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I’m in an elevator in a W Hotel coming down from the 20th floor with a lot of stops (busy time of day I guess). In all W hotels (at least those that I’ve been to) they change the rugs in the elevators during the day so they say “good morning,” “good afternoon” or “good evening.”

A lady gets on the elevator, looks at the rug that says “good afternoon” and tells the person accompanying her that this must be the afternoon elevator because the one next to it has the “good morning” message that she saw when on that elevator earlier.

As I snickered it made me realize that often our opinions of what is fact is based on incomplete knowledge. I see this all the time in businesses and in buy-sell deals. When there’s a what-if moment people tend to make assumptions, proceed as if those assumptions are fact and head down the wrong path.

The better way is to get all the facts (they change the rugs in all the elevators) and then plan a course of action.

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