You’re out walking around, maybe at the mall or maybe the grocery store. A couple of people walk by talking about an Italian restaurant. “It has THE BEST spaghetti EVER!” Your ears perk up. Spaghetti? You love spaghetti. “The sauce is AMAZING!” Oooh - a good, thick, rich sauce. You’re getting hungry. “And the tiramisu? Get TWO!”
You’re sold. A few days later you head out for what is going to be the most amazing spaghetti dinner you’ve ever had.
But - it’s not.
It’s...average, at best. The pasta wasn’t homemade. The sauce could have come from a jar. The tiramisu was mass produced in a factory and sliced up in the kitchen. You had such high expectations, and you were completely disappointed.
Did you set your expectations too high? Yes. But is that really such a bad thing to do? No. Well, yes. But no.
Look, as soon as we hear other people talking up something, we get a little excited. Our hopes get higher. We’re interested. We want to know more. These people are happy, so we expect that we should be happy, too. Because who doesn’t want to be that happy?
But it doesn’t always work that way.
Those people you heard talking about the restaurant? Maybe they eat a lot of frozen and pre-made food all the time. Maybe they’ve never had homemade pasta and sauce. Therefore, their spaghetti dinner at the restaurant was truly THE BEST - for them. It doesn’t mean it was going to be the best for you.
We have to temper our expectations, because we’re basing them on the opinions of others. And their expectations and values are going to be different from ours. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about food or software or team members. It’s great to hear the opinions of others and gather as much information we can. But we cannot go into a restaurant, or buy some software or hire a team member solely based on the experience of others. They can help us, and they can make us feel better about a decision we make, but we cannot expect to have that same level of joy or satisfaction because our own experiences give us our own expectations.
I say this as someone who always has high expectations for things. You always have to keep in mind that what other people think is THE BEST is going to be the best for them, and not necessarily for you.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.