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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Haymaking Assumptions

A clergyman walking down a country lane sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

“You look hot, my son,” said the minister. “Why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll give you a hand.”

“No thanks,” said the young man.  “My father wouldn’t like it.”

“Don’t be silly,” the minister said.

“Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water.”

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, “Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”

“Well,” replied the young farmer, “he’s under the load of hay.”

What can we learn from this tale? The preacher assumed that he had seen all the facts and in turn made a judgment about the young man’s father. The older I get, the more I realize that assuming can be a dangerous thing. It was author Isaac Asimov that said “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”

It’s human nature to make assumptions, and we can make wrong assumptions about almost anything in life. We get assumptions wrong when we don’t fully understand a situation. It is a natural reaction to immediately fill in any missing information by making up our own story. We do this because we like to try to make sense of people and situations.

Here are 10 of the most common misassumptions people make. Perhaps you have heard these or even said some yourself.

  1. The grass is greener on the other side.
  2. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
  3. Just ignore the problem, it will go away.
  4. We are all making it up as we go along, some are just better than others.
  5. Someone else will take responsibility.
  6. The person next to me is better off!
  7. The harder you chase, the closer you get.
  8. I am important and I am right.
  9. All eyes are on you.
  10. I have enough time for “fill in the blank”, I will start tomorrow.

There seem to be two camps when it comes to evaluating people or situations (whether it has to do with politics, relationships or business) — those who want  jump straight to the end (based on partial facts) and move on the next thing. And those who take more time and fully investigate all the details of a situation before deciding.

Taking the time to uncover the truth can often take longer that we want, but knowing the truth in the business world (and in life) is extremely critical.

Don’t make assumptions about what is going on in Tama County – take time to come and see what people are doing to grow our economy. MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Tuesday, September 9, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Reinig Center in Toledo, the site of the Q3 2014 Pitch & Build.




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