Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning


Better late than never

by Randall Craig on November 11, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational, Time management

Tagged as: , ,

How often have you said “Better late than never”? Like many, probably a few times. Close cousins of this expression include “I tried”, “I’m sorry”, and “I’m not feeling my best today”. While they all may be true, they may also sound like excuses.

When we rely on these expressions, we unwittingly are setting the bar too low for ourselves. Essentially, we are giving ourselves permission to do a mediocre job. The key to improvement (and achievement) is slow and steady positive progress – which means consistently moving beyond our goals, not explaining away the reasons for non-performance.

To solve this problem, consider:

  • Set clear goals, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those goals.
  • If you’re too ill to work, don’t spend the time in the office not working. Work with your manager to find other ways to make sure the schedule doesn’t slip.
  • When you speak to others, share results, not reasons.
  • Do not dwell on a less than stellar performance. Instead, share what you learned, and how any issues will be resolved.

While we typically don’t think anything of it, the words we use say much about our motivation and capabilities.

This week’s action item: Everyone uses a handful of comfortable expressions, by habit. This week, before you do so, think about what they really mean. When it comes to showing up for a business meeting (or an interview, or a sales call), don’t settle for “better late than never“. Instead, use “better never late“.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)