You don’t know what you don’t know

I learned a long time ago that I don’t know what I don’t know. Most of the past financial mistakes I have made were because I didn’t ask the right questions. The problem was the questions I didn’t even know to ask; hence, I don’t know what I don’t know.

I am not advocating we all should stay in our one lane in life. Far from it. Diversification is to be encouraged, and it is what keeps life interesting. That said, before you jump, try and ask the right questions or at least consult with someone you trust to give you some insight. It could very well save your goose.

The older I get the more risk adverse I become. It is one thing to spend other people’s (investors) money, but it is an entirely different thing to spend your own. One time in 2006, I purchased a commercial track of land thinking I knew what I was doing. I didn’t, which because painfully clear shortly after the closing. I lost a bunch of money, and it took 14 years for me to get out of that deal. Needless to say, I now have a double PHD education on what I won’t do again.

Wisdom starts with us acknowledging that we don’t know everything we think we know. It is humbling to admit this, but it will help you make better decisions. On a personal level, what worked or works for you may not be what helps someone else. Giving advice needs to be a lot more listening than talking. Only after you listen for a while can you begin to form a response.

Just because you watch a lot of golf, doesn’t mean you can play golf well. The things you learn while doing, will far exceed what you think you knew. So, recognizing that you don’t know what you don’t know, will help you get better at learning. KT

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