One takeaway from the National Speakers Association conference this year was by motivational speaker Walter Bond.  I was truly impressed by this content and delivery.  His book All Buts Stink! How to Live Your Best Life and Eliminate Excuses is more than just a clever title, it is about his journey on how he fulfilled his dream by being in the NBA.

One recurring pattern I see isn’t so much the excuses we make for ourselves but the excuses we make for other people.

Let me explain.

Because of the world I grew up in real estate I’ve been fortunate to develop thousands of contacts all across the world.  Many of these individuals I’ve settled real estate transactions with, served on committees for associations, and spoken at their events.

I keep hearing the following stinky buts:

Doug doesn’t sell real estate anymore, he doesn’t know how to handle the paperwork or the changing market.

Doug has never sold commercial real estate, he has no idea how much paperwork is involved.

Doug has never been the president of his association, how can we train our leaders to be relevant or facilitate our strategic plan?

Doug’s Facebook page doesn’t have high engagement so he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Bottom line, it doesn’t matter.

All of the above are buts that stink because whoever made the claim is unwilling to think outside the box, think critically about tackling real issues at hand, and compartmentalizing their organizations to only reflect similar opinions of the status quo.

People don’t hire you for what you have done, they hire people for how you make them think.

The more critical thinker you can be more value you can add to an organization.

I’ve worked hard to stop being just a hired pair of hands, a YES! man, or  simply “a speaker.”

I’ve developed strong critical thinking skills that challenge the status quo, not to just disagree, but to make a genuine positive difference in others lives.

Stop and think

Think about your personal relationships.

Before I was going to introduce my Dad to Allison I was making excuses for her not to meet him because he tells corny jokes, will sing a song, or tell jokes from when I was little.

Those buts prolonged an introduction when in actuality, they get along just fine.  Allison loves my Dad’s jokes, loves the stories when I was little and the singing, not so much 🙂

I didn’t want dogs living in my house because they would collect hair on my couch, bark loud, and poop in my yard.  Those were my buts about having dogs.

I love Allison’s dogs because they give us exercise we wouldn’t have otherwise, we enjoy petting them and making them feel good as a live breathing creature, etc.

Here are some questions to ponder…

How many buts (excuses) are you making for other people?

How much does it cost your personal relationships or organization by adding a but, rather than a why/why not?

How much better off would you be if your buts didn’t stink as much.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre from St. Louis, Missouri USA when they want to dramatically increase operational performance, create breakthrough value propositions, and serve customers beyond geographical constraints on a minimal budget. For more than a decade he has been setting trends with how organizations engage customers with social media, video marketing, and custom-built software applications. Doug’s book Screen to Screen Selling published by McGraw Hill pioneered the way sales professionals sold homes without being physically present before the COVID-19 pandemic. He is one of a select few who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speakers Association and has experience as a REALTOR.

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