Just over 20 years ago, Harvey Mackay wrote a book that shaped much of my thinking and approach to investing in people, situations, business planning and so many other aspects of my personal and professional life. The book is entitled: “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.”
Later in my career I had a business coach that would tell stories about how we intentionally would treat his cab drivers (this was also about 20 years ago…before Uber…but the same applies), the receptionist at the hotel, the flight attendants, etc. Why was this important? He said that beyond human decency and respect for other humans (which should always be the basis even if there is no secondary motives) that you never know when you may need their help. You may need them to provide a level of service that is more likely to exceed your expectations if you have already built a relationship.
In a recent blog, Seth Godin once again provides a thought provoking and yet practical example of this same tenet of human interactions, acceptable behavior and forward thinking. See what he said here or below:
- If you wait until you really want an avocado, the market won’t have any ripe ones. You need to buy them in advance.
- If you eat an avocado that’s not quite ripe, you won’t enjoy it. AND, you won’t have a chance to enjoy it tomorrow, when it would have been perfect if you had only waited.
- If you live your life based on instant gratification and little planning, you’ll either never have a good avocado or you’ll pay more than you should to someone else who planned ahead.
- Buy more avocados than you think you need, because the hassles are always greater than the cost, so you might as well invest.
- And since you have so many, share them when they’re ripe. What goes around comes around.
All of these truths lead to the real insight, the metaphor that’s just waiting to be lived in all ways: If you get ahead of the cycle, waiting until the first one is ripe and then always replenishing before you need one, you can live an entire life eating ripe avocados. On the other hand, if impatience and poor planning gets you behind the cycle, you’ll be just as likely to waste every one you ever eat.
Plant your tree before you need the shade.
What “trees” do you need to plant today? What kind of long term planning is needed to keep you in the “shade” of your planning (i.e. Capital Reserve planning…just saying).