Are Alibis Standing in the Way of Your Success?

A great little book I own, Sales: Brief Lessons and Inspiring Stories by Jim Williamson includes an amusing “Alibi Chart for Salespeople.”

These are the reasons salespeople give year-round for why they’re not able to make sales:

JanuaryNeed time to recover from the holidays.
FebruaryMy best clients have gone South for winter vacation.
MarchEverybody’s worrying about income tax.
AprilSpent too much money first quarter.
MayRevising annual budgets; concerned about next six months.
JuneStarting to plan for summer vacation.
JulyEverybody away on vacation.
AugustEverybody still away.
SeptemberEverybody back; need time to catch up.
OctoberWaiting to see how 4th quarter budget comes out.
NovemberEverybody too upset over elections.
DecemberClients too busy with the holidays.

Actors and artists have their own list of alibis. As a teacher and workshop leader, I’m privy to many interesting explanations as to why a given person isn’t taking the action action necessary bring about what they say they most want in life.

Most of these come to me unsolicited. People hear that I’m hosting a workshop; they’ll take it upon themselves to email or call me, and let me know that while they would love to attend my class, they are unable to do so at the present time, due to circumstances outside of their control.

(Yes, people do use this kind of language. There’s apparently something about kidding yourself that makes one communicate in Legalese.)

Occasionally, I’ve had to say to people: Please stop telling me why you can’t take my workshops. Just get in touch when you know that you’ll be able to. (I usually don’t hear from them again.)

Summer is my favorite time to teach, because that’s when I get to work with the most serious-minded students. These are the career-builders; the ones who stay focused and dedicated even when the siren song of the beach and the barbecue beckons.

Then there are those who announce that they’re “taking a break” from working on their career, at least for the time being. They want to relax, be with family and friends, soak up the sun and enjoy the nice weather.

There’s nothing wrong with that — except that come fall, these will likely be the same folks who say that things have become hectic, and they’re much too busy to think about doing anything new.

They’ll also claim to be broke, so it’s back to the hamster wheel and the 9-to-5 grind for them.

It’s a tragic cycle, and it never ends. But it can end — if and when the person who’s experiencing it decides to put a stop to it.

Kevin Delaney is a voiceover artist based in Los Angeles. Visit his blog at http://VoiceoverNinja.com

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