What Do Alcoholics And Companies Have In Common?

Three Wise Business MonkeysJustification is as strong in a business as it is in an alcoholic, and it can be just as deadly.

There are many reasons why we justify our actions, but two really stand out – ego and fear.

For an alcoholic this can mean continued drinking, sometimes leading to death. For a business, it can mean losing competitive advantage, and ultimately lead to death as well.

Check out this video where I draw the parallel and then let me know what you think in the comments.


  1. Robert,

    Business wise I have often thought that failure can sometimes be better than half-assed results, for that exact reason. Justification.

    For instance I have been getting some awesome subscriptions for a relatively new email list. Up to about 50 a day averaging now. Actual Sales though have been….. Meh! Lukewarm to say it the best. In some ways I am glad the sales have been bad enough that I consider it a failure. This forces me to work and improve conversion rather than feeling, “it is good enough” In the long run, I think this will get things even better.

    As for social media. Yah! I gotta do better there too! No more excuses.


    • Robert Dempsey says:

      I had the same thing happen to me on an affiliate site Steve. As you know, there are many points of conversion. I took the same tact and started from point A working to point B, improving each stage of the process. It’s still a work in progress as the affiliate sales aren’t where I want them to be, but I have the metrics to show me what I need to improve.

      Great to see you taking action on the evidence. Of course I expect nothing else from you sir. Keep rockin it out!

  2. Hi Robert,

    I really enjoy your videos, and especially when they are not too long. 10 minutes or less is great.

    My thoughts on what you’re saying comes from working at a public University, and from doing business online. I probably don’t have to say that I’m talking about two different worlds. But what they both have in common, is that people need incentives and they need to be motivated to do their jobs.

    At the University, people always seem to look at the status quo, if they’re satisfied, they don’t do anything different, and sometimes they work even less. When I look at what’s happening online (from my blogging experience, and from talking with a lot of people) the exact opposite thing is happening. People are always looking for challenges, and want to do better. They look at the status quo and they might be satisfied, but they still want to be performing better.

    We tend to justify our actions or inactions, and I hear a lot of complaining from people that are saying that they’re having too many things to do at work, and that’s why they can’t do more (and often the reasons why they should work less).

    But, to me, it’s all about having long term (and short term)goals, and taking the proper actions to reach those goals.

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Many great points Jens. As for those people saying they have too much work, let’s give them our workload! They’d freak out. It’s all about priority and time management at that point buddy.

      I agree with the goals – I have super long-term goals and short term strategies. Then I just roll.

  3. Hi Robert,
    I think somewhere along the line people get their priorities screwed up. My take on this is that happiness should be number one. Most people will buy into that, but here is the kicker. It is not only more enjoyable to connect in a real way with people, it’s a very sound business practice, It’s like good customer service makes sense from a business perspective and it’s more fun. And people that are having more fun have greater awareness, more energy and consequently are better employees or businessmen. Relationships matter in all areas of life: personal, consulting,marketing you name it.

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Excellent points Riley. Happy people are more productive, more helpful, and more everything really. And for me I’d rather be around happy people than the alternative.

  4. Hey there Oprah 🙂

    j/k. Great to see you my friend. In psychology we call this obfuscation self-deception. Its a story we build to cover up the real reason and we do it ALL THE TIME in all aspects of our life.

    Here is a really silly example.

    Whenever someone cuts us off in traffic we curse and say something like” that asshole! With driving like that someone can get killed. He sucks for not following the rules of the road” etc.

    What we really mean is “fuck. In that little game of who gets to go first, I lost” And we’re really pissed about that…but thats not what we say..instead we justify our indignation with some made up rationality.

    And you dont have to be a drunk or in business to do it, but it helps 🙂

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Oprah? That’s a new one 😛

      Thanks for that definition Dino. It shows that it’s part of who we are as humans. So yes, you don’t have to be a businessperson or a drunk, but it can exacerbate the problem.

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