My neighbor was fitted for a bike.
Fitted. For a bicycle.
Not only was I surprised that this was possible, I wondered why anyone would do such a thing. Until I learned that she was trying to win a spot on the US Women's Triathlon Team.
Now getting fitted for a bike makes sense. Even if she had the most powerful legs in the world, she'd lose every race riding a tricycle. Those with the right tools would speed by.
We bought my 9-year old son a $280 baseball bat.
9-years old. $280. Little league.
If that's not ridiculous enough, he hit a batting slump soon after playing with it.
It was too long, too heavy, and rattled his hands every time he hit the ball. If you're a little league baseball parent, you know that once your kid takes the wrapper off a bat, that bat is yours. Forever. No returns. Do not pass go.
So, we were stuck. With a $280 bat and a kid that started hating baseball a little more with every swing.
Like any stubborn parent that spends too much on their child, we forced him to keep using that bat. But, eventually, he couldn't hit with it anymore. Then he couldn't hit with any bat anymore. This bat, this tool that he relied on was so unreliable, it got in his head. His batting average sunk, his confidence bottomed out, and he went from turning RBI's to just trying to stay alive in the batters box.
So, we swallowed our pride (and our wallets) and bought him a new bat. This one we measured, tested, and made sure was right. The difference was almost immediate. His hands didn't rattle when he hit the ball, therefore he wasn't worried about hitting the ball, therefore he hit the ball. He ended the season crushing a ball into left field and driving two runs home.
Two years ago, it was time for me to upgrade my computer, always an exciting time for me. I had my eye on a Mac Mini, partly because I'm into Apple products, but mostly because it was cheap.
I brought it home, powered it up, and knew immediately I'd made the wrong decision. It was too slow, too unresponsive, and I found myself getting distracted while waiting for apps to start up, web pages to load, or files to save.
I tried sticking with it for over a month until I caught myself surfing Facebook while waiting for a document to download instead of working on the damn document!
The $500 I'd sunk into the computer wasn't a reason to waste valuable time every day. In fact, while I'd "saved" $1,500 by buying a Mac Mini instead of a Mac Pro, I had probably wasted 4x that in lost business, lost momentum, and lost productivity. Not to mention, my growing frustration.
So I bit the bullet.
Though I couldn't return the Mac Mini, I purchased a Mac Pro. I knew it would get the job done. And it did. It does. It's been the best business decision I ever could have made. No more waiting, only working. No more frustration, only massive productivity.
Spending Your Hard-Earned Dollars on the Right Tools Can Be Scary
My neighbor said she was "intimidated" by her new, form-fitted bike. My wife and I were irritated that our sons' bat didn't "just work". My Mac Mini now sits in a corner gathering dust because I couldn't return it to the store...$500 wasted making the wrong first decision on my most important work tool.
But, imagine how much my neighbor will care about the expense if she makes the Women's United State Triathlon Team. Hint, she won't.
Imagine how awesome it felt to drive two teammates home on the most amazing hit of the season. Hint, he was jazzed.
And my Mac Pro. Yeah, what an incredible little black garbage can.
Spending your hard-earned dollars on the right tools for your job isn't a nice-to-have, it's a necessity.
Without the right tools, you'll waste time fighting to get your most important tasks done. You'll be held back by artificial limitations.
The struggle to successfully achieve your already-challenging goals is already too high. Remove as many barriers as you can, starting with the tools you buy to get the job done.
When in doubt, remember the words of John Hammond in Jurassic Park (the 1993 movie, not the shitty new ones),
"We spared no expense."
Except he did, on the most important systems keeping everyone in the park safe, and that's why everyone was eaten by dinosaurs.
About the Author
Gadget Junkie, CLARITY SEEKER, GOAL Master
I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.
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P.S. Want to buy a Mac Mini? I've got a great one, like new :-).