Everything has a Price

Every action and thought has a consequence. The word consequence generally has a negative connotation, but in this case let's think about a consequence as a price. Every thing you do or say is a price you are willing to pay. Much like the price of fruits or vegetables going up at the grocery store, you may not be happy about it, but you are still willing to pay that price because you need the produce to feed yourself (or your family).

It's worth a reminder that while you pay a price for things, you are getting something in return.

When I buy 5 limes for $3, I feel like I'm getting a great deal. To me, that is a positive return because of all the lime slices, lime zest, or lime juice I can then utilize from those 5 limes. 

But when I buy a crown of broccoli for however much money with the hopes of eating it and then I procrastinate and it goes bad before I can eat it, that is a negative return on my investment. I never ate the broccoli so the $3 I spent on it is a waste.

How about when I decide to meet up with a stranger for coffee? I spend $3 on cup of iced coffee with sugar-free vanilla and 1 hour of my time (worth >$100) so I'm investing >$103 in that time. Is that meeting going to make me $103? Probably not. The only way to make money off of this investment of time is to sell something. Sure, there may be an indirect payback if I'm meeting about starting a business or developing a skill that could make me money, but for the most part coffee meetings have a negative ROI.

I've actually stopped taking lunch meetings because they suck so much. Lunch meetings mean I lose a minimum of an hour of productivity, sometimes as much as 1.5 hours because of travel, ordering/waiting for food and then the actual lunch meeting itself. I am the most productive from 8/9-3/4 and then after 9PM. If that's the case then I should be protecting those hours at all costs, not murdering them with meetings that could be scheduled for other times.

I started this a couple months ago, but I now only do early morning coffee/breakfast or meetings later in the day when I know I'm hitting my afternoon wall. 

Every thing we do has a cost. Going out with friends? That's a big cost. $25-$50 spent on food/drink and at least 3-6 hours of time (let's say your hourly freelance rate is $50/hour and you go out for 4 hours, then the cost of you going out is actually 4*$50 + Cost of food drink = $225+).

That adds up quick.

This is a utilitarian way of viewing things, but I think more people need to think in these terms. Most people care more about feeling good in the moment than eating dirt for a while in order to eat like a king forever.

Let's say you go out 3 nights this week. No problem with that. Sounds like a lot of fun and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Based on our calculations above you're going to spend almost $700 on those 3 nights out (you'll probably only actually spend about $100-$150, but we're factoring in the opportunity cost of hourly billing you're missing out on).

Now, let's say next week you opt to not go out at all. You plan ahead and have food to cook and feed yourself. Instead of drinking beer and watching netflix or going out with friends, you stay in. You can still go to bed at the same time (let's say midnight), but you stay at home and work on your side hustle. Or you go to a networking event and tell 10-20 people about your freelance work.

What's the cost there? Sure, your cost is still $50/hour so your evening still costs you $200 (just remove the $25-50 spent on bar tabs/food). But if you spend that time working, freelancing, or networking how much more likely are you to make a positive ROI?

You've got a better shot making a positive ROI there than by doing what you've been doing.

Why not try something new today?