Who’s Fault Is It… Really?

by , under Uncategorized

What you’re about to read is NOT a political statement or an endorsement of any presidential candidate. I am simply using a quote from one candidate to illustrate a point that somehow far too many of us have either forgotten, or have not been taught.

In the marketing world, there is a very common and over used phrase that says, “It’s not your fault.” Marketers use those words to try and put their readers at ease and take the responsibility for their not achieving the success they want away from them, placing the blame on someone or something else, and then offer them a solution, which of course, turns out to be a product they are trying to sell.

Here are some examples from a variety of different kinds of businesses and industries that illustrate my point:

 “You’ve tried hard to do internet marketing…but still can’t make a go of it… it’s not your fault. You’ve been mislead maybe even lied to! The common practices You followed were wrong. The people who taught You didn’t know any better. No one doing internet marketing was trying to mislead You…it’s just that the common practices have been wrong.”

Here’s another:

“If you’re making this newsletter marketing mistake, don’t worry. It’s not your fault. No one ever taught you the system, until now…”

And another:

“You’ve been working out and dieting, but you don’t know how to be the kind of person that makes workouts and diets get results. But it’s not your fault. No one ever taught you.”

 Still another:

It’s not your fault that no one taught you how to be happy, and now I want to give you the opportunity of obtaining secrets to the proven training.”

Yet another:

“Your valuable technical skills aren’t enough! You are willing to do the right thing. But how? And it’s not your fault. No one taught you how to communicate effectively with people. They don’t teach “People Skills” in school, especially the engineering schools I went to.”


“Is it your fault… No, it’s not your fault!! It’s just that no one taught you how to build your business properly. No one gave you the proper. No one gave you the proper tools to unlock your potential online! But can you do something about? Absolutely!”

One more:

“The biggest gap in your success is knowledge and know-how. You want to be healthy and you deserve to be healthy but often lack the appropriate guidance. It’s not your fault! No one has ever taught you how, until now!”

These are just a few of the countless ways the “It’s not your fault” message is used to try and remove the responsibility for a lack of results from the individual and place them elsewhere. And the reason “it’s not your fault”?… because “No one has ever taught you how… until now!” (Another clever phrase that effectively places the blame for a person’s lack of success on someone else.)

Let me see if I get this straight. If I’m not happy with the results I’m currently getting (from my job, my career, my business, my relationships, my health, my fitness, etc.), and I want to make a change, and no one comes out of the woodwork and teaches me, then where I am (or the results I’m getting) is not my fault?

Somehow I’m missing something. This, in part, is what’s wrong with today’s society… it’s an entitlement mindset. We just sit back and wait for someone to appear and teach us what we need to know, with no effort or responsibility on our part to search out what we need or want, or what will help us achieve our desired results. And if our “teacher” happens to teach us wrong, again, we have no responsibility to check out them and what they teach to make sure we’re getting quality information.

Here’s an interesting quote from a job search website: 

“It’s not your fault that hiring is dysfunctional – How could it be your fault? However, it is your fault that you haven’t found your next job. It’s not the economy’s fault, it’s not your ex-boss’ fault or your last company, it’s not hiring managers’ fault, or HR reps, or recruiters’ fault. It’s not President Obama’s fault, not Congress’ fault, nor the Federal Reserve, nor the banking system or real estate industry’s fault. It’s your fault – look at it, recognize it, own it. Blaming someone else won’t find you a job, but owning the responsibility for finding your next job is a start in the right direction.”

 Presidential candidate, Herman Cain made the following comment regarding a group of protesters on Wall Street: 

“Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! It is not a person’s fault
because they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations and what is it that they’re looking for.”

And actress, Katharine Hepburn once said:

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – you can blame anyone but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you’re the one who has got to change. It’s as simple as that, isn’t it?”

The reason I’m on this subject so strongly is because I’m so tired of hearing so-called marketing “gurus” use the “It’s not your fault… because no one taught you” phrases to remove responsibility from the individual and denegrate other marketers in order to sell and profit from their own “magic cures” or “bright, shiny objects.”

The fact is, if you’re not getting the results you want from your consulting practice (or your job, your career, or any other facet of your life), it is entirely your fault. Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves, our families, our employers, or our clients to be the best we can be, to make the most of ourselves, and to provide the absolute best value to the marketplace that we can. And it’s incumbent on each of us to determine the best ways to find, develop, nurture, and express that value.

Success doesn’t fall out of trees and hit us on the head. If we’re not happy with the results we’re getting, we need to do what ever it takes to search out the solutions that make sense; solutions that are based on sound principles and systems; solutions that have proven and sustainable track records; solutions that we can readily implement in our own lives that will bring us the success we both need and desire.

There are so many voices crying out, trying to get money out of your pocket… voices that have no conscience behind them… voices that are based on greed… voices that will do whatever it takes to separate you from your money. This is not only not good, it’s pure evil, and you don’t deserve to be taken in by these tactics.

You are responsible for where you are in life right now. Your situation is largely based on decisions you’ve made in the past. Sometimes, things outside of your influence or control do change; the economy, banking, inflation, the stock market, your company merges with another and makes your job no longer necessary, and dumb things the government does. Of course, these things will affect you. But it doesn’t mean that you have to wait for Merlin to magically appear and tap you on the head with his wand and “Poof! You’re transformed!” Trust me, it ain’t gunna happen.

You must take responsibility for where you are, and if you’re not happy or satisfied, you must take responsibility for changing things. For things to change, things must change. And if you don’t do what you can to change things, you can rest assured that you’ll keep getting more of the same things that you’re currently getting.

 As always, if there is anything I can do to help you achieve the success you want and deserve, either in your consulting practice, or if you’re not already a TopLine consultant and want to learn how our consultants are taking advantage of these very lucrative times and how you can do it too, please let me know. I’d love to help you in any way I can.

Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions



2 Comments for this entry

  • Dean says:

    Totally correct Martin! The lack of personal responsibility today is shocking – one is actually suprised when someone makes a mistake and admits it rather than blaming everyone and everything around them.
    Herman Cain is right on the money – don’t blame those that are successful – make yourself successful – yes it’s hard, yes it’s alot of work, but it’s worth it,

  • Martin Howey says:

    Thanks for posting, Dean. You’re right… it is surprising when someone admits that it’s their fault for not achieving a certain goal or benchmark. We often hear about successful people referred to as “self-made men,” but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of a “self-made failure”… it’s always someone else’s fault. Heck, even my own kids blame me for them not being as handsome or (for the girls) as pretty as they would like to be… like it’s my fault? Seriously!

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