Cost and accountability

People pay a lot of money to ensure they remain accountable.

Perhaps you want to lose weight and you’re struggling to do it alone so you join weight loss group. You might be a writer who is struggling to make time to write so you join an online weekly writing group. Both of these types of groups can be created and attended for free.

However, when it comes to losing weight many people choose to pay to join a group like Weight Watchers. Or perhaps they pay to join a gym or a particular fitness class. The group provides a community of like minded people and the fact that you pay makes you more likely to commit because now you have something to lose.

If you’re paying a certain amount every month or every week and you ignore the meal plans, don’t exercise and continue with a diet full of processed, sugary, high fat and high salt foods then you’ve just wasted your money.

With writing perhaps you pay to attend a writing group where you sit and write for an hour or 2 each week. The purpose of the group is to work on your writing separately but for many it feels easier together. Of course you wouldn’t be reliant on the group to get all your writing done however if the group also involves sharing writing progress made throughtout the week it gives you an incentive to something done between meetings.

From the outside some people may not see the value in joining these kinds of groups, perhaps because they don’t need to but I think if it works then it’s worth it.

You don’t get paid to pave the way

The idea of paving the way is quite interesting and also amazing.

However, one thing that I’ve noticed is often the trailblazers do not receive as much financially in comparison to those that come after. I think in some ways that is one of the reasons that people are afraid to go first.

Paving the way is almost always difficult and comes with many challenges. It’s much easier to simply wait for someone else and then jump on the band wagon.

If you decide to carve out a new path, you do that with the knowledge that as much as you may gain success and be known for the work you’ve done, it’s the ones that follow that often end up getting paid more, even though you’ve worked so much harder.

In order to pave the way, you don’t need to be the best or the most talented. But you do need to have passion, commitment and dedication. You need to be able to create and hold a vision for long enough for it to come to life. You have to have the resilence to keep going even when you experience knock backs.

After doing all of that work, it can be difficult to then hold the door open for others, that’s why trailblazing and pioneering might be considered to be for the selfless. However, holding the door open for others is not a requirement, it’s a choice. Some people decide not to do it because they don’t want others to have it any easier than they did, whilst others do it gladly.

Some focus on they themselves ‘winning’ (as in earning the most money) whilst others will just ensure they get what they need to be comfortable. For some it is about being known and revered for what they have done whilst for others it is about doing the work to make a change.


Maybe you should quit

If you had to choose between pushing on with something in the hopes that it will work out or choosing to quit and starting over, which would you choose?

We’re regularly encouraged to keep going, to try and try and again but what if things just aren’t working out.

Often, the reason we choose to carry on is because we’ve invested time and money and we aren’t willing to accept that our idea won’t be a success. Even when we are aware that our continued efforts will be fruitless, it somehow feels easier to continue down what is likely to be a dead end.

Of course, in time perhaps things will be a success, but maybe we’d actually just be better off quitting and trying something else.

Rational decision makers

When I first heard the term ‘sunk costs’ I had no idea what it meant. However, I heard it from Seth Godin so I payed attention and came to find that it referred to money that had already been spent (which you can’t get back) that should not be considered in future decision making.

This idea can be applied to more than just money, it can also be applied to time although they say time is money so it all really just boils down to the same thing.

The idea of sunk costs is so useful because often we make decisions based on the past whereas sunk costs advises us to put that aside and make choices based on the present. I think it helps us to become more rational decision makers instead of relying on how things of the past have made us feel.

Short-term pros

When making a decision you might find yourself making a pros and cons list.

The choice you make in the end is likely to be based on whether the cons make the benefits worth it.

But sometimes we focus too much on the short-term. Making a particular decision might be great right now, great in 6 months and even great in a year. However, in 2 years or 5 years it will end up being something you regret.

Or, perhaps we allow short-term pros to outweigh long-term cons.

It could be taking a job where you earn way more money but isn’t in a field you want to progress in. Maybe the alternative was a job in the field you’re interested in but you passed it up because the salary is lower and the commute is longer.

In the short-term you’re earning more money and you’re journey to work is shorter. But in the long-term you’re progressing in a job you don’t want to be in which probably means you’re not as happy as you could be.

On the flipside, if you’d chosen the other job in the short-term you’re salary would be lower and your commute would be longer. However in the long-term, your salary will increase, you’re progressing in field you’re interested in, you may choose to move closer to work and have a shorter commute or perhaps you now work from home 2 or 3 days a week and best of all you’re happier.

Black Friday deals

Today was black Friday.

It might have been a day where you spent hundreds of pounds or perhaps you bought nothing at all.

There are arguments against the day because it encourages excessive consumerism. On the other hand, it can be a great opportunity to take advantage of the sales and buy things you can’t usually afford or have wanted for a while.

Yet, you may not be getting as good a deal as you think.

A store that had a pair of boots in the sale 2 weeks ago for 35% off may now be selling them for 20% off, except there is now a Black Friday sign flashing at the top of the website.

Granted a discount is a discount but don’t fall into thinking that right now you’re getting the best deal.

Identifying barriers

If you had £10million what would you do differently?

We otfen think that money is the biggets barrier to us being able to achcive our dreams. However, that is rarely the case because where there is a will there is a way.

The real barrier is a little more challenging to overcome.

The real barrier is fear, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem, the list could go on.

If you’re scared to pursue your dreams without money you’ll still have some of that fear leftover when money is no longer an issue.

So work out what you’re afraid of and overcome it so that it’ll no longer hold you back.

Is it wrong to have billionaires?

Over the past year or so there has been a lot of conversation around wealth, that those with more should have less.

This isn’t applying to the people earning £200k or even a multi-millionaire but instead to those in the top percentile, those that have amassed more wealth than they could ever imagine.

People say it’s wrong to have billionaires because no person can ever spend that amount of money, people are starving or suffering and they’ve had to exploit other people to gain their wealth.

And so if it is wrong to have billionaires how do you police it and what is the limit?

Do you raise taxes for the wealthy to the point where billionaire status would be impossible?

Do you somehow limit a persons earnings to £999,999,999 or would you make it cap it at much less?

More importantly who would be in charge of it?

Whether having billionaires is or isn’t wrong, I don’t have an answer (and maybe there isn’t one). However, I do think it is a topic worth discussing.

Paid work and free work

I think it was on an episode of Seth Godins Podcast, Akimbo, that he spoke about deciding what you want to get paid for and what you’ll do for free.

It isn’t something I’ve heard spoken about often but I think it’s quite important.

These days most of us put stuff out for free whether it’s through blogging, a podcast, YouTube, Instagram etc.

But if you’re constantly creating on multiple platforms it might feel difficult to identify what you want to be paid for. It could be that you’re blog posts are free and you decide to put your podcast out on a site like Patreon.

If we look at it in terms of doing work for a company or organisation (not your listeners/readers directly), I’ve heard speakers say they’ll speak for free in schools or for charities but everything else is paid work.

I think Seth mentioned his blog and podcast are his free work but that he never speaks for free.

I think it’s important to establish early on what you want to be paid for, that way you’re less likely to be persuaded to work for free.

Does privilege negate hard work?

Privilege is a complex thing.

I think the reason that so many people have a hard time accepting their privilege is because they feel like it negates their hard work. They’re not comfortable with the realisation that if it wasn’t for certain things about them, they would have experienced life very differently. More often than not having more hurdles to overcome.

Privilege comes in many forms: financial, gender, race, sexuality and religion for a start but there is so much more.

And so if you come under the categories of Middle class, Male, White, Straight and Christian there is evidence to show that you face less barriers. Furthermore, the categories you fit into don’t disadvantage you, for the most part.

It can be challenging for people that feel like they have worked hard to be told that they’re privileged. They’re often the ones that believe in meritocracy and feel like anyone who can’t achieve the same as them must not be working hard enough.

Ironically, it’s often that everyone else has had to work harder.

I think the easiest way to understand this whole thing of privilege is to meet more people that are not like you. That way you actually get to see the what it’s like for other people.

Whether that is not continuing education because they can’t afford it, worrying that their natural hair will be a barrier to employment or even constantly having negative assumptions thrown at them because of their religions beliefs.

The point of all this is not for you to feel bad, the point is to gain understanding and awareness.

Your privilege doesn’t negate your hard work but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.