Browsed by
Category: Business

Perfect timing for an entrepreneur

Perfect timing for an entrepreneur

They tell us that we should strive to be always first. I believe that this misconception we absorb from the school (a school is supposed to be a competitive environment), from mass media (they generously regale us with business success stories “when somebody got ahead of time etc.”), from books (mythology is sold way better than bare true) and so on. But being first and getting ahead of time in many cases gives you nothing. Why?  I will try to answer this question in this article.palm-logo

Example 1. Palm PDAs rest in peace, whilst Android tablets and iPads flourish. You remember those devices from 1996. In fact they were “granddads” of modern tablets. What went wrong? Below we will discuss why it is a good example when the second mouse gets the cheese from a mouse trap…

Example 2. PayPal. Before PayPal there was no such internet payment processing systems. Inventors of PayPal demonstrated that even the first mouse can successfully get ALL THE CHEESE.

A parachute lesson

To answer what is the difference between Example 1 and Example 2, lets refer to a parachute. Leonardo da Vinci allegedly conceived the parachute idea in 1492 (a sketch along with the description was found in his records). S0, a parachute invention is a perfect example of getting ahead of time.

What is perfect for a scientists, can be very detrimental for entrepreneurs. Let’s imagine what would happen if he tried to invent the first practical parachute in 1492. He would face at least two problems.

Problem #1 (minor one): highly likely he would have a hard time finding appropriate materials to even create a proof of concept. I’m not even sure that the physics at that time was able to make appropriate calculations. This is a minor flip side of being too much ahead of time: the technologies of his time would not allow him to even build a decent proof o concept.

Problem #2 (major one): Сui prodest? Who needs a parachute in 1492, when people ride horses, inner combustion engines do not exist and you need to wait at least 4 centuries before Wright brothers’ invention of an airplane? It is major problem of being too much ahead of time: you either have to bury your invention or you have to speed-up the mankind in order to develop such behavioral patterns so that your invention becomes practically needed.

Both these problems combined compose what I would call “a dreadful curse of being too much ahead of time”.

Timing is the key

From the example above we can see that we get too much ahead of time, we will have to develop people’s habits. They must already have appropriate behavioral patterns, so our product or service can help them. Many entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and motivational speakers say that you should find the niche for your startup where nobody is presented, so you don’t have any competitors. Sounds promising. What they forget to mention is that you will have to create the market in that niche, not just promote your product.

And timing here is the key: being too much ahead of time means too much efforts and resources to develop the market. Ideally, you want to be that much ahead, so you can already create your product and the whole infrastructure, but then right away harness natural demand, rather than creating it at your own expenses.

Back to PayPal. Yes, they created something what never existed. But it wasn’t something like a parachute in 15th century: payments through email already existed and were pain in the ass. So, PayPal took an already existing situation and made it way better. That was their key difference from Palm PDAs.


You don’t want to be just first. You must be in time: you don’t want to outrun your time significantly. And wow is you if you get too much ahead!

Partnership In Business. Part 3 – Who can be a good match

Partnership In Business. Part 3 – Who can be a good match

This is an article #3 about partnership in business – a series of articles started in Part 1 – Your chances and Part 2 – Right questions. This time we are going to talk about who exactly can become a good business partner.

No friends, no relatives

Many people think that good personal relationships before establishing business is a perfect basis to start business partnership. Of course, if you are enemies, it is highly unlikely that you can be partners in business. But, nevertheless, some distance between partners is absolutely necessary. Partnership is a set of mutual obligations, and you will feel way more uncomfortable to disobey the obligations if there is some distance between you. To some extent, the more distance – the better.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of my relatives could be perfect business partners for me. But it is rather an exception. Such friend or relative must be very adequate and have enough sense of delicacy at work.

A great social technologist V. Tarassov says:

Friendship can be based on business, but business cannot be based on friendship (my 2 cents: otherwise you may lose either).

He or She must be a leader

Captain Obvious strikes back! But let’s first look what it actually means. In life we use the term leader intuitively, without actually thinking what it means. I guess, if I asked you to define what leader means, you would say that is someone who is number one in some contest or sort of that. But that’s not what I mean. There is another meaning. Please look at the picture below. We are going to define leadership in terms of “to-give and to-get” coordinates.

Social strategies in to-get and to-give axes


The terminology below is made up, to the best of my knowledge, by Radislav Gandapas.

How would we call someone who works rather to give then to get, or in other words, the one who struggles first for others, not for himself? It’s an altruist, or a Hero. Left top corner.

How would you call someone who never gives, only gets? The one who gets the resources for himself and never contributes to others? Dependent? It is a form of parasitism. A Parasite! Right bottom corner.

Many people make an agreement with themselves: I reduce my needs, I don’t dream about Ferrari and so on. But in return I don’t make efforts, and at half past five I go to pub. Deliberate asceticism? Radislav calls them Outsiders. As opposed to leaders. Left bottom corner, of course.

One last cell: the one who approximately equally motivated by giving to others and by getting for himself. That’s a Leader.

Hero, Leader, Parasite and Outsider

I think I don’t have to convince you that your partner must reside on upper cells, rather then bottom ones. Ability to give (or dedication in a way) is crucially important in business partnership.

Why leader, not hero? Well, first, heroes attract parasites, not leaders. And second, I think the leader (who also thinks of himself) has more balanced and strong motivation. Plus, in many cases heroes tend to have pure social entrepreneurial mindset, which stops them from building commercially successful ventures.

Same level of maturity

First lets explain maturity. With regards to many matters in life, maturity is a combination of your responsibility and initiative (of course, there are way more components out there, but these are two crucial ones). For a good and productive partnership partners should be in the same ballpark in terms of maturity. For example, for me a partner with high level of initiative but low level of responsibility (let’s call this classic high school attitude) is a misery. But for another “high-schooler” such partner can be a good match!

Skill Set

Business requires a lot of skills (practical things as opposed to theoretical knowledge): networking, managerial skills, people skills, entrepreneurial thinking etc. Nobody was born with such a skill set. So, both you and your partner should eager to get them equally. Your pace and motivation in learning must be comparable, otherwise one of you will turn into a dragging chute for your business.


Even if you don’t make drastic mistakes and your business is not in red, still the process of its growth is very-very SLO-O-OW. So, each partner must be in a good financial situation. Otherwise you can’t afford it! Plus, everyday financial pressure will add more stress into your already tough life.

Some of my colleagues tell that their best motivation to make business was debt they had. Maybe this kind of  negative motivation works perfectly for them, but I would refrain from being motivated by calls from collection agencies.


If I was asked to stress out just one trait a partner should have, I would say it is self-discipline. In startup partners do not have bosses (you may argue that a VC can be such a boss in some cases). Classical discipline based on self-preservation instinct (fear to be fired) does not work here. And you may be surprised to see how many very disciplined people (when they had a boss) turn into unruly lazybones in no-boss environment. Be ready to witness such Jekyll-and-Hyde examples!


You and your partner must resonate

Even though some distance is important, and every partner stays in his lane all the time, but all the partners should be on the same page in terms of philosophy, attitude, thinking, world-building (of course, all with regards to business) etc.

Two more aspects. One – partners’ dedication and motivation also should be on the similar levels. And two, which is often neglected by our rationalism, partners should have similar levels of energy. Your potential partner can be knowledgeable but energetically on his last legs, and this may significantly downplay his contribution and/or hinder any interaction with him/her.

So, where?

I think that the best way to assess someone in advance is either to work or to study together. So, the main sources of potential business partners:

  1. school, university;
  2. colleagues at work;
  3. pals (not close friends!);
  4. some experts in the realm (beware of too unequal partnership);
  5. somebody you may meet at conferences, forums etc.
  6. key employees of your business (unless they became key persons because of political games and unethical moves).

And beware of: close friends, relatives, bossy dictators, anybody lacking trust, someone who can pre-judge you (say, because of the difference in the age), somebody who got upper hand on you etc.

Check all this in practice

When you are at lunch with your colleagues and you are talking about geopolitics, business, investments etc. many people may seem to be a perfect business-match for you. But don’t rush to make conclusions. The devil is in the detail. Watch them. For example, minor signs of laziness at work can indicate that your potential partner works as Swiss watch only because he fears his boss. If so, it is very likely that he lacks of self-discipline, and this will become flagrant in your startup. Or your friend asks you to teach him about investments, but bails out after the first time: obvious lack of persisting. The same way you may notice some flavor of procrastination, irresponsibility etc.

Watch non-congruence in the behavior. This comes with experience.

Instead of conclusion

We see that finding a good partner is somewhat like finding a needle in a haystack. Moreover, not each needle will work for you. Nevertheless, don’t give up!  Best of luck and all the success in your partnerships!

My Two Cents On Three Steps Elon Musk Took To Become Successful

My Two Cents On Three Steps Elon Musk Took To Become Successful

I read some articles by Jason Fernando, and they are very interesting. But Three Steps Elon Musk Took To Become Successful attracted my attention because in my opinion it refers to the correct steps, but the interpretation misses key points. This article is my 2 cents on what made Elon Musk so successful.

1. A Clear Sense of Motivation

Jason writes:

Picture the scenario: you’re 28 years old and receive a cash payment of $22 million. This is the situation Elon Musk faced in 1999 after the sale of his first Internet company, Zip2. Under these circumstances, most of us would likely retire into a life of recreation and luxury.

Couple of years ago, before I started my first startup, I would also agree with this statement. But there is a bit of the elephant in the room: Elon got 22mln for creating the viable business. And on the way to complete this task he experienced the drug of pure leadership, it is like a tiger who first time felt the taste of flesh. After such an experience none of the people who I know, would agree to just veg out in the lap of luxury. Successful entrepreneurs actually can. But the feeling that you are capable of creating a viable business is HUGE REWARD in itself.

Puzzled? It's Dopamine molecula
Puzzled? It’s Dopamine

Yeah, it may sound idiotic. Especially if you are in the middle of your project, when you already exhausted and dazzled by the amount of unexpected troubles on your way. But trust me on that: after a relatively short vacation (in comparison to the time you spent building your startup), you will be bored and be happy as a clam to come back either to further develop your business or to found a new one.
I have pretty exciting avocations (sailing, motorcycle, snowboarding etc), but nothing really can compare to the fixes of adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin you get in your business. Especially at its early stages.

2. Confronting the Worst-Case Scenario

The author refers to Sun Tzu’s “win first, and then go to war”, saying that one of the interpretations is to accept the worst-case scenario first. Really? Accept the defeat, and then go to war?! Do you really believe that with a such attitude anybody can create a successful business? Yes, I know that you will definitely learn to be aware of the worst-case scenario down the road anyway, but it cannot become a cornerstone of your success. And also, how is it connected to “win first, and then go to war”? Can anybody explain this to me? To me it looks far-far-fetched.

My own interpretations of this counsel would be:

  • – win rather strategically than tactically;
  • – fight for the future rather for the past or present;
  • – ideally, do not compete, go for the niche which is not occupied;
  • – create demand first, then start selling

and so on.

And we can see that Elon Musk is a master of “win first, and then go to war”-approach. But I disbelieve that it’s because he has an experience of worst-case scenario and had been living for just $1 a day.

3. Self-Education

Jason states that one of the keys to Elon’s success is his life-long self-education. And even though the author refers to it as to a “hard-won knowledge” gained as a result of the access we all have to information nowadays, I think that the main point here is missing. Or at least it deserves to be stressed out more. Musk is successful not just because that he gobbled up gazillion of books and textbooks. The secret of his self-education is practice.

There is no correlation between how much you read and the level of your success. In fact, I know people who read a lot, but are not bold enough to go and apply the knowledge. For them it is an alibi – nobody can rebuke them, because they do so much: visit seminars, read books, take educational courses, mingle with like-minded people etc.

And also I know another sort of people – they are successful but they have not much time for reading. Their self-education is mostly limited to some training courses, when it is really needed for the business. But they prefer to imperfectly act rather than perfectly linger.

Musk knows this secret: his knowledge is very practical, so, it turns into practical skills quickly.


I think that we can conclude that we got the hang of some elements of Elon Musk’s success: self-education to gain appropriate skills, a good advice from Sun Tzu and a very natural entrepreneurial motivation.

They are all simple, but not so easy to practice. Anyway, I wish you good luck in practicing them! These lessons definitely won’t go amiss.

Partnership in Business. Part 2 – Right questions

Partnership in Business. Part 2 – Right questions

This is the 2nd article in the series of articles about partnerships in business. In the first one we got rid of basic delusions and assessed our chances to find a good partner. The rest will be dedicated to:

  1. who you should consider as a partner (including where to find them);
  2. who to avoid;
  3. questions to ask before you decide.

And maybe I will put a carriage before a horse, but I will start with the questions you should ask your potential partner before shaking hands. I cannot state that it is a complete questionnaire, but all the questions here are based on my own experience.

Question I: % of ownership.

Well, this question is unavoidable. But never have 50/50 ownership. Even though, this may be absolutely legal in your jurisdiction, but such partnership is doomed to be unsuccessful or at least to face significant problems. Avoid having such a ticking time bomb under your business.

Question II: What you bring into and how to measure

Discuss, what each of you are going to bring into business. And, even more important, HOW to measure that? You don’t what to end up with a partner who is theoretically responsible for marketing, but all what he does is posting a single Facebook post once a month. And, of course, I’m not talking about an influencer with a gazillion of followers. I’m talking about an ordinary lazybones.

Also, you should be acutely conscious of the equality in your partnership. I mean you should have no delusions about whose position is stronger. For example, you plan to create a business in a realm, which is totally new for you. You find someone who is knowledgeable about the realm. His experience and your money should work together. Your position is stronger, right? Absolutely, till the moment you started a business, you have a freedom to pickup any specialist in the realm you like. But what happens when you already invested your money? Now you have no freedom plus now you have to blindly trust your partner. Still believe that your position is stronger?

Question III: Compare your goals in business

Compare your goals in business and seriousness of intentions. For example, your goal in business is to prove that you are a real businessman (by creating a viable business and helping out thousands of your clients) and you decided that you are going to achieve that at any cost. Would you like a partner whose only dream is BMW M6 and he strongly believes that business is quick and easy way to achieving this goal?


Question IV: How you formulate your dream

How you formulate your dream: to rather give something to others or rather to get something for yourself? We will discuss this later in more details in the following articles. But such a difference is a fundamental one: to give is more about hero or a leader, to get – more about parasitizing. Trust me, these two types cannot go together for a long time. And yes, I understand that nobody has just one pure form of motivation, we all typically combine to-get with to-give, but you always can identify the foremost one.

Question V: How long are you able to work?

How long are you able to work even if you see no result. How many iterations you are going to take? We all know that typically a real time to implement a brand new (when nobody had such an experience before) project is at least 3 times longer than your plan. But in our first startups we never really take this into a account. Discuss this with your partner, especially if the project is quite long. Do you really have resources, stamina and firm desire to complete the endevour even if it takes 3 times longer? What if you complete the project, but will not see any significant result? Say, you planned to work for 6 month to develop a revolutionary product. It took you a year (which is super fast in comparison to average). Finally you completed the development and your product is released. And voila! Nothing happens. In theory we all say that we will switch to plan B. In reality, the only plan you really had was: I release a product, it gives me tons of cash, I go to a dealership and buy a Bentley. Plan B? Sure, if I can’t afford a Bentley, I will buy a Maserati… And de-facto you are not ready for a plan B.

partnership2_avsbLet’s assume that you are down but not out. You take a pause and compose a plan B. Now you are smarter and your iterations are way shorter. And you completed an iteration B (according to your plan B). And then iteration C and D. But still no significant result. How long will you be able to continue? How many iterations would you promise to your partner to partake?

If you think that these questions are not applicable to you because you have got a brilliant business idea… Oh well! Please try to prove your point in practice. And I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Unfortunately, statistics is at my side: in 99% of cases you will have to come back and re-read this article…

Question VI: Money Expectations.

For a first attempt, what is your money expectations? It is not very important question, but knowing that will help you to understand your partner better and even to predict his or her future actions as soon as you get first results.

Question VII: How you are going to spend profits?

What are you going to do with profits: to blow the money or to reinvest into business? You and your partner should be on the same page. Otherwise, one of you reinvests money and develops future growth while another one just enjoys higher profits without equal participation. This may become a very valid background to part.

Question VIII: How to split?

What if you loose interest to work, say, 2 years from now? What we are going to do? How to decide how to split the business in such circumstances and so on. I faced such a situation and, fortunately, I didn’t have any problems in handling it, but potentially could: I missed to ask this right from the very beginning. It is a very uncomfortable topic (since it looks like you suspect that your partner is a potential schlepp), but you have to ask all this. Be gentle and very polite, say “one of us” rather than “you” when discussing. But woe is you if you feel too embarassed to ask…

Question IX: Other conditions for a partner to exit

The previous question tackles just one foremost case of a partner exiting a startup. There is a bunch of others: upon disability, upon death, upon sale etc. You don’t want to get a sudden message from your partner like “I decided to partnership2_exit-signquickly sell my share of our business. If you don’t buy within one week, I’m going to sell to other people…”

To mitigate such risks and to avoid such difficulties you should apply to an experienced lawyer. Expensive? Yes! But in many cases when you part with people (especially when you already have what to share), you will face conflicts about what was not discussed. Maybe today it is too expensive and does not make any sense, but as soon as the assets of your company reach a certain threshold, you should compose an appropriate buy-sell agreement.

Question X: How to measure the performance?

How to divide business if partnership is not fair enough. An example from real life: you ask your partner to complete a task which is crucially important and takes an hour. Your partner disregards your request for two weeks. This repeats over and over again till the last straw breaks the camel’s back. And in response to the rebuke he or she says: “Oh, I never thought that it is so important to you!” Here I will omit what you think and say in return, it is obvious that such partnership cannot last long.

In order to deal with the situation like this effectively, you should have discussed how to measure the performance of each partner. What is an acceptable response time. What to do next in such a situation – either shut down the company or buy-sell shares. All this must be discussed right at the very beginning.

Question XI: Ask about previous failures

If your potential partner has failed in the past, ask why. If his answers do not satisfy you, better avoid partnership. For example, if his answer is about bad market conditions or incorrect people, highly likely his infantilism will ruin your mutual business. But even if you are satisfied with the answers, this does not guarantee success.

Question XII: Compare notes about future.

Compare thoughts about growth of business, scaling, delegating, management etc. A consensus here is nice to have, and issues here should not stop you. You will have a lot of time to reconcile these thoughts down the road. But if you disregard all these items, they can potentially slow down your business and may beget lots of smaller problems.

Bad news, even though you and your partner are on the same page about everything, this does not guarantee any success. It is like two artists who belong to the same school and have similar technique and so on. This doesn’t mean that these two artists will be able to create a masterpiece together…

Question XIII: Big goals vs trifles.

Everybody dreams about big goals. But ask yourself and your partner if you are ready to make smaller, way less heroic deeds day in day out to reach those big goals. If the answer is no, your business is doomed to fail. A partner who doesn’t want to squander his gifts on trifles will become a huge dragging chute for your business. I’m not a great fan of bombastic quotes, but this one suits here:

Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out. (Robert Collier)

So, if you believe that Robert Collier was right, steer clear of such “big dreamers” who don’t want to start with what they have. In my opinion, this is just a mask of procrastination.


Enough questions. Test!

There are mockingbirds who will be able to answer what you expect to hear. Moreover, there are some people who are able to deceive even themselves. And you will automatically be deceived by them. So, do not expect too much from such an interview. But there is an ultimate way of checking. Before starting any significant business, test your partner in a smaller and less significant affair. This will give way more information. This may unveil a lot of secrets. And keep your eyes open to see any discrepancies between the answers and  his (her) real actions.

Instead of a summary

It is hard to sum up the article which is already a summarization itself. But the key points are:

  • Don’t be delusional
  • Trust but check
  • Test your partner on a minor, but real affair

And the last but the least, if you can afford, better use the services of an experienced facilitator – such a help can be priceless.

This was the Part 2 of Partnership in business series of articles. The first one is Partnership In Business. Part 1 – Your Chances.

Partnership in business. Part 1 – Your chances.

Partnership in business. Part 1 – Your chances.

We all know that business is not a proper place for an one-aloner. But we automatically make conclusion that a partnership in business is a magic wand to solve all our problems. We tend to think that it is always rather positive thing, and then may feel very disappointed when this setting of our world-view collides with the reality!

This article is the first one in the series of articles regarding partnership in business: myths, legends, misconceptions and the cold truth… It is based on my own experience combined with the bitter pills taken by other people from who I learned a lot. This article will be about:

  • Good vs No-good partnerships
  • Your chances of getting a business partner

Good vs No-Good Partnerships

Having a partner in business potentially (you may even read: allegedly) has a lot of perks: it is way easier to stay focused and energetical when you are surrounded by like-minded people; we always feel safer in the group; you will definitely help each other to overcome the downturns in your mood; you will have more ideas and creativity (some say: 1 + 1 equals 11); the group of people secures higher level of adequateness. And so on. Not surprising that venture capitalists would prefer to invest into teams rather than individuals.

So why did I say “allegedly” then? Because it is truth, but with bunch of niggles and caveats. And the list of exceptions sometimes is that long that it completely downplays the rule! In order not to be proofless, I will bring couple of examples.

Example 1: Tandem bike. Please imagine a tandem bike which you share with a partner, who sits behind you. You are pedaling  as hard as you can, but after some time you start noticing that your partner tends to save strengths too much. In fact, you are pedaling singlehandedly, say, 70% of time. Carrying double weight, of course. Do you still think that such a partnership is beneficial for you?

I brought this analogy because I saw couple of startups like that. By the way, I’m not the author of this parallel. It was made up by my wife, Natalia, who also witnessed such distribution of the efforts in the aforementioned startups.

Example 2: Throwing fingers. Remember rock-paper-scissors? Please form a group of three. Your task is to throw fingers simultaneously, without any preparation and preliminary agreement. Goal: your group must get exactly 7 fingers in total. You may change this number if you want.

The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that even such a primitive interaction in group of three can be a problem. By the way, I tried this exercise couple of times with different groups of people. And it never worked from the first attempt.

Moral of these examples: not all partnerships will be beneficial for you, and in many cases an interaction between people leaves much to be desired. In further articles we are going to formulate the criteria of good partners/partnerships in business. Moreover, we will try to cover the measures how to fix, mitigate or eliminate the above mentioned and other potential problems .


Your chances

The idea of partnership is based on mutual benefits: you must amplify good qualities of each other and mutually compensate bad qualities of each other. It must be a win-win situation. Otherwise it turns into parasitizing. I will rephrase Lope de Vega: “Partnership prefers equality”. You don’t have to exactly same, but you must be comparable with your partner in business.

Now let’s talk about your chances of partnership.

When you just started your entrepreneurship and you don’t have any experience under your belt, you have very limited chances for partnership. You can pick up a partner only from the same kind of beginners. Anyone who is more experienced than you (and there is a lot of such people out there), wouldn’t benefit a lot from any partnership with a newbie. Unless, of course, you have $10 mln to invest into business, but we do not take such extremes into account.

Time and experience will make you more covetable business partner. And as you evolve, your chances to find more or less good potential partner will increase. But just to some extent.

Let’s assume that you continue to grow as an entrepreneur non-stop. After some moment you will find out that now you can find fewer and fewer potential partners. Yes, more and more people would find interaction with you beneficial for them. But not as much for you, right? There will be fewer and fewer people comparable to you.

The chart below illustrates the described trend:

Probability of partnership depending on the skills level
Probability of partnership depending on the skills level


This happens to everybody who surpasses a certain level of skills in business. I will try to use Steve Jobs as an example. I know it is a thankless job because here we refer to rather myths and legends, but nevertheless. Do you think Steve Jobs had really equal partners? I ask about the last couple of decades. Not about the very beginning, when Steve Wozniak was such a partner, but about the Pixar-and-later times. Can you name anybody? I disbelieve that, and the reason being: Steve Jobs became such an utmost entrepreneur, that it was almost impossible for him (and even not needed) to find anybody comparable to him. Moreover, other business gurus, comparable to him, they run their own very successful businesses. In truth, after you reached quite high level of entrepreneurship, it becomes like among the immortals: “There can be only one”.


Summary of Part 1

  • Contrary to common belief partnership may be not necessarily beneficial for you;
  • It can be mutually rewarding on certain conditions;
  • You may face significant difficulties in interaction;
  • Beware of parasites;
  • Your chances to find a good business partner change with your skills level: very low for a beginner, they grow with the skills level till a certain point, after which they start declining more and more.

To be continued in the article Partnership In Business. Part 2 – Right Questions.



10 Things To Know About Making Decisions. Part 2

10 Things To Know About Making Decisions. Part 2

Every day we make a gazillion of decisions – what to eat, when to get up, what to buy, how to plan the day, what to answer when being asked etc. Sometimes our decisions affect not only us, but also other people, their present and future.
Our doubts and difficulties in decision making drain our energy and kill our productivity.
After years of having issues with making important decisions, I learnt a lot and came up with ten key points I want to share with you. This is Part 2 of this post. Part 1 can be found here.

  1. Bear in mind that each decision has its price. I talk about the efforts to make this decision. Now I will pull Captain Obvious: your efforts to make a decision should not outweigh the benefits of the decision. A great example: a company has a budget of 2 thousand dollars and don’t have a plan ready on how to spend this amount. They hire consultants to help to make this decision. Cost of their services was… 50,000 dollars! You think it is impossible? It is a true story. I will not name this blue-chip company, but such an anti-record took place more than 10 years ago.
  2. Don’t try to change your decision at the last moment. Don’t change horses in midstream. The best way to jeopardize anything is to make major changes in the activity which has begun. If you made up your mind and already started executing your decision, don’t change until done.
  3. For any decision made by someone else there is a point of no return. I mean if you delegate decision making to someone else, there is always a certain point of time after which you will have very little or no impact on the result.
  4. Intuitive decision. Everybody is aware of how to make logical decisions. There are hundreds of books written on this topic and tons of practical courses offered. But nobody teaches us how to make intuitive ones. Too bad. Because almost everybody can recall at least one case when they followed the intuitive decision even if it seemed logically wrong – and were right. Yes, sometimes we need to follow our intuition. That is why I would like to share a technique how to do that. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the author (I have heard this quite long ago from a person who also wasn’t an author), but I admire his or her wisdom – this technique works!
    You need to choose one of the several options. You concentrate on your feelings in the area of your solar plexus. And now you walk through your options one by one. And watch your solar plexus feelings. You should choose the option giving the most comfortable feeling.
  5. Some decisions must be made quickly (example: you see a girl of your dream and you have doubts to get acquainted right now or wait for a better moment. This is an example of do-it-right-now things, make this decision to approach this girl quick!). Some decisions must be postponed, or, ideally, never made (let’s return back to the girl of your dream. Say, you married her. And today you have a quarrel. She throws plates into you. You are both shouting… Finally one of you comes to a conclusion that a divorce is the only way to resolve the problem. All emotional decisions like this one belong to the kind of decisions you’d better postpone and preferably avoid).
    You should strive to get a level of wisdom that you can distinguish the first (do-it-right-now decisions) from the latter (better-postpone ones).
10 Things To Know About Making Decisions. Part 1

10 Things To Know About Making Decisions. Part 1

Every day we make a gazillion of decisions – what to eat, when to get up, what to buy, how to plan the day, what to answer when being asked etc. Sometimes our decisions affect not only us, but also other people, their present and future.
After years of having issues with making important decisions, I learnt a lot and came up with ten key points I want to share with you. This is Part 1 of this post.

  1. Often you have to make decisions when you’re lacking some or all the information needed. Be ready to face this. It is normal. This happens very often especially in business and in investments. What can you do? Train your “decision-making muscles”, i.e. make such decisions. Yes, simply make them. You probably will never have all the information you need or want. So work with what you have. Sometimes I recall a good saying: “The moment when the last button is sewed on the jacket of the last soldier will never happen”, meaning exactly what I just mentioned – you will never be ready to everything.
  2. Inability to make decisions quickly. Fight it. For example, I have my own rule: when I collected and analyzed all the information needed (or in most of the cases all the information available to me), I give myself 1 minute to make the decision. It can be hard, but it is just a matter of self-discipline – never waste time. You also should have an algorithm how to choose between approximately equal options – a coin toss or something similar and easily doable.
  3. Decision = Responsibility. By the way, how would you define responsibility? I mean how to re-phrase it without saying words “responsible” or “responsibility”. My version is: responsibility is when you equal your actions and the result, so you proclaim yourself an author of this result if you are an author of action. And you should always do it, no matter if the result is good or bad. Coming back to decisions, every time you made a decision, you took responsibility over what happens next (including the things out of your control).
  4. Sometimes a bad decision can be better than a good one. Sounds weird, but that is true in many cases. A bad decision can be better than a good one provided that a bad one was made in time and a good one was made way too late. Bear in mind the time factor, or a time multiplier. When too late, this multiplier can be zero.
  5. Your main enemy is a fear of failure. And his little sibling – Procrastination (this cool-looking buzzword means waste of time, lingering because a person is afraid of starting something uncomfortable or something which potentially may fail). The most important thing to understand is that you are not a looser just because you failed. Failure is just one step on your road to success. It is important to make next steps. Of course, you should not repeat the mistakes, but I believe you will not. And you should not be afraid of mistakes. Moreover, I would suggest to carefully collect every mistake – it educates you. The only thing you must be scared of is a deliberate burning of time in order to postpone possible mistakes and failures. You will lose much more if you don’t start rather than if you start and fail.

Part 2 can be found here