A few years ago, Old El Paso had an ad running to promote their boxes which had both soft tortillas and crunchy taco shells in them. The ad shows the entire Mexican population having an argument – one side is all about those ’tillas and the other is all about that crunch. While one family tries to solve this, the young daughter innocently asks, “Porque no los dos?” (Why can’t we have both?!). Suddenly everyone throws a big party about her genius idea and the problem which has been around since tacos were invented gets solved. (You can watch this ad here on YouTube.) It’s a ridiculous ad on so many levels, which of course is what makes it memorable. In our household the taco girl became a bit of an icon and we hilariously use this response to a bunch of questions in our house.
“Do you want toast or cereal for breakfast?” Porque no los dos?!
“Do you want the beef or the chicken?” Porque no los dos?!
“Is your Mom hilarious or is she the most inappropriate Mom ever?” Porque no los dos?!
“Should we go to the beach or get ice cream?” Porque no los dos?!
“Should we do dinner or a movie?” Porque no los dos?!
You get the idea. The more we used this method of decision-making, the more I realised how often in life we debate, worry and stress out over either/or decisions like these. We make ourselves CHOOSE one or another outcome, when we can easily have both. I started applying this taco girl philosophy to almost every “this or that” question in my life just to see what would happen.
Should I have a latte or a chai at brunch? Porque no los dos?! – I had the latte with breakfast and the chai for dessert.
Should I write another book, or start a podcast? Porque no los dos?! – I started writing the book and working on the podcast at the same time.
Should I go out with a friend, or hang out with my family? Porque no los dos?! – I’ll invite the friend to hang out with all of us.
It was amazing to me how many times I simply stopped worrying, stressing, debating and wasting a ton of time on making those either/or decisions, and how often those decisions were WAY smaller than I had made them out to be. I was also MUCH HAPPIER once I was able to choose both options, because I didn’t have to sacrifice anything. It also forced me into coming up with far more creative solutions to problems. I can have This now, and That later, or I can have a combination of This and That…I don’t have to choose one over the other.
I also leaned that this doubting and questioning (and procrastinating by asking for a ton of opinions) is a form of self sabotage and really an expression of fear. We’re afraid of making the wrong choice so we avoid doing it by self-sabotaging and then getting STUCK in indecision. If we don’t make the decision to begin with, we’ll never fail. Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not suggesting for a minute that you get to avoid decision-making by always picking ALL the things. I’m saying we spend a lot of time flapping about in indecision on stuff that makes NO real difference to our business or not.
Should I offer Sunday deliveries or not? Porque no los dos?! – I can offer it to orders over $500 but not smaller orders.
Should I invest in an oven or a mixer? Porque no los dos?! – I need the oven more, so I’ll buy that AND a new mixer, but get a less expensive mixer so I can still afford it.
Should I do live classes or online tutorials? Porque no los dos?! – I can record my live teaching and turn those videos into an online course.
Should I offer custom order cakes or offer more affordable cakes? Porque no los dos?! You can even offer both to the same customer – wedding cakes plus kitchen cutting cakes, fancy birthday cake plus sheet cakes and so on.
Basically – when it comes to most things, you can learn to adopt the taco girl philosophy. It totally works.
This taco girl philosophy also works with internal decisions or perceptions we have of ourselves, especially when our thinking is negative:
- I can’t be successful at business and be a good Mom. Porque no los dos?! Why can’t you be both? Look around you, there are examples of people who are both good Moms and business owners everywhere.
- I can’t run a business and keep my day job even though I love them both. Porque no los dos?! I know plenty who keep both going and are successful at it.
- I can’t rich and generous because rich people are always so greedy! Porque no los dos?! Pretty sure Oprah and the Gates family have this one down pat. Why not you? YOU CAN DO WELL AND DO GOOD AT THE SAME TIME!
- I’m too old to be starting a business. Porque no los dos?! Who says you can’t start a business in your 50’s, 60’s or 70’s?
- I can’t be about the money and work for free. Porque no los dos?! Why can’t you make money AND donate cakes to Icing Smiles or other organisations you love?
- I can’t move to a store front and not sell retail. Porque no los dos?! Why can’t you have a store front and have it be a “by appointment only” studio?
Basically – stop sweating the small stuff and starting asking yourself, WHY NOT be or do or have both of these things? Why do I have to choose? Pick BOTH, or pick NEITHER, just don’t waste your precious time and energy on the things which in the long run won’t have any huge impact on your life or business. The joy of being in charge of your business is that you also get to un-make decisions. If you go with “los dos” and find out down the track that one of them isn’t working well for you, ditch it or change it.
We do this all day, every day. We tell ourselves we can’t have both or be both, that we have to choose one, that it’s too hard to get what we really want so we have to settle. Really, WHY THE HELL NOT have or be both?
Porque no los dos?!
Order the latte AND the chai. You’ll be glad you did.