After I wrote about “How not to be stupid (like I was)” I had a reader write to me with her father’s corollary, he would say:
“If you’re going to be stupid, you better be tough.”
At first, it made me chuckle. Toughness can indeed be a short term way to mitigate the effects of stupidity.
But I started to think about how business owners feel about toughness, and I realized I’ve seen this happen in real life.
- “I lost money the last two years, so I’m running lean to get myself out of that hole. Yeah, I’m working until 2 AM, but I’ll get through it.”
- “My last two account manager hires bombed, so I’m just going to do that account management myself for a while…”
- “We’re WAY over budget on this, so instead of letting my teamwork on it I’m doing all the rest of the work myself.”
Being tough *is* a way to get you out of a short term scrape, but what does that toughness cost you in the long term?
Remember the signs that you are in a “stupid state,” you’re in a hurry, you have a pre-determined outcome, you’re stressed, tired… Yeah, that toughness might mean that you make another stupid mistake and then have to “suck it up” again (and again).
What can you do to keep yourself from being in that “stupid state” in the first place, so you don’t need to use your toughness to dig yourself out?