When I published my first book The Perfect Day Formula, something “weird” happened.

During the first few weeks after its publication, I started going through the reviews on Amazon to see how people were responding to my content.

I wanted to know what was resonating with my readers, what I did well, and what I could do better.

There were plenty of 3, 4, and 5-star reviews and most of them contained kernels of valuable criticism or encouragement I needed to hear.

But one review, in particular, caught my eye…

At the time, it was the only 1-star review on Amazon

And it went something like this:

“Craig’s book sounds great but it doesn’t work. I’m a married mother with a full-time job…there’s no way ANY of these strategies will work for me.”

But then, I noticed something interesting…

Right under her review, was another review from another woman…

A divorced single mother of three children who was raving about the way my content changed her life, helped her get more done, and create order from the chaos of raising three kids by herself.

What I learned from these reviews is something that every guru and personal development enthusiast already knows…

It’s all about mindset.

Your excuses, no matter how valid they may seem, are nothing more than justifications for failure… not “real” obstacles in the way of your success.

And it is only by eliminating the excuses from your life that you can achieve the success you want.

In today’s essay I’m going to reveal the 7 most common (and lamest) excuses that are holding you back from your first 7-figures.

By eradicating these alibis for mediocrity from your life, you’ll be able to achieve success faster and breakthrough to your first million quicker than you ever thought possible.

1. “There’s Too Much Competition!”

One of the most common excuses I hear from people stuck at the 5 or even 6-figure level is this:

“I want to grow my business to 7-figures…but there’s just too much competition. XYZ Influencer offers the same product/service as me and there’s is so much better!”

And I get it. In 2019, it seems like everyone and their third aunt (twice removed) are ditching the 9-5 jive to pursue the hustle and grind of entrepreneurship.

New businesses and websites pop up every day. A new “influencer” is minted every hour. And the second you think you’ve struck gold and found an “original” business idea…you realize someone else has already created the exact solution you wanted to offer…and done it better than you currently can.

But, as with most things in life, the problem is not that there’s “too much competition”, it’s your beliefs about the competition.

Because the fact of the matter is this…there is more competition today than ever before…but there’s also more opportunity.

There are billions of people on this planet who need the solutions you have to offer. It’s easier than ever before to create and market a new product. For pennies on the dollar, you can assemble an entire team of contractors on Fiverr to “get dirty deeds done cheap”. And no matter how saturated or crowded your industry is, there is a way to stand out and offer something unique.

For example, my friend John Romaniello built a 7-figure Empire in one of the most crowded industries on the planet–fitness coaching–by creating contrarian and humorous content around his passions for superheroes, Game of Thrones, and a lot of dirty jokes.

Another friend and client of mine, a young Empire builder named Jason Capital (who will be speaking at this year’s Perfect Life Retreat), used his polarizing personality, wicked copy skills, and adventurous lifestyle to build an 8-figure business in the hyper-saturated “make money online” niche.

I grew Early to Rise into a multiple 7-figure coaching company–again in one of the most competitive industries in the world–by going against what most “gurus” and experts prescribe and encouraging my clients to build their business around their life (instead of being a slave to their business).

Whatever niche or industry you’re in, you can get to the 7-figure level and beyond regardless of how competitive or saturated the market is.

But you must first eradicate the “competition excuse” from your mind. Instead of seeing the competition as a negative thing, see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to stand out in a sea of copycats. An opportunity to work with your competition through joint ventures and promotions. An opportunity to see exactly what’s working and then make it better.

There are plenty of people out there who will resonate with your unique personality, style, and message regardless of the other options out there. So go and find them. Ignore the competition, focus on your own business, and I promise…you can build a tribe of raving fans and create 7-figure success.

2. “I Can’t Find the Time”

The #1 most common excuse holding people back from their first 7-figures is, “I can’t find the time.”

And you know what? You’re right. You can’t “find” the time to do the important work required to get you to your first million dollars.

But you can and must make the time.

Listen…

Extra time isn’t hiding away in your pantry behind that box of Fruit Loops you bought “for the kids” or tucked under the bed with the ab roller you never use. You’ll never “find” the time for important things…you can only make time through strategic automation, delegation, and elimination of distractions and temptations.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and no matter how “busy” or overwhelmed you think you are, I promise there’s someone somewhere with more obligations doing more than you.

The problem isn’t that you don’t have enough time…it’s that you’re using the time you do have ineffectively and wasting it either on distractions, temptations or $10/hour work that someone else needs to do.

For example, when I first started working with my client Frank Den Blanken, a nutrition coach from the Netherlands, he was a classic example of “Time Paradox” in action.

He was working 15-16 hours a day almost every day of the week. And unlike most people, he wasn’t wasting his time with social media, Netflix originals, or video games. Instead, he was doing too many things, most of which were nonessential or weren’t his job.

With my coaching, he realized that he needed to delegate and outsource 50% of the tasks he did on a weekly basis and, within a few months, he doubled his income as a direct result of making more time to focus on the big picture profit drivers.

Within a year, his strategic outsourcing and delegation helped him more than 20X’d his income, generating more than $300,000 in revenue in January of 2019…all while working 10-15 fewer hours each week (and traveling with his wife and making time for multiple date nights each week).

If you believe you really don’t have enough time, I want you to take a step back and get objective outside eyes on your schedule.

Are you really as overwhelmed and overworked as you think? Or are you using your time ineffectively and allowing little distractions to derail your productivity and sabotage your success?

Are you really too busy to make the time to grow your business? Or are you stubbornly trying to “go it alone” instead of buying your time back and hiring team members who can handle the $10/hour tasks you do not need to be doing?

3. “I Don’t Know What to Sell”

Of all the silly excuses stopping you from making your first million, “I don’t know what to sell” is one of the worst.

Between affiliate programs, teaching platforms like Skillshare and Teachable, and the infinite possibilities with dropshipping and eCommerce, you can sell (quite literally) anything and everything with almost no barrier to entry.

I have a friend in San Diego who runs a $300,000/month eCommerce website…selling soap bars for men.

I recently read about a guy in the UK who makes $1,100 a month writing fish tank reviews in his free time (no, I’m not kidding).

And I have dozens of close friends and 7-figure entrepreneurs who make millions of dollars a year selling other people’s products to their email list (like Igor Kfheits, a world-renowned email marketer regularly makes $400,000+ with every affiliate promotion he runs).

Whatever you’re interested in, whatever solution you want to provide, and whatever you want to sell…you can.

Pick a topic or industry you’re interested in and sell someone else’s product. Pick a skill you’re great at, create an info product, and pay other people to sell it for you. Buy a Shopify subscription, find deeply discounted physical products, and then sell them on your own site at a markup.

There are literally millions of products and services you can offer and “not knowing what to sell” is one of the lamest excuses holding you back from your first 7-figures.

And I want you to eliminate it today.

4. “I’m Not Good at Selling”

One of my acquaintances, a gentleman by the name of Mike Dillard, grew up hating sales.

Like myself, Mike is a shy and introverted guy and the thought of getting on the phone or talking with someone face to face to try and get them to buy something was enough to give him an ulcer.

But he didn’t let that hold him back from achieving the success he wanted.

He knew his strengths and his weaknesses, and instead of trying to force himself to become something he wasn’t (an extroverted Jordan Belfort-esque sales machine), he worked with his personality and instead focused on developing the skill of copywriting or “salesmanship in print” as it’s called.

And within a year, he went from working as a waiter at P.F. Changs to running a 7-figure MLM business…without ever picking up the phone or talking to a prospect in person.

His copywriting abilities allowed him to “sell without selling” and today, he’s built and sold two $25 million companies and is on track to break 8-figures in his latest business.

I hate to be the bearer of good news…But your skills at in-person sales are irrelevant to your goal of making your first 7-figures.

If you hate traditional sales, lock yourself in your office and master the art of copywriting.

And if you aren’t a writer (which is another lame excuse by the way…everyone can learn to write killer copy), then pay someone else to write your copy for you while you focus on your area of genius.

Although I personally believe that every entrepreneur should force themselves to learn both in-person and written (copy) sales at some point in their career…you don’t need to be the greatest salesman in the world to make 7-figures or more.

With a little creativity and strategic delegation, you can make 7-figures without touching a phone or reciting a single sales script.

No excuses.

5. “I’m Too Young, Old, Married, Single, Tall, Short, or…”

If you want to know whether or not an excuse is valid, I have a simple test you can use…

Just ask yourself, “Has someone, somewhere, at some point in human history struggled with the same limiting factor as I am…and still found success?”

If the answer is “yes”, your excuse is invalid.

Every week, I get emails from readers and clients telling me that they can’t possibly make their first 7-figures because they’re “too young”, “too old”, “married”, or “raising kids.”

But these excuses are nothing more than alibis for mediocrity.

I know thousands of young people making a killing in their business…like the “wunderkid” Jaelin White who built a 7-figure real estate business before he was old enough to buy a beer or my friend Jason Capital who made his first million at 24.

I’ve also helped clients in their 50s (and beyond) who never made more than $60,000/year in their life build their first 7-figure business and achieve millionaire status.

I have friends and clients raising 3 kids (some of them as a single parent) who are running 8-figure empires because they care about their family.

And almost all of my millionaire clients built their first 7-figure business while married.

Listen…

I know you want to think that your circumstances are “unique” and your situation is “special” but it isn’t. Your lame excuses aren’t grounded in reality and are nothing more than an emotional “safe space” to prevent you from facing the facts and doing the hard work required to succeed.

Yes, if you’re 20-years old and have no credibility, connections, or capital it will be harder for you to make your first 7-figures than someone in their 30s with a huge Rolodex and 6-figures in cash…but it’s not an excuse.

Yes, if you’re in your 50s or 60s and you’ve never used “The Facebook”, your learning curve will be steeper than someone in their 20s who “gets” technology (another excuse I’ll address in a minute), but you can still succeed.

Sure, having a spouse and three kids means you’ll have to be more intentional and strategic in pursuit of your goals, but it’s no excuse for inaction (if anything, having a growing family is a reason why you must build a 7-figure business and create legacy wealth!).

So enough already. Wherever you are in your life…whatever challenges you’re facing…you can still succeed.

If guys like my late mentor Sean Stephenson and the international phenomenon Nick Santonastasso can overcome their limitations and build the lives and businesses of their dreams…so can you.

6. “I Don’t Understand Social Media”

I have a confession to make.

Despite building three 7-figure businesses online (and generating more than $2 million in revenue on Instagram) I hate technology.

I barely know how to unlock my iPhone let alone download apps or record screen captures. It wasn’t until 2016 when I finally caved in and gave up my 2010 Blackberry. And I literally pay my team members to install updates, set up “the cloud”, and fix the tiniest of tech problems.

But I never let my Luddite tendencies stand in the way of my success.

Instead, I outsourced my weaknesses (technology) and focused on my area of genius (killer content and sales).

And if you want to build your first million-dollar business, you must do the same.

It doesn’t matter whether you “get” social media or not. No one cares if you’ve never had an Instagram account or you still don’t know what a meme is.

You can still create million-dollar success.

The simple fact is that the important parts of social media (great content, consistency, and frequent offers) are easy to understand and implement. If you know how to click “Record” and shoot a short video or write 500-words of valuable content…you already have everything you need to dominate on social.

And you can pay other people (often less than $5/hour) to take care of the technical parts you can’t (and don’t need to) understand.

I have a full-time team member who keeps up with the changing social algorithms, does research into the “best practices” for each platform, and optimizes all of my posts for maximum engagement and performance.

Every day, I send him a few videos and few paragraphs of copy, and he does the rest.

And as a direct result, I’ve made more than $2,000,000 on Instagram over the past two years and millions more on Facebook.

Technophobia is no excuse for mediocrity. Find people who understand the things you don’t and pay them to help you grow.

7. “It’s Been Three Months and I’ve Made $0”

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Systematically you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. Nevertheless, you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day – if you live long enough – most people get what they deserve.” ~Charlie Munger

One of the most frustrating excuses I hear from new clients and long-time readers is this…

“Craig…It’s been three months and I haven’t made any money!”

And my response is always the same.

“So what?”

Making money online, or in any business, takes time and it isn’t easy. If it were, we’d all be internet millionaires.

It took me almost 18 months of hard work to build my Turbulence Training company to its first 6-figures and another two years before I broke through the million-dollar mark.

It took me more than a year to make my first 7-figures as an online business coach (even after building Turbulence Training to more than $5 million in annual revenue and starting my new business with a huge network).

My friend and client Joel Marion, the founder of Biotrust Nutrition, worked from 7 pm to 2:30 am for almost four months straight before he made his first penny online.

And it took my buddy Zander Fryer almost two years before he made his first 7-figures.

Success takes time.

And it takes longer than most of us would like…but so what?

It might take you 3-5 years before you make your first million (it shouldn’t if you follow the right systems and enlist the help of an expert coach or mentor). But guess what? That time is going to pass no matter what.

In five years, you can either be running the Empire of your dreams, doing work that matters, and getting paid handsomely to serve the world…or you can be exactly where you are today…”struckling”, burned out, frustrated, and jumping from shiny object to shiny object because you aren’t willing to put in the time and hard work necessary to succeed.

If other people have made it work, so can you. But you must be patiently impatient.

Do the hard work. Be consistent. Be ruthlessly impatient about the process of achieving success (e.g. doing daily deep work, delegating quickly, and taking consistent action). But understand that the results take time.

Success might not happen overnight, but if you show up every day and do the right things, it will happen.

Conclusion

Hitting your first 7-figures is simple. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

And it becomes a lot simpler when you eradicate the silly excuses from your mindset.

If you want help…

Overcoming your limiting beliefs, implementing proven “cash on command” systems, and hitting your first 7-figures faster than you ever thought possible.

there are still a few spots left in my Q4 coaching program.

To learn more and see if you qualify to work with me or one of my team members, send an email to support@earlytorise.com with the subject line “Coaching”.

Over to you.

What was your #1 takeaway from today’s article? What’s the “Big Idea” driving your killer offer?

Let me know in the comments below.

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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