a lot of really stupid ideas make it big and it is because they took the action. In my sales days...I had one customer that on a daily basis I would say, "if he can make that much money with his own company...anyone can."
Srinivas Rao February 17, 2010 - 10:40 am
Hey Robb, It was great to chat with you last night. I couldn't agree more. In my past I used to make excuses and you would not believe the amount of excuses my friends who are in business school make about the job market and how hard everything is and how they don't have the time. I kind of want to yell at them and tell them to stop making excuses.
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:26 pm
Great to talk to you too last night! Great questions... Excuses are a waste of time for anyone.
Rob February 17, 2010 - 12:19 pm
Damn, this post is right on Robb! This is the reason so many bloggers are incapable of suceeding. People always make up excuses on why things never happen, the truth is you are the only reason why somethingdoesn't happen. Look at me and you, we bust hours of work each and every day and if something happens, we don't make excuses, we get what we nedd to get done. Great article!
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:26 pm
"You are the only reason why something doesn't happen" Absolutely man. Have to take responsibility for your own life!
Julius Kuhn-Regnier February 17, 2010 - 2:50 pm
Very true, Robb! There are lots of people out there talking about how they could make money easily but the problem is that they never really do it. Planning things is good but only up to a certain point. After that you have to take action in order to get anywhere in life. I believe that Rob has written an interesting article on that topic too. You might want to check it out.
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:25 pm
It's all about action Julius! And those people don't want to do the action part...just the success. Can't have one without the other. I'll check it out...but I think I know which one you are talking about. He hit me up with it awhile back.
Jewelry Secrets February 17, 2010 - 3:08 pm
Many make excuses because they want to get rich overnight. They try for a couple of months but don't realize that it takes years and years of hard neverending work. I like the approach of Zero Tolerance. And you're right, no one owes us a damn thing. It's just something you have to want and want it bad!
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:24 pm
I think the vast majority of people trying to make it online right now are looking for that approach. Sad really...just creates worthless noise. I like supporting people that get it is a marathon not a sprint. Good point.
Colby February 17, 2010 - 3:54 pm
I totally agree that you need to take action to succeed. I sometimes find myself following into this behavior and creating excuses for why I'm not accomplishing all that I should be. My normal excuse is that I don't have the time to do this or that. All I need to do is look to one of my co-workers/friends who is raising a family of 4, is a leader at his church, works a full time job, studies every night for his CCIE exam, writes to his blog daily, keeps involved with twitter/facebook/linkedin, and is in the middle of writing his third book. I don't think the guy sleeps. It makes me think of the movie Multiplicity.
Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:22 pm
I have found that you end up cutting out all of the stuff that really doesn't matter. Every time I think I am really getting on it...someone else comes a long that does more than I do. Inspiration.
Chris February 17, 2010 - 7:40 pm
Thanks for the kick in the pants Robb!
Robb Sutton February 19, 2010 - 8:32 am
Anytime Chris!
Curtis Chappell February 17, 2010 - 7:42 pm
Hi Robb, Have you been reading my upcoming book? In it, I talk about consideration for consideration’s sake, and how this can lead to paralysis. Yes, you should give anything you want to do some serious consideration…build a plan…set attainable goals…mark your progress…etc. But if you never step off the porch, you’ll never reach the gate and you’ll certainly never get across the street! The reality is many people were born to complain. Why? Because it’s easier to blame other people for their situation than to accept they are the biggest contributor to the problem. If you want to be a successful blogger, entrepreneur, etc, then the first thing to do is turn off the television. I can’t believe how much of my life I’ve wasted on that medium! Second, set yourself a big goal, then break it down into a series of smaller goals, with each one taking you a step closer to the primary goal. And third, celebrate every time you make something happen…that doesn’t mean stand still and pat yourself on the back, it means take a quick look back…realize how far you’ve come, then face the future and run even faster to the next goal. Once you’ve passed the first two mini-goals, you’ll have a hard time believing you ever were where you were in the beginning. Because you’ve come so far it’s now impossible to go back… Excuses are for wimps…take the world by the throat and only look back to see what you left behind! Write On!
Robb Sutton February 19, 2010 - 8:33 am
This is the fundamental truth behind excuses... "The reality is many people were born to complain. Why? Because it’s easier to blame other people for their situation than to accept they are the biggest contributor to the problem." Great line.
Samuel February 17, 2010 - 7:43 pm
I was told by a grade school teacher that excuses are tools for the incompetent. I didn't understand the comment at the time until later on in life I was held accountable for specific goals I had to meet or risk being fired. You better believe I met those goals. I learned if I took massive action on something I will get it done. Maybe people need to be held accountable by someone or something which will carry a heavy consequence if not fulfilled. Maybe this is the kick in the arse they need to prevent from giving excuses.
Robb Sutton February 19, 2010 - 8:32 am
I really like that line..."excuses are tools for the incompetent."
Jill February 17, 2010 - 10:50 pm
I love this post Rob. This is the ice berg illustration. Only 10% of the ice berg is above water. We may see the supposed overnight successes in some folk, but what we are really seeing is 10% of their lives. The hard work, the blood sweat and tears is often not seen. So we may think that overnight success is possible. I don't think so - not without a solid foundation already laid - one that probably took years to build. We do appreciate the things we REALLY earned more, thus the overnight lottery millionaire usually becomes a pauper again within a short time.
Robb Sutton February 18, 2010 - 7:41 am
Jill That is 100% true. I was like to say that I was an overnight success that was years in making. It take a lot of work over time to see success and people tend to forget that. Great iceberg analogy.
Phil February 18, 2010 - 4:59 am
Cool article, Robb. Like it very much. I personally think that it pays to not start running into this thing (e. g. blogging) than half way through start another (eshops) or a third one. Think before you start what time it may consume and if you are willing to spend it. Then start and leave all excuses behind.
Robb Sutton February 19, 2010 - 8:31 am
You have to have the time to give all of your projects the right amount of attention. If you don't...then you are just half assing everything. Great point.
Ben February 19, 2010 - 6:41 am
Great topic Robb! Bitching and moaning gets you no where in life. If you want success you have to go and get it for yourself as life won't do it for you. Success comes from working hard and smart no matter what field you're trying to be successful in.
Robb Sutton February 19, 2010 - 8:27 am
It is easier to bitch and moan rather than actually do something...that is why so many people choose that route. The hard part is stepping up and taking responsibility. And you are right...that is regardless of field.
Eric February 19, 2010 - 7:18 am
Maybe I'm way out of line here but I think that the more scared you are of doing something, the better off you'll be after you go after it. Being comfortable with things will honestly get you no where. In my opinion being comfortable with things is the place you get to after you've gotten uncomfortable enough to get to a better place (the next comfort). That's what I feel. And if you keep striving to do better, yes you'll have to keep getting uncomfortable but the next comfort will be better than the last. I truly hope this comment makes sense. I have every intention for it to. What do you think?
Robb Sutton February 19, 2010 - 8:26 am
I think stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing the limits of what you consider "normal" is a vital part of success and personal development. If we constantly stay in our own little worlds...we won't get anywhere. I agree 100%.
Maria February 22, 2010 - 10:22 pm
I agree with your post, although sometimes there are people who are afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone, it has taken me a long time to stop re-hashing posts, I didn't think anyone would be interested in what I had to say. Thankfully, I was wrong. Sometimes, it just isn't down to laziness, but the lack of belief. I run several websites, there are self containing so never really any need to interact. Being new to blogging scared the crap out of me, but hey, I'm doing it. Thanks Robb.
Robb Sutton February 22, 2010 - 10:32 pm
Stepping out of your comfort zone is the hardest part. The more you do it...the easier it becomes. Keep at it!
What Stops You From Being Where You Want to Be? | Rich Wallace March 8, 2010 - 10:08 am
[...] think that I can get my thoughts out fairly well by writing, he nailed it on the head and created a Zero-Tolerance Policy that we really all should create for ourselves.  Not only to keep our own ideas and goals in line [...]
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