Have you ever stopped and suddenly realised that you have been making the wrong decisions? Living the wrong choices and now suffering the consequences?
Whether it be in a relationship, a job, or with your finances, sometimes we are just plain blind to it until something, or someone wakes us up.
I know this has happened to me many times. This year marks 20 years of running my own business. Today, while packing up and prepping for an office move, I came across so many items that I’ve purchased over the years, that are no longer of any use. It turns out that many if not most of these things were a poor use of my precious capital. And, I have to admit, most of them were not well thought out investments, made with the aim of making me and my company more money for the long term. Rather, they were things or ideas that seemed appealing in that moment. I didn’t really question what, if any, long term value did they hold.
This spending without a plan didn’t seem to cost me that much at the time. But when I reflect back, I now see it was the opportunity cost that was the real price tag. If I had put that money into something that increased in value, what would it be worth now? If I had spent that time on a project that was successful, how much profit could have been made?
I have realised that planning in business and your life both have to be seen with the overlay of future you. What’s the benefit of this decision in ten year’s time? Will this add to my overall life plans and goals? What time will this take that I could be putting to my family or other more viable ideas? With this in mind, I have developed these three questions which should be asked ahead of every spend decision or choice on where and how to spend your valuable time.
1. What am I doing this for?
Profit? Pleasure? Future growth? Have a clear idea of your endgame. If it turns out to be pleasure more than not, you may find yourself making decisions future you will regret.
2. What’s the best case scenario for this decision and what’s the worst?
Can I afford the consequences? If you can’t afford worst case scenario, don’t do it.
3. How will this fit into my life in ten years?
How can you think it out now so that it is maximised in the future? Make decisions only after careful consideration. Undoing them is costly. Take your time.
As I have seen again with my Five Pillars diagnostic, time is as valuable a resource in growing wealth as money itself. How you invest your time and money now will have a massive impact on how you live your future. I’m definitely a work in progress.
Until next time,