The Healthy Paranoia Principle

The Healthy Paranoia Principle

“Just because you believe they’re out to ‘get’ you, doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you.” I love that quote, I can’t remember who said it, but I live my life based on “Healthy Paranoia”.

Dealing with reality in a positive way, but not ignoring reality, trying to be a positive thinker is wise advice. I much prefer to be prepared just in case things go wrong.
Here is what I mean about Healthy Paranoia…
When I hop on a plane I assume the plane’s not going to crash and I’m going to get there, but I also assume everything else will go wrong. The plane is going to leave late, I am going to arrive at my destination late, that I am going to be sitting in the airport for hours, that when I finally get on the plane the staff are going to be grumpy, and the food and service will be sub-standard.

When I arrive at my destination (positively assuming I arrive), they have lost my bags, the taxi rank will be empty and I am going to wait hours for a cab, then when I finally get to the hotel late, they have lost my booking and my room will be rented out to somebody else. It’s a buggar being me. I am big picture optimistic and small picture pessimistic.

I heard where 80% of retail theft is internal not external. It seems that 90% of people will cheat and steal from you if…

  1. They believe it will go undetected.
  2. Have a perceived need and can justify it. For the record, if I asked a room full of millionaires if they wanted to make more money, literally every single one of them would say yes and justify it.
  3. They will steal if they can rationalise their behaviour. The thing about all this is that you can’t control number 2 and number 3. And burying your head in the sand thinking (my staff are like family, they wouldn’t steal from me), so the only thing you can control is number 1.

It also seems 5% won’t steal their lunch out of your dumpster even if they’re starving, they just can’t do it. Another 5% will just plain steal from you because they can.

No one wants to believe it is happening. Think about the hair salon owner whose staff member decides to become a competitor and open their own salon and “steal your clients”. Even if you had an agreement that said they couldn’t “steal” your clients, try enforcing it, and in any case the damage is done.

Finally, my Healthy Paranoia dictates that I do not delegate three things.

  1. The cheque book, I see every account that is paid, AND I need to approve every single payment. No doubt you’ve heard some of the horror stories associated with not keeping an eye on the cheque book.
  2. I don’t delegate the marketing. It’s the highest payoff you can get in business and it drives me absolutely crazy when people say they can’t find time for it.
  3. Don’t delegate the legal stuff. Best that you deal with that yourself. Know and understand what your legal team is doing. No one knows your business better than you do!

All these little unpleasant facts are real and fall under a category of “Healthy Paranoia”.

A smart business person functions with the BAD news, not the GOOD news.

All the best,

Mal Emery
Committed to Elevating the Financial Wealth and Wellbeing of Society
Through Entrepreneurial Excellence and Guilty of Conspiracy to Create Capitalism

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  1. Well ol mate Mal, your right on the money there, i like to carry a contingent for most of lifes needs ,however life is life and it throws all sorts of goodies our way.

    So to conclude here i will say,

    “Make not Authority your truth, but unstead,make truth your Authority”.

    Your choice is wise “mateeyes”.

    Kind regards Mal.

    Have an outstanding day.

    Rodney,from the sunny coast of Australia.

  2. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. The Australian military works the same way. If they didn’t, this would have been written in Japanese.

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