My freshman year of college, I missed a few preseason basketball team practices and a scrimmage. The coach chastised me, yelling that if I wanted to maximize my personal ability and help the team, I needed to be around more often (read: at all the practices).
My reason for the absences: I was at work.
Yeah — I had a job as a college freshman, just as I had as a high school freshman, and all other times since age 15. My parents were adamant I get a job as soon as I was old enough to be hireable, and I’ve worked ever since.
Freshman year, after a friend put me on to a job that was an upgrade from McDonald’s, I had money in my pocket for the first time in my life. I did what any 18-year-old with no real responsibilities does: bought sneakers and clothes. I got a new (used) car too. My Penn State Abington teammates and coaches saw my gear and thought I was being spoiled by my parents. Yeah, right. If I was, I wish mom and dad had known about it so they would have contributed to my funds.
I have many young people in my audience today, especially athletes. About 2-3 times a month, a kid (aged 14-18) writes me asking about a product of mine, usually something from HoopHandbook.com. Not for product information though — they explain how they’re such and such age, and as their parents don’t have much money, it would be great if I could offer them a discount so they could afford the product they want.
My answer: Hell no.
Anyone old enough to write a message to me explaining their brokenness is old enough and intelligent enough to work and earn their own money. Repeat after me: “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?”
If you can read that, you don’t have an excuse. You can walk dogs, rake leaves, buy and sell sneakers. The world is yours, and it’s wide open. I’ve done an entire podcast on making money.
And, never, EVER, blame your parents for you not having money. Parents are responsible for food, clothing and shelter. The rest is on you. Your mom and dad aren’t trying to work on their jumpshots — you are.
For Your Game
- If you are old enough to read this, never blame anyone other than yourself for your circumstances. If you can describe the situation, you can alter the situation. Simple as that. Read The Mental Handbook and take Bulletproof Mindset.
- 95% of the work required for you to reach your goals will be done by you. And if the people you expect to do the other 5% don’t show up, that becomes your job, too.
- My sixth grade teacher would write a quote on the board every morning. I remember only one: Excuses are monuments to nothingness. Period.
What excuses do you hear most often from others? What excuses have you caught yourself using? Reply and let me know.