Have you ever heard of Yabbuts? They're invisible little creatures capable of massive destruction. Here's a few:
- You: "I'm so excited about the new prospect that came in today– we could make a killing!"
- Person A: "Yabbut, they're also looking at our competitors, who are much stronger than we are."
- You: "Check out our Facebook and Twitter social media campaigns– we got 100 followers today!"
- Person B: "Yabbut, that stuff is all a waste of time and those users are worthless surfers."
Yabbut, you'll never get the budget approved. Yabbut, I'm not feeling well. Yabbut, I don't have time to do that– I'm so busy.
See? I'll bet, now that you've heard this, you'll hear Yabbuts pop up several times today in talking to co-workers, friends, your kids, anyone. Just like when you learn the meaning of a new word and magically you then seem to notice it used many times.
The core material of self-help guides boils down to eliminating Yabbuts– since when you focus on failure, that's what you get. Think you might fail? You will. Think you'll succeed. You probably will. There are even things like "The Secret" that dress up this concept in a "passed down from Jesus, whispered in his last breath" holy sort of way. The summary: think of success and it will come. If that's what it takes to get people to pay attention to the concept, fine.
Is this a chicken soup, apple pie post about positive thinking? Hardly, it's about ignoring the noisemakers who unintentionally sabotage your success.
With some practice, you can even sense when a Yabbut is about to pop out of a person's mouth.
When you hear a Yabbut– point it out and kill it!
Explain that Yabbuts are insulting– that you're demeaning someone else's goals, while seemingly in agreement with them. The "but" in a Yabbut totally negates whatever was said earlier:
- "Yeah, that's a good idea, but I don't have time."
- "Yeah, this project is a priority, but something else is more important."
A related species to the Yabbut is the backhanded compliment:
- "You run really fast… for a girl."
- "What do I think of Bob? Well, uh, he has a great personality."
As a small business owner or even a cog in the big bureaucratic wheel, as long as Yabbuts exist, you're doomed to fail.
To turn things around, consider what might be possible, with no buts. If someone hits you with a Yabbut, ask them how it could be possible for X to occur. What would we need to do for X to happen?
Don't think of all the ways to fail– you will be there counting butts all day long. Not the most pleasant of tasks.
Constraint breeds creativity– use that advantage you now have to run past your competitors stuck in Yabbut land.