As the summer holidays draw to an end, and we all return to the day to day humdrum of business, I am hearing the same thing from lots of people. The casual enquiry of “How are things going?” seems to often elicit the reply “Well August has been very quiet, but of course everyone is away at the moment, so it is very difficult to get new business.” I’ve even heard myself saying, and I know that in that one sentence I am making excuses, and allowing myself to fall into the comfort zone where we all agree that things are quiet so it must be O.K.
Now you may consider it reasonable to make this excuse for not having a good month, (and indeed there is some truth in it) however, it is an extremely risky path to take, and before you know it you can quickly find reasons why September was bad, and October etc. etc.
I once met a printer who told me once that it was a particularly bad time for printers, and that he had been speaking to other people in the industry who had all agreed that the industry was in dire straits. However, I challenged him, and said that “I bet you only called the people who you knew would say things were bad!” to which he grudgingly agreed.
The thing is, when things are not going so well, our natural inclination is to look for excuses and reasons (other than our shortcomings) as to why this may be so. If we can find others who will support our theories, then it is “not our fault” and “beyond our control”, so that it becomes all right to be doing badly.
So next time you find yourself making excuses about things, look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “Could I be doing more to change things and improve things? Rather than just accept defeat due to outside circumstances.”