We are all guilty of living for the here-and-now, at least some of the time. It is easy to get caught up in the moment, and forget that there is some sort of future in front of us. Call it a lack of planning, or a lack of experience, but it seems to effect everyone, no matter how young or old.
This can also be referred to as “short-sightedness” and it can really be a parasite to your business and your success. Short-sightedness manifests itself in many forms, one of the most common being “burning bridges.”
Often, the result of any short sightedness is a “burnt bridge.” Stop for a moment, and think about the most recent time that you were the victim of a short-sighted decision.
Was it a business that did it to you? How did you feel about it? Short sighted decisions are bad in our personal lives, but they can be far more detrimental when you have a business at stake. What happens when short sighted decisions are made for businesses?
Short Sighted Decision – Causes
We can’t delve into all of them, nor would I know all of them, but digging into the experience that I have, it is often caused by anger, greed, poor planning, rushed decisions, or a combination of the above.
Greed can motivate people to make short-sighted decisions. Some examples of this could be Bernie Maddoff, and any other Ponzi Schemer out there. Mathematically, Ponzi schemes WILL fail. Why, for no other reason than short-sighted greed, would someone consider starting one?
Poor planning and rushed decisions are pretty self explanatory. These could be considered accidental, or careless short-sightedness. If you’re in a rush, don’t make important decisions.
Anger and Shortsightedness
I think the most relatable is short-sightedness due to anger. When a person is angry, all rationality flies out the window. There is no reasoning, and there is little planning when blinded by anger. If anger is a common visitor in your business dealings, then beware.
Not only will you make bad decisions when you are seeing red, but others can take advantage of you while angry. This is nothing new, the Art of War mentions provoking anger to gain information from others and that was written over 2,500 years ago!
Short Sighted Decisions – Results
Earlier, I asked how you felt when you were the victim of a business’ short sighted decisions. What was your reaction? Were you excited to do business with them again? Did you even give them the chance of having your business again? Did you tell people about your bad experience?
Short-sighted decisions result in unhappy customers, and bad word-of-mouth. There are some businesses that I will never do business with again and it’s because they made a short sighted decision to retain a few extra dollars from me. I will not name the company, but there is a large cell phone carrier that I promised I would never do business with again, and here I am over 6 years later, and they still haven’t gotten a dime from me since.
Word-of-mouth is about the best type of advertisement you could ever have, and losing that over a few dollars is truly silly. Work on building customers for life, and let the short-sighted decisions wreck your competitors. Had the cell phone carrier treated me properly, they would have had an additional 6 years of revenue from me, but instead, they wanted the extra 50 bucks. That sounds silly, doesn’t it?