“While we’re at it”

Occasionally an opportunity will arise to make an investment with the potential for an astronomical return. Sometimes these investments will literally fall into your lap. Usually it takes work to carve out a worthwhile investment.

However you arrive at a potential investment, so long as the potential return is significant (10 to 1), avoid the temptation to posit “while we’re at it.” If you’ve identified a significant investment, everything else can wait. Make the investment and then think about what may come next.

If you chase “while we’re at it,” more likely than not you’ll end up with extra effort, not value. You’ll end up subsidizing the added effort by cutting into margins. What was a significant return will quickly become marginal.

“While we’are at it” is a premature investment in the potential proceeds of the investment you want to make. It’s better to reap the proceeds and see what happens before you go spending the profits. Then, you can make an investment decision about whatever would’ve come from the thought of “While we’re at it.” And let the possibilities justify themselves instead of jeopardizing your original investment.

Don’t spend profits before you make them. Investments need significant margins to ensure they’ll be worthwhile.