In case you’ve been watching reruns of Alf for the past year, you probably don’t know who Susan Boyle is and why she’s famous.
As most of the world knows, she was a contestant on Britain’s got Talent—an American Idol-type show where amateurs sing in front of a panel of judges to see if they’ve got the chops to make a career out of it.
Susan Boyle was 47 at the time. She isn’t attractive and she has an odd look to her. Without railing on her too much, it’s safe to say that no one would pay to go see her do anything, much less sing.
That’s what everyone was thinking before she began to sing. People in the crowd snickered. The judges cracked jokes. There was that expectancy in the air you probably get at NASCAR events and speed-boat races: something terrible is about to happen and I can’t wait to see it.
Everyone was giddy with anticipation.
Then Susan Boyle started to sing.
It only took a few seconds for everyone to realize how wrong they’d all been. The crowd got on their feet and cheered. Simon Cowell’s eyebrows almost shot off his head—he couldn’t believe it.
The next day, she was world famous.
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Sure, we’ve been taught not to do it since we were little kids—and yet we still do it. It’s hard-coded into our brains to follow our instincts when they tell us something.
But as often happens, our instincts are wrong and can sometimes cost us some money.
Take MagicJack, for example. You may have seen the commercials for this “phone-replacement” device. The commercial is so cheesy that I thought it was a scam: there was no way this $40 device and $20/year could really give people all the long-distance calling they want.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
The next time you make a knee-jerk decision about something, take the time to re-think it. Think of Susan Boyle and how silly she made everyone look that night.
Is it possible you might be wrong?