One Bad Deal Equals Ten Good Deals


Have you ever noticed that drama people, those that welcome a life of continual crisis, can’t seem to ever escape their problems? It’s sad to watch a life full of crisis.

I think it can happen to all of us if we don’t protect our downside. Getting involved with crummy people and bad deals is hard to dig out of. Take a simple subscription for cable. It’s easy to sign up for. It’s a lot of hassle and steps to get out of. There’s a disproportionate aspect between enrollment and dissolution.

The same goes for relationships. They are easy to get into, but it is often an ulcer trying to unhinge from shady characters.

I often tell friends, “One bad deal is worth ten good deals.”

That’s a simple rule of thumb from business observations I have had over many years. If you work hard to avoid problems, build a boring business and be a little wiser to protect your downside, the upside tends to take care of itself.

So what about risk taking and entrepreneurship? I think that doing a bit of thinking to protect your downside is part of pushing against uncertainty. Throwing caution to the wind can be costly. Taking on what looks like a sweet upside deal without considering the costs can get you entangled in something like quicksand. The struggle to get out of a contract or undo the work you have put out into the world takes an immense amount of energy.

Furthermore, when we get vested in projects and commitments, we develop a sunk-cost bias that blinds our decision-making.

If I’m the cable company, I want you vested and emotionally committed. I want you paying your bill every month.

If I’m your business advisor, I want you to be smart and stay free so you can keep growing without friction.

Simply protect your downside vigorously. It will take ten good deals to overcome a bad decision, otherwise.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I grow businesses through partnerships and executive coaching. I work with partners and clients on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

2 thoughts on “One Bad Deal Equals Ten Good Deals

  1. Good read Don!



    Joe Law – Founder 907-338-1847 •

    Bright People, Brilliant Design

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain


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