It's not my Fault

It’s Not My Fault

by Pete Godfrey · 10 comments

It’s Not My Fault

While watching the local news the other night I was once again reminded of the prevailing attitude for never accepting responsibility of one’s actions and for laying the blame squaring on someone else. Hence, “It’s Not My Fault.”

As a copywriter, it reinforced in me the need to use this “copy click” more often. It validated my reasoning for using this click and I could clearly see how powerful it really is. (If you’re selling anything that improves your prospect’s life, taking your prospect to a better place whether physically, emotionally, financially and so on, you better use this click.

Basically, you’ve got to lift the blame from your prospect’s shoulders and let him or her know it’s not their fault. NOTE: Don’t you dare start thinking this way about your own life, not if you want to be rich and successful that is.)

Anyway, a bit of background.

I live in Mackay, a booming coastal town on the Whitsunday Coast. West of us out in the dry interior are dozens of coal mines bringing thousands of workers and families into Mackay each year. Now, even a rudimentary bit of research would tell you a few important facts about this town.

  1. Rental property is scarce. There’s a 99.9% occupancy rate.
  2. Getting a job in the mines takes more than rocking into town with a backpack and saying “here I am…give me a job.”
  3. Property prices have soared in recent years. Some reports say 300% in the last few years.
  4. Food and petrol prices are high compared to other southern cities.

Okay, that’s just a bit of background. Basically, if you’re a young family trying to buy a house in Mackay, and you’re on the average wage, you’re going to do it tough.

So here’s the news story that pricked my attention.

They had this guy on who had recently moved to Mackay with his family. He was seduced by the thought of BIG money at the mines, quit his job, and moved up here only to find his dream turning into a nightmare. He didn’t get a job… in fact, he and his family are living in a caravan on unemployment benefits.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Here’s just a taste of his comments during the interview.

“I heard it was easy to get a job up here so I quit my job. Now look at me. My family live in a caravan, everything is so expensive, I can’t get work. If they would have told me it was going to be like this I would have never moved. It’s just not fair.”

The angle taken by the interviewer was sympathetic, almost apologetic, and damning at the powers that be that have condemned this man to a life of poverty.

Wow! Can you believe it?

It’s no wonder this epidemic of “It’s Not My Fault-Itis” is sweeping the country. The media plays on this… pandering to the masses reluctance of accepting responsibility. And look, before you start wailing at me for being some unsympathetic snob, let’s look at the facts.

He chose to quit his job. He chose to move his whole family here.

He chose to ignore a little bit of research about the place he was moving to.

So who is to blame here?

Tell me, would you at least do some research before quitting your job and moving your family 2,000 miles away? Of course you would. He didn’t. And now somehow he has rationalised this as being someone else’s fault. Go figure.

Now while I feel for this man and his family, I am not going to pander to his lack of responsibility. This kind of thinking is insidious, running rampant throughout our society. People are looking for scapegoats, someone to blame, far be it from them to look in the mirror.

The key to your success is to take responsibility. Plain and simple. Basically we’ve all gotta grow up and stop blaming others for our lives.

Even the most fundamental of research would have told this guy that there are no houses to rent in Mackay, that rents are high, that getting a job in the mines requires a few critical skills and documents.

This guy did none of this. He heard a few stories, packed his bags, and when things didn’t turn out to be a bed of roses he gets on TV and says it’s not his fault!

Can you see this?

Good.

But it’s a good lesson for us marketers. This is how the masses think. So if you want to sell them, let them off the hook and tell them it’s not their fault. Just don’t start believing this nonsense yourself.

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Burns January 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

It’s very true – the “its not my fault” thinking is endemic and largely unconscious by the sleeping masses. Great awareness and much food for thought in how to weave into marketing. Thanks Pete

Annie

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Judd Leverton January 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

The mother of my kids recently related to me why she was in such financial difficulty with Telstra, and how she didn’t see it was her fault. Each time they called her and offered her a new deal, they would say to her that it was better for her situation and would save her money in the long run. But each new deal brought a stack of new debt, new fees and the same problems. She said that she had trusted their advice because they were experts and knew how best to serve her as they already had her account. In her mind they had misled her. While I don’t agree with their tactics, and Telstra should have more care with their advice due to their perceived ‘Expert Status’, it was still up to her to be crystal clear on what her financial responsibilities were with accepting each deal, and what impact it would have on her current situation.

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Denise McNerney January 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Good comments Pete. Glad you posted it as I overlook things like this and trying to relate to how the masses think. It blows my mind so much that I can’t cope with it.

A similar sort of thing must have happened in the gold rush days too, where everyone up and left on a rumor only to have their family in tents.

I would still rather be the guy selling the shovels. 🙂

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Susan Connors January 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hi Pete

“It wasn’t my fault – they made me do it!”

Everyday I here this from my kids – four of them when in a fighting mood remind me of a bunch of broody or clucky hens.

“He made me do it!
“They are to blame/”
“Its the economy – not my fault I am broke”.
The list of excuses is endless.

Blamitis is everywhere a curse in the media getting worse.

People have to face up and be responsible for their own choices. Thats one thing we have in common is free will – you know the ability to make decisions. It seems to me that too many people are self proclaimed victims of this blamitis mentality.

“its not my Fault” is a catch cry phrase in todays society.

Wake up and be responsible people.

As to the art of copywriting – Pete – I agree with you as in using this as part of the process.

Personal responsibility is taken too lightly at times.

Getting off my high horse (fell off one recently) and hit the ground hard.

All the best and looking forward towards a better 2010!

Susan Connors
Australia

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Susan Connors January 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm

A reply to your post 🙂 Pingback

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Kevin Francis January 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Ah, taking personal responsibilty. It can be a bitch…

…but it’s the key to success and getting what you want out of life. Hard lesson to learn for most people (me included!) and not what the masses want to hear.

Spare a thought for the poor guy in the story. At least he got off his proverbial and took action! In different circumstances you could be hailing him as a shining example of the power of taking action…or maybe not. I suspect there is an element of good fortune in life…but most of the time you make your own luck.

Kevin Francis

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Jeff Muir January 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm

You hit the nail on the head. I’m fed up to the eye teeth with the lack of personal responsibility that we have to deal with. Today I am spending 4 hours of my time taking care of someone who says “It’s not my fault.” Two truck loads of crap to the tip full of mice, dog do do, cockroaches and enough bugs to kill the population of a small country. Tell your caravan man to come to Orange where he can live in my house and get a job cleaning up the mess left by his “sister.”
Hey Pete I just love your blog. Good work mate.

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Scott February 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Great piece Pete. Now can you print this out say 2000 times and do a letter box at the homes of low socio-economic areas of Brisbane (ie Woodridge, Kingston etc) in the hope that parents will read it, accept responsibility for the choices they have made in life and teach their children to do the same.
“It’s not MY fault…but he…I couldn’t because…I didn’t know…” lie, deny, blame etc.

YOU are who YOU CHOOSE to become…deal with it.

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Leon May 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Hey Pete, Leon here, the retired Cop from Sydney,
Friend, you are so right, selfish attitude and lay blame is the order of the day. Funny thing, I never caught a ——guilty—– traffic offender, nor a —Guilty—-Criminal in 37 years of Policing

keep smiling everyone
Leon

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Christina April 14, 2011 at 1:14 am

I have a friend who says it is the banks fault that she didn’t save any money because they should have offered to take money out of her account every week and save it for her

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