I have four teenagers in my house, three girls and one boy. Each day is interesting (let’s stick with that word) in its own way, and there is no shortage of eyebrow-raising moments. Surprisingly, some of these moments lead to business insights.
Recently, one of my daughters came home wearing a T-shirt that said, “Feed me tacos and tell me I’m pretty.” I couldn’t get my head around it, so I asked her what that meant to her.
After the mandatory “Wow, Dad, you’re old” face, she said, “Well the joke is that I want it both ways. I want to eat all the tacos I want and still be told good things about myself.”
I started to tell her about how as an advisor I would see this “have your cake and eat it too” mentality all the time. Prospects would come through the door wanting to invest, but their dream was to have a 10% per-year CD with a super consistent return that was also insured by the government. I laughed about how those things just don’t exist, so you either have to choose low risk with low reward or choose high risk with high reward.
She didn’t think the connection was nearly as funny as I did.
Long after she left the room, and took her taco T-shirt with her, I was thinking about this phenomenon. We easily recognize when it is unrealistic for someone else to want something both ways with no downside or risk, but we struggle to recognize when we are falling into the same pattern.