< Back to all insights
Over 8 years ago by Rachel Miller

No excuses en route to success


​I very recently met a candidate who brought up in the interview that during her recent sabbatical from a very successful career in FS, she successfully completed the world renowned Comrades Marathon. This is no ordinary athletic feat but instead a 56 mile ultra-marathon from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in South Africa! In congratulating the candidate I asked why she had done it and she replied, “life is too short to not do exactly as you want, there are no excuses!”

The ease of using excuses is a prolific problem many of us encounter according to leading Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith. In mentoring many students and start-ups including Research In Motion (maker of the Blackberry) he advises that our own excuses are often to blame for us not perusing  our greatest passion. What are these excuses?

  • Great careers are a privilege for the 'lucky' ones in life

  • People with great careers are genius and I am not

  • I am competent but not a star so I simply couldn't do it

  • People with great careers are obsessive and I am not

  • I have looked for my passion and can't find it - Larry advises you need to explore at least 20 interests to be informed enough to find your passion

  • I value human relationships more highly than accomplishment and cannot have both

Every day at Freshminds Talent, we meet with a range of excellent candidates and clients with varying backgrounds who all hold the shared belief - that there is no excuse not to be exactly where they want to be. This never fails to impress me and is clearly a huge contributor to their success so my advice for candidates  - put the excuses to one side and go for it!