Swimming in a Sea of Numbers

I just spent the past few weeks visiting all of our locations for my 9 to 5. We stopped at 25+ locations across 4 states. When I got back, a member of our corporate finance team asked if all this travel was really justified. I traveled with my boss and one coworker, so the cost of this travel was ~$10k (flights, mileage, hotels, meals, etc…).

I’m a finance guy who is naturally cheap. It’s so easy to question whether a decision is worth it, especially as the costs of everything keeps rising (hotels in the middle of nowhere cost $180 per night at this point). The answer to whether this travel is worth it is a tough question to answer. Our travel doesn’t lead to anything direct, so some of my denser finance colleagues naturally think this travel is a waste of money. You will meet a ton of people like this in the business world… those who think only of the direct effects. The reality is that most of the benefits we experience are indirect and really unquantifiable.

This isn’t an excuse to ignore costs, but more to be wary of those who think solely in direct ways. We need to think through second and third order effects. I’m guilty of this direct type of thinking too. The key is to catch yourself when you are lost in a sea of numbers.

Author: fatbabyfunds