Author and publisher Michael Hyatt—who apparently has nothing to do with hotels—thought enough of a quote from Catherine Cook to put it on page 99 of his Full Focus Planner, which I have been using for a full quarter now. (It is just the best!) That quote is, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not making decisions.”
While I kind of agree with the sentiment of Cook’s statement, I have a couple of issues with it, including a superfluous “then.”
At the risk of making a semantic argument, you can and do make decisions every day without the risk of making mistakes. Should I wear the dark blue shirt or the black one? Which sides do I want with lunch? Coke or Pepsi? Maybe iced tea.
For most of us, there are no wrong answers to these questions—setting aside the Coke employee whose job was jeopardized when his wife brought him a Pepsi with lunch because she didn’t realize that’s what the fast food place served. Only someone with a very fixed, authoritarian mindset—like a fashionista or a marketing executive—would consider any answer to these questions wrong.
What I like to think Ms. Cook and Mr. Hyatt meant is: you’re either not taking risks or you’re not making important decisions—probably the former. After all, rewards are usual corollary to the risk. Higher credit risks pay higher interest rates. Federally insured savings accounts (usually considered low risk) pay almost nothing.
On the other hand, you don’t want to take unwarranted risks. You’ve heard me and thousands of other investors say we take only about 1% (sorry, Bernie) of the deals that come our way, but we compete very hard for the deals we accept. I try not to take risks that outweigh the potential rewards even though you really can only how big the risk was in hind sight.
The takeaway is this: Weigh your options. Judge the risks against the potential rewards. Make your decision, and only look back to see what you could do better the next time. Ever decision you make—no matter how it turns out—contributes to the person you become. And remember, batters can get into the Hall of Fame hitting only 30% of their times at bat.Hermann says please like and share!