The better deal has its own schedule

Today’s thought comes from the book I’m currently reading: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams.

Scott is one of the most self-deprecating writers I’ve come across, but he also provides some of the best insights I’ve ever heard.

My favorite one, which I came across long ago before I started reading his book is “Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.”

But the one I want to discuss today is the idea of how you should always be looking for the better deal.

Scott mentioned how this was one of the most influential pieces of advice he ever received, from the CEO of a screw company, of all people.

Here’s a passage from the book:

He said that every time he got a new job, he immediately started looking for a better one. For him, job seeking was not something one did when necessary. It was an ongoing process. This makes perfect sense if you do the math. Chances are the best job for you won’t become available precisely the time you declare yourself ready. Your best bet, he explained, was to always be looking for the better deal. The better deal has its own schedule. I believe the way he explained it is that your job is not your job; your job is to find a better job.

We all know people who have had the same job for 40 years. Not just the same company. Literally the same job function.

Contrast this with top performers.

This idea of always being on the hunt for a better job seems to come naturally to them. I’ve noticed this about execs at my company. They may have just gotten a promotion, but have no issues actively seeking out a better opportunity almost immediately.

They know the better deal has its own schedule.

I really admire this and although I may not be as driven in my corporate career goals as these people, I like to think that I bring this mentality to other areas of my life, like my health, family, and personal finance.

Some people might argue that continually wanting more is toxic and that you “should be happy with what you have.”

I think it’s good to be grateful for what you have, but you should never stop wanting bigger and better things, at least in some areas of your life. I know for me personally, I feel most alive when I’m growing in the areas I care about. Deep down, I think everyone wants that and it’s not a bad thing.

But you really need to adopt this better deal mentality.

Opportunities to improve your career, your health, your wealth, and your family don’t just fall into your lap. You need to be on the prowl.

That’s all for today. If you know someone who would enjoy this Thoughtletter, please forward it to them so they can join the thought party.

Thanks for reading,


Currently reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

I’ve transformed my life by using systems and spreadsheets to track personal data. Get my best tools for free.