Every time you purchase a product or service, you're selecting one or two of circles above whether you realize it or not.
Let's say you're having a drink with a friend at the bar. You could...
A) Order a domestic beer. It's cheaper than a craft beer. You'll get it faster than a cocktail. However, you're not expecting the best drink you've ever had before.
B) Order a hand-crafted cocktail. It's more expensive than a domestic beer and you probably won't get it as fast either. Your expectations are pretty high, so it better taste darn good.
C) Order a glass of wine. It costs more than the beer, but less than the cocktail. You're expecting it relatively fast and it should taste pretty good, somewhere between the beer & cocktail.
Which drink would you choose? Why?
Your answer doesn't really matter. There is no right or wrong.
So what's my point?
Start make your purchasing decisions with your eyes wide open.
Of the three choices – quality, fast, and cheap – you usually only get to pick one or two.
If you want something of the highest quality, don't expect it to be cheap or fast.
If you want high quality and want it fast, it's not going to be cheap.
And if you want cheap & fast, you certainly shouldn't be expecting quality.
This concept often requires a shift in mindset. For instance, I didn't always appreciate quality. I used to buy cheap clothes that wore out quickly. I thought I was getting a deal, but with the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't a deal at all.
Here's an example:
You can buy a pair of jeans that cost $40 or a pair that cost $120. The $40 pair will last you six months. The $120 pair will last you five years.
Let's say you buy the $40 pair because they are “cheaper”.
$40 for a pair of jeans x 2 times a year = $80
$80 a year x 5 years = $400
You would have saved $220 ($400 vs $120) by buying the quality pair of jeans instead. And you would only have had to go shopping once!
My planning practice also improved when I started to only work with folks who valued quality over speed and cost. Much like the jeans example, a personal relationship with custom-craft advice can often save you both money and heartache in the long-run.
To be clear: I'm not suggesting you should always choose quality.
If you drink coffee strictly for the caffinee benefit, instant coffee is both fast & cheap. Anything more would be a waste of your time and money.
Choose quality for the things that matter, the things that are important, and the things that bring you joy in your life. Fast and cheap is probably fine for the rest.
I hope this article helps you improve your decision-making process and ultimately, your life.