Have you heard of FOMO, the “fear of missing out”? Patrick McGinnis popularized this phrase, and it has become part of our culture. However, you probably have not heard about a lesser-known concept that he coined, FOBO, or the “fear of better options.”
I was recently listening to Patrick and Gary Bertwhistle talk about FOBO on Gary’s Podcast. It got me thinking that FOBO may be the single factor that keeps many companies from realizing their greatness.
Way too many businesses, and those who lead them, spend way too much time, energy, and resources looking for options that may only be marginally better – if they are better at all.
We are terrified that the option we choose may not be the best. The idea that if we wait long enough, something better will come along that will render the original option outmoded or obsolete.
It is time for everyone to pick a horse, saddle up, get in the saddle, and giddyap!
YES, there will eventually be a better option. Wait long enough, and the world will change. That is reality.
The problem is, what are the opportunity costs that have been squandered by doing nothing in the meantime?
What have we not done as businesses or individuals because we hope that something better, cheaper, faster, or more efficient MIGHT be just around the corner?
A perfect case and point of this is the computer industry. As soon as you purchase a computer, it is on its way to obsolescence. As you take your computer home and set it up, new software is in development that will make the hardware you have purchased slow and inefficient. That is just a reality.
However, if you decide not to buy computers for your office, thinking that if you wait long enough a better option will present itself, you will lose out on the efficiencies that system will afford you for the time you have it.
As Coach Colin Campbell of the New York Rangers said, “You can’t score if you don’t shoot!”
Otherwise put, we need to make decisions and move on.
Waiting for something that may happen, may be better, or may be more cost-effective is not a way to succeed in business or life. It stunts creativity, makes you ineffective, and puts you at a distinct disadvantage compared to your competition.
Will we always make perfect decisions? Absolutely not! But making a decision and moving forward is far better than making no decision at all.
By making a decision, picking a horse, and riding it, you free up time, energy, and resources to look at what is next.
What is the next thing that you should be thinking about, acting on, or learning more about?
Technology and other opportunities keep coming at you, whether you are ready for them or not. The best thing to do is gather information, consult teams, assess whether the decision in front of you will move you forward, and if the answer is yes, implement and move on.
Too many people and companies are handcuffed by looking for the perfect strategy. They agonize forever about what to do, and by the time they make a decision, the world has passed them by – and the clients they wished to engage have moved on.
I am not advocating being impulsive, far from it. Opportunity cost and benefit need to be carefully evaluated to ensure the product or service meets actual needs and helps develop efficiencies you do not currently possess. Not doing so is bad for business.
But continually putting off decisions, hoping that a better option will come into view, can paralyze a business.
Take the time to talk to your teams, find out what they need versus what they want, talk to people who have implemented similar solutions, and research vendors.
But then I urge you to move forward. It will take stress away from your operation, make things more efficient for staff, and ultimately create a better customer experience for clientele, building loyalty and profits.
Here is wishing everyone health, safety, and long-term success.
Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to lead teams effectively into the new normal.