Expectation v. Reality
Everything takes longer & costs more
TLDR: Apparently there’s an epigram for everything, and that thing you’re working on is going to take as long as you allow—but probably longer.
It may be President’s Day, but I think by now you know that we don’t skip MMM’s.
So let’s talk about expectations vs. reality.
Everything takes longer and costs more than you think it will.
That’s a phrase I’ve said for almost 10 years.
I only know that because I first started saying it when my business partner and I launched Earhoox, and this month is our 10-year anniversary.
From time to time someone would ask to interview us about starting a company, or having a side hustle as twenty-somethings, and inevitably the same question would come up:
What’s been your biggest learning?
I started saying “everything takes longer and costs more than you think it will” because that was our reality.
I was also cheap and had high expectations of others, but that’s for another time.
Then I started seeing truth in that little quip everywhere.
People buying houses or renovating them, sales cycles, corporate decisions, founders starting companies, plans with friends, you name it.
Now I find myself sharing this adage with founders because entrepreneurship is a journey of emotional fortitude, and poor expectations only amplify its toll.
Think your fundraise will take 30 meetings? Try 90.
Think that product will ship this week? Maybe this month.
Think that deal will close quickly? Haha.
So I Googled it. I wondered if it was just something I said, or if I got it from somewhere else.
I guess there’s an epigram for everything.
Even your procrastination has a name.
“Work expands so as to fill the time available.”
So good luck out there this week. Whatever you’re working on, it’s going to take as long as you allow, but probably longer.
See you Monday.