Why We End up Being Shafted.
There are certain things I’m just not very good at.
If I attempt to fix a leaking pipe, the kitchen will end up under water. If I try to fix anything to a wall, the wall will fall down; and I wouldn’t dare to work on the electrics because I’d end up killing myself.
I know when I’d be better off calling in a tradesman. At least, I ought to be better off calling in a tradesman. But it doesn’t always work out that way and I’m sure you know what I mean.
Has this ever happened to you?
The guy comes round, he takes one look at the problem, and he says something like this: “I don’t know who did this job but whoever it was he was a complete cowboy!” That’s when you remember what you paid for the job, and you’re left feeling you were well and truly ripped off!
Given how often this sort of thing happens, it’s understandable that you end up with that cynical feeling that the world is full of people who are out to get you and that you even end up paying to be got!
I’ve come to a different conclusion.
I believe that for every shark who really is out to eat you alive, there are dozens of others who honestly believe they’re good at what they do, but who are just not as good as they think they are. It’s not your gullibility that leaves you vulnerable. It’s their sincerity, their unfounded belief in themselves that makes them sound so convincing.
The fact is that in every profession, the majority are of very average ability (that’s why is such a thing as average) and average probably means “bordering on incompetent.” By definition, the person who’s exceptionally good is the exception to the rule. That’s why, if I find someone who is exceptional, I make sure I never lose his contact details because I never know when I might need his services again. What is more, I don’t go shopping around in the hope that I might find someone who charges a bit less. Why? Because I will almost certainly succeed, and I will almost certainly live to regret it if I give my business to the less expensive guy! There’s a reason why the exceptional person charges more than the incompetent cowboy, and you and I both know what that reason is. He’s worth it.
The most expensive option may not always be the best option, but one thing we’ve all learned from experience, the cheapest option is almost always the worst! The person who tells you that he will match anyone else’s price, the person who tells you that no-one else can compete with him on price is also telling you something else: that he can’t compete on anything but price! If you fall for that, you’re going to live to regret it.
Until next time, when I’ll be talking about how to identify an exceptional coach and why having one might be a pretty good idea.