In business as in all other areas of life, it is extremely important to look before you leap. (In fact, as an adult, in most instances you should not be leaping at all unless you are a ballet dancer, athlete, or frog).
Most people can easily think of instances in their lives when they should have thought longer and deeper before entering into something. In any endeavor, it is important to weigh the possible consequences of an action, both positive and negative. Although many see anything which promises excitement, something new, or rewarding in any of a variety of ways through the proverbial rose-colored glasses, these same individuals are the ones which are generally found later to be whining the loudest, regretting their actions.
Do you remember the high school football star and homecoming queen who could hardly wait until graduation to marry and start a family? How many of these couples soon divorced when the financial, parenting, and other harsh realities of life set in?
What about the college athletes who dropped out of college, being lured by promises of fortune and fame, before earning the all-important degree? How many of these unfortunate young people were injured or met with other obstacles which ended the anticipated career before it ever really got off the ground?
The same need for careful thought and weighing all sides of an issue is extremely important in business. How many business managers have, for instance, jumped quickly into hiring en employee just to have a warm body fill a position and lived to regret it? Believe me, it is easier to hire an undesirable employee than to get rid of same. Take time to check references and other background items. You don’t want to hire someone who is all flash and no substance (and there are a lot of those around today), but someone who will work hard and make a genuine contribution to your organization).
This is also true when purchasing computer hardware and software and other tools for use in your company. A slick salesperson may make it sound like his product is just what you need, but maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Do your homework and know what you are looking for before you even talk with a salesperson. Compare several options for compatibility with your needs as well as cost considerations. Do no skimp and buy something just because it is cheap – if it will meet your needs both now and for a few more years in the future, then by all means go with that product. However, you might need to pay more to get the quality you need now as well. Also allow for the growing needs of your business and get a product that will accommodate those needs.
The need to look before you leap is also important concerning those to whom you sub-contract or enter other types of partnership. How many sad stories there are throughout history of the partner who took the money and ran, leaving the other partner holding the bag.
So, no matter what you do in business and in life in general, take a little extra time to consider all the possible consequences and repercussions of your actions. Then you will not end up telling a sad tale of woe about how you wished you had been more cautious and lamenting, “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!.”