Each time we make a decision, we’re effectively looking to purchase something.
Either we want to add something to our lives – an outcome or a result or an asset – or we want to remove something, free ourselves from something.
Where we often go wrong, is in looking only at the thing we’re making a decision for (the reason for the ‘purchase’), without giving thought to secondary aspects that are bundled in.
For example: if you decide to get married because you want to ‘purchase freedom from being alone’, you also purchase ‘less time spent with your friends’.
If you decide to start hire a marketing agency, you want to purchase ‘more leads’, and while you probably factor in your capacity for taking on new clients, you’re also purchasing ‘increased cognitive load’.
More leads means more conversations, and that means you’ll be spending time thinking about all the extra leads and their needs.
That’s a good thing, but you can only handle so many mental conversations.
In business and marketing and sales, you need to consider the secondary acquisitions that go along with the decision to purchase this or that thing.
On the surface, this looks like a nothing more than considering opportunity cost.
But it’s actually much more powerful than that, because what I’m pointing at is systems-thinking.
Your business is an interacting whole of incomings, outgoings, unknowns, problems, dynamics, conversations, opportunities… and a whole bunch more things.
Even if your business model is simply ‘run ads to my course on Gumroad and plug all profit back into running more and more ads’, you still operate a highly complex system.
Niches, split testing, planning for your next course, adhering to Google’s adwords policies, payment integration, social and political dynamics that affect people’s attention and time-spend and therefore change the efficiency of your ad campaigns:
It’s a simple business model, but it’s still a complex system.
And whenever you decide to purchase an outcome, you need to not just think about opportunity cost, but also about how the additional acquisition causes a ripple-effect throughout your business.
Nothing is as simple as ‘if this, then that’.
Every decision and every acquisition is ‘if this, then that, and that, and that, and also that’.
It’s not enough to think about linear, short-range effects.
If you want your business to be wieldy, and fun, and lucrative, you also need to think top-down, as in: systems-thinking.
And, you want to bias your decision-making towards purchases that have as many positive secondary outcomes as possible.
Quite unlike most people’s attitude, where they know that there’s a couple of negative secondaries in there, “but hey, we can deal with that”.
When you find yourself saying that – when you’re making negative secondaries into ‘no big deal’, you’re about to make life worse for yourself, not better.
Always prioritise purchases with positive secondary outcomes.
Like, improving your sales skills.
The primary positive outcome is, of course: more clients.
Secondary positive: Better clients and less awkwardness in the enrollment process.
But then there’s more, because selling is ultimately nothing more than a communication skill – so you don’t just get more and better clients, you get better outcomes with all people in your life.
And you bet that translates to a whole bunch of positive secondary outcomes.
So if that’s what you want, dig this.