Don’t be a Donkey.
So when a guy called Derek Sivers was interviewed on a podcast by Tim Ferriss, one of the questions Tim asked him was, “what advice would you give your 20 year old self?” and Derek (who’s now in his 50s) said, “I would tell myself, don’t be a donkey”.
Let me explain what he meant by that.
So there is a paradox or a fable by a French Philosopher Jean Buridan (not sure if I pronounced that right) and it’s about the confused donkey.
And there’s a donkey in a barn and on one side of the barn there’s a stack of hay and on the other side there’s a pale of water.
And apparently, donkeys can’t think into the future.
They can only think about the immediate, right now.
So the donkey’s confused because it can’t decide; do I eat the hay or do I drink the water?
And not realising, like you and I would that you can do both, you could go and eat the hay and then whip over and have a drink or get some more hay, have another drink.
Donkeys can’t do that.
So instead, the poor confused donkey, not knowing what to do, does nothing and dies of both starvation and dehydration.
So really, the advice Derek was giving his younger self was make decisions and move on.
Don’t get caught in that frustration of indecision, where you end up doing nothing, because it’s such a waste of time.
It’s a waste of effort.
It’s often expensive.
And I thought, you know what a great piece of advice because that’s a massive piece of value that you as Advisers bring to your clients.
You help them make decisions.
You help them make big ones, small ones, life changing ones, little itty bitty ones… that still have a financial implication or a financial decision attached to it.
You do all that.
And in a period of uncertainty, a lot of people lack the confidence to make the decisions they need, even decisions like what are you going to have for dinner.
So what I thought is what a great way to really sit back when you’re thinking about the value that you deliver as an Adviser to your clients.
It’s helping them make decisions.
It’s avoiding them being that “confused donkey” and ending up with that poor donkey’s fate and allowing them to make decisions, smart ones with their money that impact their life so that they can continue to move forward.
Because after all, You are Valuable.