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Learn valuable lessons from high-stake situations

Enjoying high-stakes I just had an interesting experience. A client bought an income protection policy and she said, yes, let us go ahead and the interesting part of it was what happened with me at that moment. I was all prepared to deal with various objections or to answer questions or to look at alternatives but she saw it was a great policy and decided to go ahead straight away. It actually took me a moment to switch gears and to simply go ahead with the application. I was almost ready to come up with an objection or two myself, just because I am used to people taking more time.

I have seen the same with other people. We were building a house and office for ourselves and spoke to a couple of master craftsmen about some beautiful wooden items. They were unable to commit themselves to an upper limit price even though we were prepared to pay them more than other people as they are such masters of their craft – they had recently lost money on a fixed price contract so they only wanted to work on an hourly basis. Normally I don’t mind but having no idea how long it would take, the risk simply became too much.

Financial Advice

This happens a lot – a willing buyer and a willing vendor but when you really care about your client or, in the case of the craftsmen, about their product, you can be tempted to put unnecessary stones in the way. It can also at times be us not being used to something important being simple and, dare I say it, easy. The same can happen when we make a grant application or apply for a job or a promotion or even speak publicly. All these high stake situations clearly expose very precisely where we are at in that moment. These situations give us a much better idea about ourselves than at other times as they can’t be glossed over so easily – the result is right there in front of our eyes. High-stake situations are also great learning experiences. I remember giving a speech on the morning of Melbourne Cup day and, even at 7am, most of the 70 people in the audience were much more involved in deciding what and how much they would drink that afternoon than to think about money. It was very challenging and I learnt a lot in those minutes. If we have trouble sleeping before important events, that gives us an insight as to how much anxiety we may have. We can then learn, what steps reduce our anxiety and, after some trial and error, we may do better the next time and have learnt a very valuable tool for the rest of our life. High stake events are great opportunities to learn and if we become good at high-stake events involving money, our lifetime earnings can become much bigger. How do we learn to get better? In one way the answer is very simple: Participate in more of them. Don’t avoid them when they present themselves and, very importantly, if they go awry, learn as much as possible from them. If we are able to avoid putting ourselves down in the process, we will be able to benefit from what we learn much faster. It is impossible to be perfect and life is much more enjoyable if we don’t try to be perfect but are always ready to learn and understand.

<= Read more of Christoph's Wealth Column

Lismore Financial Adviser

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