What Eight Hours Trying To Fix My E-mail Taught Me About Money | Ted McLyman dot Com

What Eight Hours Trying To Fix My E-mail Taught Me About Money

IMG_0030I just wasted a day trying to fix my e-mail. I still don’t know if it’s right. And I bet I wasn’t the only one hunched over a computer today doing the same thing.

What’s so amazing is not all the time I wasted — the opportunity cost was in deed huge. The real issue is that I was convinced that I could fix the e-mail account. I’m no IT guy. I’m a self taught advanced user at best. Any objective observer would have concluded that I had no business doing any of this. So what gives?

It’s quite simple. I’m so very human. In my mind, I’m quite special. I can do almost about anything. You see; I happen to be a very well-educated and highly trained professional. Who, thank you for asking, happens to be a great leader of men and women, a consultant to industry, and a skilled trainer. I’m also a memorizing speaker, talented author, and lover of small animals. And, thank you for asking, a retired Marine and an above average long course triathlete. My God, setting up an e-mail account should be child’s play! I’m also a guy. And guy’s fix things! How hard can it be?

Idiot Alert: Pretty damn hard.

You’d think I’d know better. I’m a performance expert. I write, speak, consult, and train people not to do what I just did. I tell people all the time, “Do what you do best and delegate the rest.” If anyone should have known that I had no business poking around inside my computer, it’s me.

Here’s what happened. My emotional feeling brain — subconsciously with my full consent — made a quick assessment of the situation and jumped in. Unfortunately, my thinking brain — being lazy by nature — never really engaged. Why would it? There was no immediate danger. Plus I successfully fixed other things in the past. How much different can fixing a computer be from changing a tire? Really now, I’ve got talent. Remember, I’ve written a book.

What’s the take away here? Humans are imperfect decision makers — often biased and wrong. In fact, most of our decisions are emotional and taken without our knowledge.

Physiologists and behavioral economists have identified hundreds of decision biases — we’ll talk about many of them here in this blog. Biases are part of our lives. We could not exist without them. They are part of the many things that make us so very human. Today I demonstrated significant over confidence bias. I held an unwarranted faith in my ability. It’s lucky for me that I didn’t have a tooth ache.

Learning Point: You, your prospects, and your clients are just like me — over confident. It’s a myth that we make rational decisions. Unfortunately, this can prove to be a significant issue with money. Think about it.

Next, I think I’ll remodel the bathroom. I found this really cool video on the Internet. I’ll get started as soon as I get my computer back from the shop. How hard could it be?

Money Made Personal — Ted