One Man Army

One of the toughest things about running a business is the giving up of the most addictive drug in the planet – a monthly salary.

I still fondly remember the days when on the 29th or the 30th – I would get that SMS from the bank that my salary had been credited.


What would immediately follow is a checkout of my prefilled carts, a fun dinner and maybe some icecream.

Good times.

Then, the 1st would come in and I would go back to work, waiting for the next HIGH I’d get from the monthly salary.

Now, as an entrepreneur, things are different.

Very different.

I’m more of a one man army now. I don’t get the monthly salary, but I do get the freedom (and responsibility!) of doing what I want to do, when I want to do. For example, last night, I went to bed really early – and slept for a good 13 hours. I got up at 11, and started a pillow fight with my baby girl. Then, we went to the terrace and tried to fly a kite.

After all that, I started working again. After browsing 9gag & Reddit, that is.

Both are cool ways to go about life.

But, the key point here is – I can’t have both. It’s either one or the other.

Each one of them has an opportunity cost that I need to pay.

Realizing that every decision we make has an opportunity cost is an important development in our careers.

To learn more, read on.

Biggest Career Mistakes To Avoid #16/101: Not understanding the concept of ‘opportunity cost’ #16


  • It’s difficult to make decisions
    • It’s like comparing apples to oranges
    • It’s a hard choice
  • We don’t know which option is better
    • Both seem soooo good!
  • We often choose the option that makes sense in the short term
    • Driven by instant gratification!
  • We’re not sure if we are making the right choice
    • No way of testing out our option


  • Not considering all factors of decision making
    • Values
    • Systems
    • Constraints
    • Biases
    • Cost
  • Not weighing opportunity cost in particular
    • In simple terms – you can only do one thing at a time
    • You have to pick either A or B
      • Time is a limited resource
        • If you spend time doing A, you can’t do B
        • If you spend time doing B, you can’t do A
    • Anytime you’re saying ‘YES’ to anything, you’re saying ‘NO’ to everything else
      • Projects
      • Job opportunities
      • Salaries vs Perks
      • Learning
      • Education vs. Employment
      • Employment vs. Entrepreneurship


  • Factor in Opportunity Costs into decision making
    • Be aware of all the things you’re saying ‘NO’ to by saying ‘YES’ to one thing
    • Before you make a decision…
      • Make a list of alternative options
      • Evaluate pros and cons of your chosen decision
        • And the cost (what are you saying no to?)
      • Evaluate pros and cons of alternative options
        • And the cost (what are you saying no to?)
      • Now, re-evaluate the chosen decision, with ALL information at hand


  • You have consciously thought of all options before making a decision
  • You have inner peace and clarity
  • You identify better options by thinking through the options
  • You are aware of the sacrifices you need to make to make this work

Your Turn

  • Look at a difficult decision you need to make
    • Upcoming
    • Recently made
  • Run through the process of making decisions by factoring in opportunity costs
  • Maintain your decision making progress in a journal
    • Use your insights to adapt and improve your decision making process

Brought to you by Epic Career Labs

Run by Arvindh Sundar

  • Goal: Increase Job Security With E.P.I.C Transformations
  • Mission: Liberate a million millennials from an unsatisfying career
  • Get in touch at

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About the author

Arvindh Sundar

I help working professionals find direction, take control and build an epic career using the power E.P.I.C Transformation. This is the content I have created to help others. I hope it's useful to you as well. If you like this and find it useful, join the community here.

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