Choices and decisions can make or break a business, career or relationship.
One or two bad decisions can and often are forgiven.
But those who frequently make poor choices and decisions either go out of business or find themselves on the unemployment line.
I’ve learned from my Rich Habits research that, more often than not, Poor Habits are to blame for most bad decisions.
What Poor Habits drive bad decision-making?
27% of the entrepreneurs in my study failed at least once in business.The top three reasons given for their failure were:
#1 Ran Out of Money
#2 Made Poor Decisions
#3 Had Bad Habits
The main cause of Poor Decision-Making is impulsiveness – meaning, making decisions before gathering all of the facts needed in order to make the best possible decision.
If you are too lazy to do the heavy lifting good decisions require, delegate the heavy lifting to others.
Going with your gut can put you on your ass, financially speaking.
Taking risks without understanding all of the potential downsides, is another recipe for failure.
Good decisions require that you take Educated Risks.
Educated Risks are risks taken after extensive study and analysis.
Sometimes you box yourself in and must make decisions in order to meet an immediate need.
If effect, you are making decisions from a position of weakness in order to meet some short-term need.
Other times, you make decisions in order to satisfy some immediate want.
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As a rule, every decision you make should create a long-term benefit.
If it doesn’t, then it’s going to end up being a bad decision.
So, as a rule, never make decisions in order to satisfy short-term needs.
The worst time to make a decision is when you are tired.
The prefrontal cortex, the decision-making command and control centre of the brain, clogs up and slows down when it is tired and needs rest.
The best time to make a decision is after a good night’s rest.
So, the old adage, let me sleep on it, is smart thinking.
In a recent University of Dundee Study, lead author Benjamin Vincent, PhD, found that individuals in one study group who made decisions after ten hours of fasting consistently made the wrong decisions.
Conversely, the study group who made decisions within two hours of eating healthy food consistently made the right decisions.
This poor decision-making was due to a loss of willpower reserve, also known as Decision Fatigue, which is a fancy term for lack of glucose.
So, as a rule, never make a decision on an empty stomach.
Never attend a meeting on an empty stomach, if any big decisions will be made at that meeting.
If you have drug or alcohol addictions, or regularly drink or take drugs in excess, your prefrontal cortex will be impaired.
Do not make any decisions while impaired and don’t let anyone you depend on making decisions on your behalf, while they are impaired.