Below is an excerpt from our book Startups Made Simple: How to Start, Grow and Systemize Your Dream Business. Learn more about the book here.
“Decision-making is everything. In fact, someone who makes decisions right 80% of the time instead of 70% of the time will be valued and compensated in the market hundreds of times more.” – Naval Ravikant
It took me many years to understand the power of somebody who makes good decisions. Get good at making decisions and you almost cannot lose in business or in life. I’m dead serious about this, so please pay attention. Think about it; life is just a series of decisions from what to eat, who to associate with, where to go to school, who to marry, who to go into business with, what marketing strategy to use, etc.
If you can make good decisions and consistently get better at that, then you will mostly avoid the landmines and bad choices that have doomed other people and businesses. Good decisions are basically a “cheat code” for life. Venture capitalists also throw piles of cash at people known for good decisions. Even a 5% better record of good decisions has massive exponential returns in business and in life.
So, how do you make good decisions? The obvious and funniest answer is “by making bad decisions,” but that’s not entirely correct. You make good decisions by learning from your bad decisions. A lot of people never learn from their mistakes. You know these types, and they usually live tragic lives. You also need to take the time to learn about and use good decision-making tools. Again I will mention how powerful even an hour or two of simple planning and thinking through decisions can dramatically improve your life.
A lot of people go through life from one bad decision to another, not really thinking they have any control, then blaming anything or anyone but themselves for their outcomes. Most people get their decision skills from their parents, for better or worse.
More and more, we’re learning that just avoiding the bad decisions in life (drinking/drugs, bad diet, anger/violence, bad relationships/divorce, excessive debt, not planning, etc.) will easily put you in the top 20% of a number of important metrics like wealth, happiness, longevity, and so on. A lot of decision-making is simply not making some big mistakes as I mentioned in the introduction.
Here are some top landmines and bad decisions that have destroyed countless companies, especially in the fragile startup phase:
Making Good Decisions
Let’s go over some basics of good decision-making that I’ve learned and shamelessly stolen from great decision-makers over the years. The best decision-makers use some of these tools as well as intuition built from years of making good decisions. One tends to get better and better as you internalize these principles.
Hopefully, I’ve conveyed the importance of decisions and how you can keep getting better at them. The simple fact that Jeff Bezos appears so much throughout the list above should demonstrate that the world’s richest man (as of this writing) places an enormous value on making good decisions and so should you.
This was an excerpt from our book Startups Made Simple: How to Start, Grow and Systemize Your Dream Business. Learn more about the book here or see our previous excerpts here.
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