John McKay

The Risks of Making Assumptions

The Risks of Making Assumptions

warning-838655_640

In working with my coaching clients, one of the biggest areas of opportunity is that around assumptions.

Most of us operate in our businesses and daily lives as though many assumptions were true, when in fact they are not, or are at least unproven. We can’t be constantly questioning our reality, but there are often assumptions we are making that aren’t true, and that hold us back from taking actions that could benefit us.

A useful exercise, which I would ask anyone who wants to improve their business right now to do, is to simply list the assumptions you are making. You can start a text document like this:

In my business, I assume that…

And make a list of things that come to mind.

You might find that you are assuming that your business isn’t in the right area, that you don’t have a good enough product or enough experience. You might be assuming that clients can’t afford to pay more, etc.

Go ahead, make that list right now.


Now, go through those items and ask what evidence you have that confirms those assumptions.

For example, if you own a recording studio, you might assume that artists can’t afford to pay more:

Confirming evidence – Bands always tell me that they can’t afford my rates, or that they want to only book one day, etc.

Next, list evidence that might contradict each assumption.

Contradicting evidence – Those same bands are spending money on amps, tattoos, beer, etc. Some of those same bands are spending money to outfit a home studio, or similar bands have spent many times what I charge at other studios.

In this case, it seems clear that bands could afford a higher rate, they just don’t want to.

What if you adopted the opposite assumption, that bands CAN afford a higher rate?

Now, you are operating from a more empowering position. If bands won’t pay a higher rate, it’s not because they can’t. It’s because they aren’t seeing enough value from what you’re offering. Now you can start to work on offering enough value to warrant that rate.

This little exercise is very useful, and can be used for personal matters, too. What are you assuming in your own relationships?

Take a minute and run down your assumptions, and see where you’re limiting your growth and success.

Leave a Reply