Anytime you make a decision (or don’t make a decision) there is a cost. The cost can come from loss of time, additional stress, cash and opportunity cost of missing out on another unforeseen opportunity.

“Easy win” is a phrase Steve & I often use when making a strategic decision. A successful business is the culmination of thousands of easy wins, it’s never just one big decision. Steve & I use “easy wins” when deciding how we should do something or if we should do something.

An answer that is perceived as an “easy wins” is not always the choice with the lowest monetary cost. It’s a decision with the lowest overall cost, time, energy, stress, not just money.

Cost Example

I have to decide if I speak at a conference where I’ll have to pay my own way there. The monetary cost is two days of missing work plus $1000 on flights, food and hotel. There’s a mental cost of flying & travel stress (the cost is hire for me than for you because I am a tiny giant), the time, energy and creativity to prepare a presentation and the stress of speaking in front of people. There’s opportunity cost of what could I have done with that time and money instead. The possible reward could be added popularity by meeting and/or inspiring a bunch of new people.

Making Strategic Decision

Making the “right” decision can have a reward. The reward for a win can be money, karma, smiles, popularity, hiring the right person etc.

Not Making Strategic Decision

Sometimes putting off a strategic decision and not doing anything is best. Saving yourself from a failed decision is a savings in itself. Example: not taking a project with a client you know will be terrible to work with. Sure you lose out on some earned money but you have more time to market yourself and less stress bringing you down.

We put a false pressure on ourselves about making a decision right then, move or die we believe. If you don’t feel strongly about a decision, don’t pick a choice, wait and sleep on it.

Easy Wins In The Wild

Remember an “easy win” is a low cost (money, stress, time) decision that will result in a reaction.

Example #1: This morning I had the idea to write a blog post on easy wins. Now an hour later it’s live and you’re reading it. But earlier this morning I had a couple choices.

  • Take a note of the idea & write it later. (The post would never get written.)
  • Forget the idea & get back to work.
  • Take an hour, write the blog post, get live.

I thought option one was the easiest win. What do you think?

Example #2: we’ll combine travel into attending several events in the area or hosting a customer dinner. At the very least we’ll setup coffee with several of our friends.

Example #3: If I write a blog post and link a company, I email that company and let them know they were linked. More than likely they’ll tweet the link out. Did I need to take that extra step? No, but that small task pushes the article to reach more people.

Example #4: We hijacked an event sponsorship for $500. What’s the worst that could have happened?

Side Note: The Changing Perception of Cost

As your business grows and as you become older, you change the value put on monetary expenditures and physical/emotional expenditures. Example: LessEverything has the money to send me to any conference I desire to attend but my time is more valuable and the stress of travel plus missing my family is at a higher cost now.

Related Post