Apr 08 2014

Ever get to the point where you realise your efforts to improve yourself or your business have been leading you in the wrong direction? Ever have someone point that out to you & think they are wrong? What if they are an expert on the topic & you are still learning? Do you still think they are wrong? Or are you stuck thinking about your sunk costs?

For those who don’t know, sunk costs are effectively any money, time or effort put into something that you cannot get back. If you already paid for it, then the costs are sunk. It’s up to you to continue to use it or realise that the money has been spent regardless of what you do with it. There are plenty of sites that explain it in more detail so I won’t go into it.

Back to the questions above. How difficult do we find it to stop &/or change direction when we hear that we are going the wrong way? Makes me think of Planes, Trains & Automobiles scene. Just like in the film, we are convinced we are right, nobody likes to be told they are wrong or worse, they have been wrong for some time. The effort invested will be wasted if we were wrong.

Sometimes, it is possible, that you are right. However it is just as likely, especially if you are learning something new & an expert tells you that you are doing it wrong, that they are right, and sadly, you are wrong. Will you have the courage to admit it, realise that previous efforts are sunk costs, that you should consider a new approach?

It’s hard to do, for all of us. When you are wrong, when you are facing the dilemma of “losing” the effort, time or money invested, just think of it as the price of the lesson. As long as you learn from the experience, it will be worth it. Maybe not in real terms, the cost compared to the lesson, but the bigger the cost, the bigger the lesson. If you didn’t lose much, you may not think very hard next time. If you lose a lot, you may spend a bit more time & effort ensuring you are right the next time.

Lesson learned?

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