Are You Using the Economy as an Excuse? - Christine Kane

One of the members of a popular music trio told me that the promoter of their upcoming show called to let him know some news.

It seems that the promoter has decided not to honor the payment guarantee for any musicians coming through town this year.

His reason?

The economy, of course.

The promoter told my friend that the trio could certainly come and perform, but there would be no guarantee they’d get paid.


Now, this trio is made up of people who make things happen – and they’ll be putting much more energy into the promotion and marketing. So, they’re not worried.

But the promoter. There’s a different story.

I’m in a high-level coaching program this year with someone who runs several companies, is a 7-figure business-woman, and is one of the clearest people I know. Recently, we were talking about the economy and the insidious fear-speak of the media.

She said, “Yea. This is where it gets interesting. This is when you start seeing people using the economy as an excuse not to show up.”

When she said this, I thought of the promoter. He has chosen – consciously or unconsciously – to use the economy as his excuse.

It’s convenient to stop marketing.

It’s convenient to stop creating.

It’s convenient to opt out of contracts, to choose not to pay people.

After all, these days we are all being handed the glorious option of taking no risks.  Best of all, we have a socially-acceptable reason for doing just that.

This is the choice many people are making now. Like our friend, the promoter, they have decided IN ADVANCE there’s just no point.

Courageous marketers will tell you that now’s the time to put more energy into your marketing efforts because the competition is cutting back.

Courageous real estate investors are seeing opportunities.

Courageous artists and musicians are creating beautiful work and putting it out in the world every day.

Courageous people use the economy not as an excuse, but as a REASON.

A reason to show up even bigger.

  • Paula G

    You’re not kidding! People use the economy as an excuse for everything from why they can’t succeed to a reason to treat people poorly.

    The reality is in down economic times lots of good stuff is happening…much like deep in the ground in winter so we can have spring flowers, gardens, and the like. If we throw toxic waste on the garden it will not grow. The toxic waste is all the limiting beliefs and excuses that keep us stuck. It is also the instances like you document here where collaboration, trust, and goodwill gets thrown out the window as a convenient, short-term excuse. My guess is in the long term this promoter won’t have much business to worry about.

  • nicole were right (see comments above). I did attract a fabulous job and I start tomorrow. Keep the faith everyone…pray and keep the faith.

    And I’m STILL not watching the news. Fooey.

  • Catherine Cantieri, Sorted

    “In this exciting present moment…” is a fantastic mindset. It actually sounds like the approach taken by my mentor, Barbara Hemphill. I’m starting an organizing business that focuses on creative professionals and I’m getting trained by Barbara. She had a teleclass last week called something like “Why NOW is the best time to start an organizing business.” Her reasons made a lot of sense, and so do the reasons for being optimistic right now.

    Thus far, I’ve gone for jobs with “security” and “easy money” — only to find that there’s no such thing. Making myself the sole determiner of my future is scary, but compared with the anxiety other folks must feel putting their future in the hands of employers who have the same mindset as that promoter… at least I can depend on myself to have my own best interests at heart, most of the time ;). And I think I’m gonna borrow some confidence from Christine and Barbara and Laine’s friend (even if that means I have to fake it ’til I make it).

  • Andrea

    amen christine! this is the time for change! as i see it, there’s no option. we can’t go backwards. we can only go forward and do our best!

  • Christine Kane

    Nicole – I’m with you there, my friend! I’ve turned off MSNBC as well. I’m absolutely KNOWING you’ll either find a job or create some new amazing path for yourself as you begin anew!

  • nicole

    My office is closing at the end of this month and I am faced with the possibility of going on the unemployment rolls if I don’t find a job between now and then, but honestly, I refuse to watch the news anymore. The 24 hour news channels need to fill 24 hours and feel the need to put an Armageddon like title at the bottom of the screen like, “THE ECONOMIC CRISIS”. Yes, the economy is not good. That’s the reality, but the level of fear that the media is cultivating is equally as frightening to me. So, I choose not to watch the news anymore and go about planning my life. And, I’ve had more job interviews in the past three weeks than I did two years ago when the economy was better and I was looking to make a job change out of desire rather than necessity. Go figure. So, I choose to stay positive and not curl up in a ball paralyzed by fear while MSNBC plays in the background.

    (And, I voted for Obama and was hoping to hear a Rooselvelt line like “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. I think the country needed that and I was disappointed we didn’t get it.

  • Catrice

    Love the post and the comments.

    Thank you!


  • Thauna

    Amen! I refuse to buy into the worry and dread that the media dishes out everyday. This summer when gas prices peaked I got really panicky for a bit…then I decided to turn my energy around. Each time I passed a gas station and saw that exhorberant price I would say to myself “gas prices are coming down” and I would feel better. And guess what they did…you’re all welcome! Haha! I still say it and feel very grateful for the $1.47 a gallon I paid today to fill up.

    I am reaping blessing everyday, even financial blessings…work is very busy and getter busier everyday, so my job is secure. It’s all about where you focus. :o)

  • cynthia

    I have stopped reading the paper and watching the news because it instills an under current of fear that is truly contagious and I refuse to give into the sentiment.

    The economy still comes into conversation since I know a lot of people who have either been laid off from their jobs (or their spouse/partner has been laid off). My husband was recently spared his job which brought about a sigh of relief, but also a sigh of resignation since the possibility of him being laid off brought about dreams of a different reality for his future (and mine). We had a plan two that almost seems more exciting than than reality – but I am a dreamer.

    Spending is down, but… as a people, we also have a real opportunity for change – change in attitude, in addition to how we choose to spend our energy, time and focus, not to mention money. I wish I had paid more attention to micro and macro economics in school – bit, I don’t think that the solution to our society is based on money and shopping.

  • Faith

    I often wonder how long the Great Depression of the 1930’s would have lasted if, when Roosevelt gave his “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” speech, the media of the day followed it up with, “The president says we have nothing to fear but fear itself, but here are all the things we’ve found in the last few days that we think you should be afraid of”, as I would pretty much expect them to do today. Amazing! It pays to turn off the news and face the world with a smile and a song. I’m looking forward to this weekend — three open mikes in three nights! Good friends, good music, and a lot of love and support. Can’t beat it!

  • Patricia

    “In this exciting present moment…” Laine, I love that sentiment. A friend asked me what I thought of the bad economy, and I responded, “I’m choosing not to participate.” Stunned silence followed.
    Our whining doesn’t help make things better. It’s time we got up in the morning, blessed the day and got back to doing the fabulous work that makes living on this planet wonderful.
    Thanks for the reminder Christine!

  • Wendy Maynard

    Hi Christine,

    Great post! I love what you said about continuing to create. It’s challenging to not let the current gloom and doom get us down as entrepreneurs. And this is exactly the time when we have to be more creative than ever!

    Last night, I just wrote a like-minded post on my blog called “How to Survive a Recession”
    and one of my main points is so similar to what you are saying. I wrote, “Now, more than ever, you have to be the steward and the visionary of your business….And, because recession-proofing your business means being creative, make sure you are giving yourself enough time to be with your muse.”

    Best, Wendy

  • Christine Kane

    oops! we’re fixing that. Feb 24. 8pm EST.

  • Gabrielle

    WHAT TIME IS the Teleseminar on Tuesday Feb 24?

  • Gabrielle

    Great post! and yes, I’m even hearing the “economy excuse” in different circles too in terms of being inactive…mothers’ groups and art-making groups.
    I then try to discuss expanding vs shrinking and usually met with a cadre of more arguments and excuses.

    Also Christine, I love reading that you are in a coaching program yourself! practicing whatcha preach:)

  • Sheri

    What if the economy slump was simply an opportunity for a change of mindset? Thanks for a great post.

  • Christine Kane

    Hi All! Wow – the comments piled up fast as I was watching the snow here in Asheville.

    To answer some of these questions (like yours, Daniel!) I am doing a special Free Teleseminar on February 24th called 5 Major Mindset Shifts to Take Your Life to the Next Level. I HIGHLY recommend that you register for this call –

    Here’s the link:

  • Daniel Edlen

    Thanks for that! It’s nice to be encouraged to create. As I am both artist and promoter of said art, it’s been a challenge. Not to motivate myself to create, but to promote. I’ve gotten some solicited and some unsolicited communications from people who’d love to buy my art, but have just been laid off and are worried about bills. I want to grow my business, I want to reach more people.

    But how would you suggest I get over this twinge of guilt asking people to value my art over something else?

    Thanks, and peace.

  • Rob O.

    I’m finding that this economical mess is fairly self-propagating – the more people freak out, stress over, and react poorly to the situation, the worse the situation gets (or seems). I’m not saying it isn’t a real concern, but it certainly isn’t as huge a deal as it’s being made into.

    I’m not turning a blind eye to the economy, but really, what can I do about the problem as a whole? Pay my taxes. Check. What I do have some control over is my own personal end of the equation. So, sure, I’m trying to ever-more frugal and mindful of where my money goes and I’m keeping an eye out for any opportunities to increase my income. But above all, I’m not letting it cripple me with dread and fear.

    It’s lazy, cowardly, and fatalistic to use the floundering economy as an excuse for not fulfilling commitments or striving to improve business. You nailed it – this is an opportunity to thrive in spite of it all.

  • yoseph

    You hit the nail right between the eyes. It is too easy to say it is too hard.

  • Kim

    I was contemplating this very thing last night. I was feeling very blessed that I wasn’t feeling paralyzed by the state of the economy. Rather, my home is getting refinanced at an unheard of low interest rate that will make it much easier to pay off the whole mortgage a few years before our planned retirement. And parts of my lifestyle, which have been looked on as “odd” in the past are now in vogue, such as thrift store shopping and eating more meals at home than out. So I’m in style for the moment.

    All very thrilling. And all thanks to the “economy”.

  • Bonnie

    Amen. Thank you!

    Maybe this is a Darwinian attitude, but if some people give up now, using the economy as an excuse, then that means less competition and greater opportunities for those who don’t give up. Survival of the fittest.

  • Andi

    I have been hearing “in this economy” from my friends for several years now, and I always wondered why it bugged me. Now I know. Thank you for putting a finger to why. And thank you for showing me a way out of my own funk here (because recently I have been catching myself with those thoughts; it’s like they’re a cold or something). Your blog posts are a flu shot for the mind. 🙂

  • Lynne

    Hi Christine!

    GREAT post! I was just talking the other day with a friend of mine about this very topic… and I told him that if I were Obama, one of the FIRST things I’d do in office is gather the heads of all the media entities in the country together, and give them one powerful suggestion:


    Not tell them what to report. But at least provide an equal balance of positive and negative stories.

    I think that one shift would have a profoundly positive impact on the collective energy of the country — and would do more than any stimulus package to get us jump started in the right direction.

    For me — I’ve pretty much stopped watching the news and reading the paper because it has become so unbearably depressing. I’m simply not going to buy into the overwhelming pressure to be powerless — and the belief that all is wrong with the world. We’ve got some serious problems, yes. But we are only beaten if we allow ourselves to be.

    Thanks so much for being one of the most positive and inspirational parts of my day! I absolutely adore your blog!

  • Jack

    HOORAY FOR THAT SENTIMENT, Christine! Times are tough indeed, but I’ve found it to be an inspiration. I wouldn’t show up every day to extend my graphic design skills to the world if I didn’t love what I do. It doesn’t matter if the economy is indeed in a bind. I’m finding that I can be creative in ways I had never been forced to be before. It is fueling some of my best work, some of my biggest risks, and a lot of satisfaction in knowing that I’m where I want to be, doing what I love to do. Economy, shmeconomy! Carry on, as Tim Gunn says!

  • Giulietta

    Super post Christine! If the economy is so bad, how are you filling your workshops so quickly?

    There are two economies, the real one and the make-believe casino one. In reality, only the casino one came a tumblin’ down; yet, the media convinced everyone that the real one tumbled down too. Many froze in their gloom and doom tracks.

    This is a great opportunity to create businesses that benefit real people living in the real economy.

    Thx G.
    Dare to be Different. Dare to be you!

  • Tracy

    “After all, these days we are all being handed the glorious option of taking no risks.”

    Love this line.

    @Laine, I love what your friend said, I’m going to have to steal that line. Of course, I do know that some people are hurting and I would in no way want to discount their very real struggles. I just don’t think that it’s productive to run around saying the sky is falling as your way of protecting yourself against the sky falling.

  • Tammy Brackett

    thank you for the thoughts. What a wonderful site! As a booking agent, most of my buyers have chosen to cut guarantees instead of cancelling bands all together. We feel grateful to have shows to support new releases. This is indeed a time to hunker down and be creative in our marketing and create alternative income streams.
    Thanks so much for your thoughts and the great work you do.

  • Mary Ann

    This is a GREAT post!

  • laine

    kmg, the scenario you give is a different one than the promoter saying “the economy.” In that case he would presumably have said “well, the last few shows I haven’t been able to pay the performers due to low turnout.” That’s a specific reason based on his own circumstances.

    I was going out with a friend one night, and she actually said “should we be going out in this economy?” like it was a blizzard or something.

    Someone said they were so tired of hearing people say “in this economy…” or “in these troubled times..” and she was going to start saying “In this exciting present moment…”

  • Dave Zeman / Schipper

    Now is the time for me to get out and rankle some people for my house concert coming up on March 8th… it does sound like that person is using some depressing news as an excuse to stop trying. Though, I find it disappointing that after multiple posters, emails, and shout outs even in the papers, my small house concert gig has grown in audience. I can understand that people get worn down.

  • sheista

    I agree with your thinking, Christine. I live in Detroit and depend on auto for my income. The collective energy of the area makes the paradigm shift very difficult, individually and collectively. There are many days that I have to talk myself out of not getting on board. Thanks for the reminders.

  • Cynthia Morris

    I love your take on this. I am actually excited about what’s happening, because I see big opportunities. I won’t go into all that here, but one way I look at the recession is this:
    It’s a global thought experiment in action. The downturn and layoffs and belt tightening, that’s real, for sure, but how we think about it is the experiment. Do you think you’re doomed, and as you say, this gives an easy out to not show up? Or do you think, cool, this is a real challenge to my ability to a) not get tanked by the dominant, negative paradigm and b) get even more innovative in your work and c) connect more powerfully to your manifesting core. I see ways for creativity in abundance and look forward to being more innovative myself and helping others be more innovative. Thanks for this post!

  • Lance

    Hi Christine,
    Just this past weekend, I was at an event with my family – and there was a reporter there from our local newspaper (small town America newspaper). There are actually four newspapers they produce, covering four of the areas around us. They have a segment where they ask people from the community a question, and then put their response and picture into the paper. I’ve never crossed paths with them before, although on this day – the reporter/photographer stopped me and asked his question: “Are you optimistic or not about the economy turning around in 2009?”. And I told him I’m optimistic. He was shocked – I was the 16th person he’d asked, and the first one to be optimistic. Which got me wondering – am I overly optimistic, and not looking at this realistically? And the more I think about it – no – I’m not overly optimistic. I do believe that there are opportunities out there for whoever desires them. In fact, now may be a better time than any – with a can-do attitude, we “can do” whatever we want. I really believe this. And now, with so many people cutting back – opportunities are ripe for someone with an idea and some real love behind that idea! And that all sounds pretty optimistic to me…

  • KMG

    I agree with your overall point, Christine. But can we also look at this from the promoter’s perspective? What if he sat down, looked at his dismal finances, recalled the last several shows that tanked despite his best promoting efforts, and thought, “I’m worried that I won’t be able to pay this band! What if they travel all the way here and I can’t give them the money I thought I could? Is it wrong of me to pretend like everything is fine when I’m having serious doubts? Maybe I should just be straight up with them and let them know the situation.”

    Your friends’ promoter really might have been using the economy as an excuse. It certainly sounds suspicious. But if my scenario above was the case, what advice would you give that person?

  • Tresha Thorsen

    Wow. I so appreciate hearing this especially tonight.
    So true how important it is to weigh thought and ask if externals are determining our disposition…today it snowed again and I felt weighed down, and then caught myself, regrouped and had a really productive writing day. I even bought a new blog template (also a good decision b/c I’m not gonna learn html coding anytime) and started to create some real tangible goals for myself. The big deal is more to me than the things I got done. It’s that I didn’t become paralyzed by the winter dole drums or other externals which I often have in the past. I even phoned a friend who I didn’t have time to talk to but did anyway:) Note to self: I know what triggers the downpulls, I know how to break free…steady on. 🙂 Glad to know of ur coaching gig…..sounds cool 🙂 Hugs for your thoughts….

  • Janet Roper

    I heartily, heartily agree with what you said. Thank you for saying that!