Periodically in the financial and insurance worlds we come across an individual who has lofty ideals but rarely acts upon them. The concept is an old one — old enough that rural Texas has a phrase for it: “Big hat, no cattle.”
Though the phrase was originally reserved for a person who has a big ego but no property or all talk and no action, like a cowboy who dresses well but doesn’t own any cattle, it applies to our sector as well. If we don’t regularly take stock of the actions we take and the image we produce, we’ll let our hats get too big for ourselves.
(Related: 3 Ways to Add Skin to the Game)
We’ve all seen the concept in family life. Before I had my kids, my niece and nephew were born. I remember watching my brother and sister-in-law struggle with certain parts of parenting. In the middle of one of their hectic days of child rearing, I remarked aloud, “Please tell me that won’t happen when I have kids.”
My sister-in-law quickly responded, “You don’t have a clue until you have your own.”
I do have my own kids today, and although it’s rewarding, I think about my sister-in-law’s words often. Raising children is incredibly hard. It’s easy to tell people how they should raise their kids when you’re on the sidelines, but it’s even harder to follow that advice yourself when you’re in the middle of the struggle.