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How to Start Making Good Decisions

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IF you have been in business for any length of time you will soon come to realize that DECISION FATIGUE is a condition that afflicts many home business owners.

In Chip and Dan Heath’s book Decisive, they lay out three different scenarios that lay the foundation to making truly great decisions that can have a long lasting positive impact on your business and your life.

1. The Vanishing Options Scenario

IN 1994, Quaker Oats made the decision to buy the drink company Snapple for a whopping 1.8 BILLION Dollars – perhaps one of the worst business decisions of all time.

They didn’t even consider any other option. No one in the company even so much as suggested an alternative.

If they had simply explored other choices by asking, “What other options are there?” they would have been far more likely to have made a better purchasing decision.

DO you often find yourself deciding to do things without giving yourself the time or the space to consider multiple options? Are you finding yourself limiting your choices?

SO begin by asking open ended questions instead of closed ended questions ; for example, instead of asking, “Should I promote this product?” switch to “What products might be a good fit for my customer base?”.

Instead of asking, “Should I hire this person?” Ask yourself “What are my options for getting this job done?”.

Here’s how it works: Anytime you give your brain a ‘this or that’ option, it’s hemmed in by those two options and won’t explore any further.

A good way to avoid this trap is to ask yourself, “What other options would I have if my current options vanished?”

By giving yourself multiple options you greatly increase your odds of making the right decision for you and your business.

The key is to expand your choices before you narrow them down.

2. The ‘Tell A Friend’ Scenario

In 1985, Andy Grove, President of Intel, faced a challenging situation: “Should I end the company’s current line of memory chips, or not?”.

Everyone on the company board was torn on this question and Andy was at a stalemate.

So he asked himself, “If we all got kicked out tomorrow and the board should bring in a new CEO, what would this person do?”

Looking at the whole situation from an outside perspective, from someone who had no emotional attachment or vested interest in the situation, the answer was glaringly obvious – get out as soon as possible.

Asking the right question made a tough problem easy.

This question helped him get past his emotional attachment.

It is not that we don't know the right answers, it is just that we don't ask the right questions. - Tony Robbins

You’re angry at your spouse so you don’t talk to them. You’re excited about getting the exact make, model and color car you’ve always wanted, so you’re prepared to pay way more than it’s actually worth to get it. And the list goes on.

These decisions are clouded by emotion, and if it wasn’t for that, you’d make a different decision.

Here’s how it works: Your emotions cloud your logic. So instead of asking what you should do, ask “What would I tell my best friend to do?”

This helps detach you from the situation and makes even the toughest situations clearer.

3. The ‘Test it Now’ Scenario

In the late 1990’s, Bill Gross wanted to sell cars on the internet. He was sure the idea would work, but in the early days of the internet this was a risky venture.

I mean, think about it – would people really be prepared to spend $30,000 on a car they’d never seen, much less test-driven?

Bill, much to his credit, didn’t try to guess his way out of this. Instead, he engineered a test run by hiring an Executive for 90 days, whose sole aim was to do one thing: Sell ONE car over the internet.

Many of us do the opposite. We go all in on a decision without having the faintest clue whether it’s the right decision or not.

We pool all of our time and resources into a risky venture, when we could have had an answer with one small simple test.

To give you an example – why hire someone as a full time employee when you can hire them for one project as a freelancer and see how it works out?

Why spend six months creating a massive information product when you can create a small one in a day and see if there is a need for it?

Here’s how it works: We get so carried away with our own “brilliant idea” that we neglect to take the time to find out if it’ll actually work or not. But by being creative and doing test runs, we can confirm whether we should expand in that direction or go in a totally different direction.

That’s it – three techniques that can save you a load of headaches and money in your home business.


Impellium is an online media company focussed on personal and business growth strategies for home business owners and lifestyle entrepreneurs.

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