I Bought A New Pair of Headphones. Why Should You Care?

Sometimes my Sunday posts don't sound and feel like the rest…

I write daily. And Sundays is always such a relaxing day that I think I'm in a different headspace than any of the other days of the week. But that doesn't mean I don't try to write something that will help you. Like today as I tell you about the new pair of headphones that just arrived.

If you know me, you know I don't need a new pair of headphones. I easily have 14 pairs already. I love music and movies and wear all different kinds of headphones for different situations, but no one really needs more than 2-3 pairs. I know this.

So why do I keep buying new pairs of headphones? And what does that have to do with you? Why should you care at all?

Let me ask you a question

Imagine being in a physical room with your peers. Your company finally started having in-person meetings again (many of my friends are starting business travel all over again – which requires great noise-cancelling headphones, I might add).

You're in that room and someone asks for your opinion. And you prepare to give it. Let's further assume you feel confident about your opinion. So you share it. And you even have some data to back it up. With me so far?

Now here's the question.

When was the last time that you tested your opinion to see if it was still your opinion?

That's the question.

We all get anchored quickly

One of the activities I used to ask my product managers to do every 6-8 weeks was to scan the market for our competitor's products and capture all the changes that had happened in the last two months.

You know why?

Because it's easy for all of us to tell ourselves stories about who we are, and where we stand in the market, with outdated information and still sound like experts.

100% confident. 100% wrong.

We all get anchored quickly.

So I come back to my question about how often you test all your confidently held opinions and facts.

Why I regularly order a new pair of headphones

I like headphones. And people know that. They often ask me questions about the best pair of headphones for them. And it would be really easy to simply tell them what I believe is the best option for them.

[Tweet “Being a trusted resource for a topic, or an expert in a space, isn't just about that history you had once a while ago.”]

But I could be 100% confident. And 100% wrong.

Especially if I'm talking about something that I'm not keeping up with. And trust me in the world of headphones, things are always changing.

The new pair I just bought? Amazon Echo Buds v2. Wireless headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC) that come with Alexa – all for $119?

Are they any good? How would I know? Until I try them out.

Being a trusted resource for a topic, or an expert in a space, isn't just about that history you had once a while ago. It requires a constant refresh to ensure that you actually know what you're talking about.

Think of it as a metaphor

Sometimes I try on ideas for size. I have opinions that aren't strongly held. And I may put them out into a space where they can be discussed and debated. That's how I refine my ideas.

But often, they start as disposable ideas.

Loosely held concepts that I'm trying on for size. And then it's thru discussion, debate, feedback loops, and – of course – research, that these disposable ideas turn into refined and valuable content. Strongly-held beliefs and opinions I might share with you.

So why should it matter that I bought a new pair of headphones?

Simply because it means I haven't stopped learning. I'm still growing. And I never want my confident opinions to be completely wrong.