Again I wake to a garden covered in snow. It has fallen overnight. Fortunately it is the slushy kind and shouldn’t stay around too long. Last week the garden looked ready for spring with the arrival of brave little snowdrops pushing upwards out of the cold soil. Today it looks like winter. Never mind, no point worrying about things we can’t control.
I had a strange weekend. The plans to level out the ground for my new shed had to be abandoned (much to Richard’s barely concealed pleasure) because of the rain, so I decided to trot off and have a look for a new laptop. I decided to go with the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth! As we all know Richard needs the tooth and I need a laptop. Sounds fair to me.
We spent hours pouring over laptops. I wanted something that was fast. Time and tide and all that. The shop assistants were very helpful – for once – but when it came to the point where I had three assistants helping me to decide, and fill my head with facts and figures that just whizzed into the grey cells and straight out, Richard took his little self off to look at TVs and man stuff. He was quite good-natured about it really – but I had made sure I’d filled him to bursting point with a double-triple-quadruple bacon, egg and sausage thingy in McDonald’s earlier. The man is a pain in the butt when he’s hungry.
There was a lot to weigh up but I basically got it down to one of two decisions – buy the super-duper 17.5” screen one with enough space to store an elephant or don’t buy a laptop.
I have to say that I have never really had a problem with making decisions. Sometimes it takes a while – especially for the BIG decisions but I always apply this rule – can I afford it?
Yes, OK, I hear your little brains thinking, ‘What an idiot. Surely that is the deal breaker for everyone?’ But I don’t mean it how it sounds. Stay with me on this …
I have had family and friends moaning, groaning and wringing their hands in woe about making changes to their lives. Should I do this? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I end up penniless? What if I can’t make it as a brain surgeon? Blah blah blah.
The answer is simple. How much can you afford to lose if it all goes pear-shaped? If you want to start a business and it is going to take £5,000 to set up, ask yourself this, what is the worst thing that can happen?
Answer. The business fails.
Question. Can I afford to lose £5,000?
Don’t do it!
It doesn’t just apply to money. Can you afford to lose time with the family? Can you afford to look an idiot when it all goes wrong? Can you afford the stress? Can you afford not to take that holiday to the Bahamas? To me, every biggish decision comes down to these two questions – what is the worst thing that can happen and can I afford it to happen?
I can apply it to this self publishing business as well. I could sit stewing for hours, days even, wondering if I should self publish. But I’d rather spend the time doing something else instead. So I asked myself, what is the worst thing that can happen?
Answer. No one buys the book/books. The time sitting at the computer is a hopeless waste of time. Twitter and Facebook send me slightly doolally (I was probably heading that way anyway) and Richard gets sick of talking to the back of my head as I sit for hours staring at the screen and clears off with his boxers in a Morrison’s carrier bag!
Question. Can I afford it?
To use the worlds most used cliché – life is too short. Let’s get a little perspective. Deciding that the cost is too high is NOT failure. Deciding not to do something because the losses outweigh the gains is NOT chicken livered. But whining away, crying into your shandy with what-ifs is, frankly, pointless and massively time-consuming.
So, to get back to my decision of whether or not to buy the laptop – I bought it. Because the worst thing that could happen is my bank account would be x amount of pounds lighter. And I know that I can afford it because one day soon my books will sell by the thousands and I’ll be able to pay back the cost of the laptop a hundred times over!
Aren’t I just the most optimistic sweetie you have ever known?
Take care my lovelies x