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How to Make Better Decisions In Life And Work
Last Updated April 1st, 2013

A few weeks ago, this guy asked me “Should I quit my job to start my own business?”

This guy, and many other people who read Social Triggers, need help making tough decisions just like this. Decisions like:

“Should I quit my job?”

“Should I start a business?”

“Should I invest in my education?”

“Should I end my relationship?”

“Should I fire an employee?”

And that’s why today I’m excited to share this new podcast with Dan Heath, a NYT best-selling author of two (and soon to be three) books.

Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work

Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Before you jump into this podcast, I want you to think about a tough decision you’re currently trying to make. Then I’d like you to imagine how much better you’ll feel when you finally MAKE THAT DECISION.


Because when you’re done listening to this podcast, you’ll learn how YOU can make better decisions in life AND work. I’ll also reveal how you can win a free copy of their new book.

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Who is Dan Heath? Dan Heath is the NYT best-selling author of Made to Stick and Switch. And now he’s got a NEW book that he just released called Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work (affiliate link). As you’ll hear in the podcast, this book shows you how to make tough decisions the RIGHT way.

Now leave a comment below.

Did you know Social Triggers Insider is now on iTunes? If you enjoy this series, please take a few seconds and leave an honest review. It would be a huge help.

Right click this link to save the audio as a MP3 file to your computer

The transcript for this podcast is not available… yet. Please check back.

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329 comments Leave a comment

Was thinking – How great it would be if the podcast was available in MP3 and downloadable… maybe I’ll ask Derek if it is possible 😉 Then… reading a bit futher I saw that it was possible and was like… YES! Now I have something new and interesting I can listen to when I’m taking the bus to and from school. So as soon as I need to fill the phone with new stuff I’ll fill it with these podcasts with all these inspiring people – awesome!

Thank you!


My decision: My husband is in medical school and we may have move next year to who knows where. I am struggling with whether to move with him, to stay in Denver where I currently live and visit him frequently, or to live with him for 2 weeks and here for 2 weeks. I love Denver and I am starting a new business I don’t want to leave, but I also want to have kids soon and know I can’t do that away from him. What do you think?


This was a really helpful interview… love the actionable tips! I will defintitely be “WRAPing” my decisions from now on. I made a decision about work and prioritization. Love it!

Hamid Khan

I made a decision on that should I continue my education or not. 🙂

Pam McCall

I’m working putting together a digital product on Procrastination and this thread has been the best research. I love the honesty you all display, but also really great advice from one another. This is a wonderful, supportive community, which says alot about Derek.

If you had a product that could help you with indecisiveness, procrastination, fear, etc. what would you like that product to do for you? What area of your life do you think it would benefit you the most?


Where should I begin? Like most of you I avoid making decisions, even when they are easy. FINALLY a good friend of mine gave me the best advice I have ever received in my life. She said, “I am asking you your opinion because I want to know what you think or want.” She pointed out that the other person in the relationship, friendship or even work team won’t want to make all of the decisions all of the time. The best part is that I have already used this to help me with the “small stuff” but when I am asking myself questions, I’m still looking to others for advice and the “confirmation” mentioned in the podcast. I find myself in my career wondering if I have ever made an important decision alone. This could be why I struggle to even start finding what would be fulfilling. How do I stop wasting time and start figuring it out?


My wife and I live abroad right now (in South Korea, and it’s awesome). We’re trying to decide about starting a family while we’re away. The main reason that this is hard is just being away from family; we don’t know when we’re going to see them again, and don’t know really how to do this who “baby” thing… But we’ll probably start anyway, cause no one’s getting any younger:-).

David Siskin

I’ve created a very particular and fairly unique shoe concept over the past two years. First season I tested it in the market with relative success, selling the shoes to a friend and long time client of mine who sold them to the consumer in his four stores in Long Island, NY. After refining the product, packaging and pricing I was poised to launch the concept nationally but needed a business partner which I found.

Over the course of one year my partner has not executed on what he promised or I expected he would add to the business. For the past few weeks I’ve been presenting the concept to shoe companies whom I think may become a good new partner. Soon I’ll hopefully have to decide which one will be the right partner and bring the most value to my business. After listening to the podcast I concluded the book may help me make a good decision evaluating the possible partners and also enable me to be realistic when projecting the future sales and evaluating the company’s worth.

Believe me, I’m the perfect candidate for a free copy, I’ll happily spread the word if the book brings useful and actionable knowledge which will last a life time.

I’m new to the podcast and have become a better business man for it, thanks!

Becky L Duncan

Thank you for your podcast. I can’t remember the last time I struggled to make a decision. I’m just a very decisive person. BUT! The information in your podcast really gave me pause to consider if I was one of those people looking for confirmation or information. It also encouraged me to find a mentor that is willing to tell me my baby is ugly (so to speak). I am excited to read this book and use the WRAP system to make smarter choices.
I’m currently working to start up my own coaching business and looking to leave my job. So, while I have dozens (and dozens) of little decisions to make concerning my business, the BIG, upcoming decision I need to make is how to/when to transition from my ‘bridge’ job to my own business. After listening to your podcast, I know I need to do a better job of staring down the right data and not making the decision with rose-colored glasses. I’m eager to read ‘Decisive’ and use the tools to make a clear, excellent decision.


Following one of my ideas to fruition or fault. I can never seem to make the final jump to start a business idea. Whether it’s fear or some excuse I come up with. Following through has always been one of my biggest problems. Struggling with an idea now, whether it is worth my time or not…..Ha! There it is a whether or not statement….anyway. My goal is to just make decision, whatever it is and learn from it.

Thanks for the Cast it was good!


This was very well done. Thanks for putting this together.

There were two really great nuggets that have given me some great insight into my life. I’m going off memory, but I think they are the first two traps that people fall into when making decisions. The first being making decisions very narrowly. You gave some really great ideas that will be helpful in normal buying decisions but also important life changing ones as well. The other big idea from your interview was about confirmation bias. Ouch! That one hit me hard on a number of levels. However, in my opinion, it’s a wise decision to seek confirmation of a belief or a system of beliefs. Here is a question that helps me make decisions: [I need to use it more often 😉 ] Based on my past experiences, current situation, and future desires, what is the wise thing for me to do? Thanks again.

John Ringgold

Thanks for the free copy of Decisive! I am so happy to have WON! I never win anything! 🙂

I received it this week and hope to get started reading it this weekend. Thanks again Derek!

Ken Tan

The toughest decision was breaking up with my partner and restarting a new company by myself.


One tough decision I’m struggling with is deciding on setting up my business entity now, while revenue is practically zero or setting it up when money actually starts coming in…


Even though I missed the contest I want to say thank you for sharing. A few years ago I started a consulting business from scratch. I went from literally living in my car and using free wireless at the coffee shop to a comfortable, middle-class existence.
Now I’m trying to decide whether to move from services to products. This podcast really helped me clarify my decision making process and the whole “WRAP” concept will help me move forward.




Being decisive has never been a problem for me. The problem for me is how to lead. Making decisions is a big part of being a leader. I have been juggling for a while on what is the best leader style for me. I come from a background of hard nose, tough love kind of leadership. Being that I have been in sports my whole life, being pushed and yelled at, has been part of my make up. It motivates me. But in this day and age, most people don’t react well to an aggressive style. I also, value the opinions of others. To me feedback, especially constructive criticism, is invaluable. So, the question is…what type of leadership style do I use to get the best out of people? Do I bring the blunt, hard nose style? Or is the more soft-nurturing style best suited for the make up of a lot of people out there?

Caro Eardley

decided to be decisive and listen to this podcast…but it won’t load…oh well back to being undecided!!! grrr!

Kelly Pietrangeli

Derek, your newsletter arrived in my in-box on the very day I was pondering a huge life decision with my husband on making a move abroad. We listened to the Podcast and it helped us become more open minded that our choices are not limited to whether we move this summer – or don’t move at all, which had been our thinking. We finally made a decision: Not to decide at all right now! (whew!) It takes the heat off for now and it’s a relief.

I’ve ordered “Decisive” and we look forward to reading it and seeing if it throws up anything new so we can make a final decision on whether to make this move next year.

Fascinating stuff! Thank you x

Jemma Taylor

As a beginning quilter I love this list so much I plan to post it in my sewing room to refer to when I see to be hesitating starting a project and need a reminder that I quilt for pleasure, and to provide others with joy!!

Brian Dooley

I just heard this podcast yesterday, and am unfortunately late to the party as far as the contest goes…but I can still share a tough decision I’ll be making.

I am in marketing, and my company is highly entrepreneurially based. One of my side projects is approaching critical mass, and I need to decide which direction to pursue.

I’m glad that I found your podcast, and am excited to hear more in the future!

Bojko Belovsky

I like your Tips very much. Your website is a study guide for mine!

I would suggest that we should ask also now – “Should I invest in my health”?
That can change the perspective of many other questions.



Agree with you Derek! Making Better decision in Work is very very Important. Cheers 🙂


I recently made a decision to leave a field I’d been in for a LONG time, in order to strike out in a completely new area. I’ve struggled over whether to do this for several years. Now I know why, thanks to the podcast. I had narrowed my choices down too much. I should have widened the options before me. Instead of deciding to leave the field all at once – going cold turkey – I could still maintain some contact with that world, do some jobs in it, while moving toward my new area. Great podcast, Derek. Thanks! I look forward to reading the book, either a free copy, or the one I buy.


I have been pondering this for a while, but family, necessity, have paved the way to where i am at the moment and i feel emotionally frustrated with myself and my current situation……..

I live with my partner and we have kids. I have a boring job that is not helping me grow in anyway just to pay the bills as jobs are hard to come by in a small town. My partner whom is more qualified than me can’t find a job and has giving up looking but is directing all her efforts in helping the kids do better in school as well heavily involved in their local schools sports activities. Only thing wrong with that, is it cost us financially for petrol from our owe pockets and she is fine with.

I have aged, deaf mother that lives in a big city that is only two hours away from our little town. She gets home help and they provide a very good but limited service. Her grandson, aged 25 whom is working stays with her in her house. The grandson is doing the best he can, but at times it can be a bit overwhelming for him with all the things that my mum expects of him.

I problem is that, i want to leave my job and come back up to the big city, where i am more alive in than where i am at present. My kids are in their early teens and have taken my partner’s view in not wanting to go back to the city. My partner and i are both in our late 40’s.

I also want to be near my mother as she has cancer and will lose one of her breasts because of it. I want to pay my dues as a son.
I am currently learning affiliating marketing and blogging for making money from. I really want to be my own boss, but their are TOO MANY ” golden apples” thrown at my feet , so to speak…….

I just have to consider all points, view from all angles, take the time to ponder and consider everything. That is huge for me because there will be PAIN in whatever direction i go from here…. I try to ease the pain by trying to say that if i chose this path, the consequence will lead to this POSSIBLE but not concrete goal, either way.

I have always been indecisive, cause i can see both sides of an situation, most of the time and you have opened my eyes in very good and constructive ways in formatting a informed decision.

Rafael Marquez

Great podcast, my big decision is the quintessential should I quit my job question. Well, I’ve decided that I need to quit my job because it’s slowly killing my will to live, but should I just go out and get another job, or should I focus on my photography business instead of getting another job? I have a few clients already, I just need more of them to make the jump viable. I fear that without dedicating more time to the photog biz and less time to work, I won’t get there. I guess I need a trip wire of some sort.

Mark Kerrigan

Derek — Thanks for such wonderful information! Your podcast with Dan Heath was shockingly eye-opening, and I have already put some of the tips to work for my twitter account and blog: 5 Changes i’ve made to my blog: Can you find them? LifeWithHeadInjury.com

Lisa R

Thank you for such great information on decision making.

My husband and I are involved in a few life-changing decisions right now. The first is whether or not we want to buy a vacation property. But now I know that is really not the question (narrow framing). We can buy a property or not, but we can also perhaps just buy a lot and build later. Or we can save our money and use it for something else. (W)

If we bought a property we would rent it out a great deal. After listening to this podcast I remembered that I know someone that owns a number of vacation properties and rents them out. I will contact them to find out more about renting vacation properties (combatting confirmation bias and overconfidence in predictions, while dabbling to find out if it is the right decision for our family at this time).

I think it’s also important to remember that just because a certain property seems like a good deal, we need to separate emotionally from the decision–not worry that another deal won’t come up, or that there won’t be another property that we’ll like down the road.

Thanks for a great podcast!


No one will tell you your baby is ugly. That is the best line I’ve heard in a while.


I’m hosting a retreat for the first time this spring, and am in the final stages of finalizing the application and the retreat program. Exciting stuff!

Robert W.

The decision I am wrestling with is whether to re-enlist in the Army when this contract ends or if I should leave. If the decision is made to leave do I return to the corporate world and finally try to pursue one of the entrepreneurial Ideas I have had for years and of course which to go for. So I pretty much have a decision tree to figure out which branches to go down.


What direction should I be taking my business? I’m afraid of loss and even more afraid of success, but I know it’s worth walking through the flames if it means I never have to wonder, what if…

Melissa Klein

I recently had to make a tough decision – but it was also obvious. I was in a very unfulfilling job – where I had been both manipulated and strung along – with the hope that my description would change, but instead more and more of what I didn’t want to do was loaded on. The breaking point was when I was “asked” to teach regular ed math – a subject that not only am I not qualified to do, but one in which as a student, I had to take repeatedly in order to pass in high school. My happiness and job satisfaction aside – this was just so unethical to the students who needed to pass a standardized end of course exam in order to graduate. I said “No.” they said, “You are just out of your comfort zone.” I said “No.” and this went on for quite a while until finally my boss’s boss, stepped in and now I have my dream job and am extremely happy. But it wasn’t until I made a clear decision to stand up fight it, that anything changed. I was on the fence with this job for a long time – not really liking it, but just dealing with it the best I could. Just wish that it had all happened sooner, as difficult as it was, it would have saved years of frustration.

Matthew Jeschke

I never had to make the decision to leave my career as an Engineer and pursue my passions as an Entrepreneur. I was laid off… Finding success on my own has been VERY challenging. After 3 years of extremely hard work I am starting to make a consistent income (and growing each month). I have setup everything with the infrastructure to scale and bring in millions from my market places.

The hardest decision each day for me is to ignore the opportunities to return to Engineering / a less satisfying but MUCH easier life.

The hardest decision that is, is to ignore instant gratification for a better tomorrow.


really cool blog post, as always! love socialtriggers.com


Thanks Derek for this comprehensive podcast. I share the 4 villains that Dan and you are discussing in the podcast, but I believe the most important thing is actually, as also mentioned, “prepare to be wrong”:

The vast majority of people just don’t take decisions but procrastinate and wait that others are taking them at their place, hence giving away control of and responsibility for their life.

I have been in a similar situation: I am building niche sites in France (Amazon affiliate sites, event based sites, …) making a good living, and I always had the desire to share this (and eventually monetise this knowledge after first giving away all the best things for free…).

But I was hesitating, thinking that a lot of players are doing already something similar (even in FR) and I was actually pushing this decision in front of me until Dec 2012, when I finally decided to jump into the water and start my blog. I lost one year !! In this space this is like an eternity.

Today I am convinced that the decision was right (time will tell) but in any case late.
Therefor my learning: Prepare to be wrong but you just do it.

Cheers and all the best from sunny southern France.

lee kariuki

The greatest decision i have to make is to decide what class i want to teach that is beneficial in the field of entrepreneurial change management. I know extremely ironic. Upon listening to this podcast, Derek there was one interesting factor that makes us extremely indecisive that was not included and that is something you have addressed in the past pod-casts. Choices. The more the choices one has the less the inclination to take action. They have a negative correlation and an indirect proportionality. Anyway Derek upon hearing the podcast, it dawned on me there is a “process” of making decisions. A system if i must call it and you guys provided the blueprint. I believe in systems more since i really don’t trust my judgement. It varies from day to day based on how i feel. I will use the process of elimination and hypothesis testing as you guys advocated and eventually i know and believe i will make the best sound decision based on value added to my clients! Gracias!


Currently trying to make decisions about my career – I’m in a job/field I don’t like and am having a hard time finding a new one. Partly because jobs aren’t easy to find where am I, but also because I’m having a terrible time choosing a new path. I have a hard time ruling anything out because I always think there’s some option or piece I haven’t considered, so I end up with option-overload paralysis. I’m actively seeking ways to improve my decision making process because it’s very ineffective! This book sounds great and I’d love to read it.

Matt Ragland

In the past month, I’ve been told my existing job contract will not be renewed in September, so I have a lot of decisions to make! Beyond simply “should I leave my job?” because soon my current job will have left me! While an uncertain future is certainly scary, there is also an element of excitement about what’s next!

What’s next is the million dollar question. I’ve been steadily writing about priorities and habit change at LifePrioritized.com, while helping my wife build her fitness website at TheSimpleGym.com. We haven’t monetized either site yet, focusing on building an audience. So, do we go to the next traditional job, or take a chance on the potential of online businesses?

To borrow the Heath Brother’s advice, an intriguing possibility is to do part-time or contract work as a way to pay the bills and stay connected to the industry. This will also allow time and focus to work on building our own businesses. Like the stereo question, we can live with less income for a while if doing so allows more time to build towards the life we want to live.

Thanks Derek (and the Heath Bros)!


I have a difficult decision to make regarding my academic path. This is a crossroads I have been at before in my life. This dilemma occurred in attempting to choose my initial college major and also occurred the first time I considered Graduate School.
The gist of my dilemma is that I have numerous and competing interests. I have always deeply loved and enjoyed science, biology most specifically. I have a Psychology B.A. I can obtain great grades in both biology and courses considered to be social sciences like psychology, history, sociology etc. I do have a minor stumbling block with some areas of mathematics but I have a growth mind-set and do believe that can be overcome with more practice and tutoring. And, at the same time, I have always had a great and deep interest in law. Prior to graduating college the first time, I took the GMAT, GRE and the LSAT and scored approximately the same on all three exams. So I could have attempted diverse paths. I opted, then, for an MBA program and I hated it and left.
I want to pursue this again. I have to admit that advice given to just specialize makes me cringe and as I assess the decision, I begin to feel and think that any options that are too specific are too confining for me to find satisfaction in some career options.
What I most deeply want to pursue is a degree in Biological Psychology that is tied to Neuroscience. At the same time, I want to obtain a law degree that is related to research and writing most specifically in the area of constitutional law. What I believe is that the two areas could be intertwined into an up and coming area of Neuro-ethics.
I am trying to decide which to do first or the order of what I will be pursuing. I think I need to pursue a second undergraduate degree in Philosophy to be prepared for the critical thinking and analysis that is a part of both research in science and law and research. At the same time, I am trying to decide if I can take two specific and yet mostly broad areas and then refine them into a bit more of a specific area. (I do have the background information from academic institutions regarding various degrees). I have looked into ways in which it may be possible to intertwine the psychology, a neuroscience graduate degree and the philosophy into a potential specialty in Neuro-ethics. And yet, I may be wrong and I need to go with one or the other but I don’t know how to decide on that as over the years I have never lost any of my interest or passions for these areas.


Last year, I had to decide which scholarship to take, what major to study, which country to study in and of course I had to choose a university I did not know how to decide and something does not feel right about some of my decisions but I do not know how to change and what to base my new decisions on.


Great post and interview Derek!

Being decisive is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my life. I’ve always chalked it up to being a Libra and having the innate need to weigh all options before making a decision. However, this has just been an excuse and I am aware of how much it holds me back in my business and my life. I recently heard Daymond John speak at a conference, and the biggest takeaway I learned from him is that highly successful people are decisive, which is why I am looking for ways to improve my decision-making skills.

One tough decision that I have been wrestling with is whether or not I should release the first info product that I created. I know it might seem like a silly decision, but here’s why I am struggling with it.

I am planning to leave my job so that I can be my own boss and help more people while having the lifestyle that I want as a health coach. I do not want to leave my job until the passive income from my internet business is enough to cover all my expenses, so that I can leave comfortably. My dilemma is that I am currently a health coach, and while my boss is supportive of me building a business on the side, she has said that I cannot be a health coach on the side because it is a conflict of interest with my current position, which makes sense.

So what I ended up doing was interviewing other successful health coaches, learning about their successes, failures, and what they have done differently if they could start over, and created a product called “Health Coach Marketing Experts.” The product is done and has been done for a few months, but my hesitation is that I don’t feel like I am ready to launch it. While I enjoy marketing, it’s not my true passion (health coaching is), and I don’t feel qualified enough yet to launch a marketing product when I have not made money off of my business yet. However, the longer I delay and deliberate, the longer I am not making money off of my website.

This decision has had me stuck for so long (the product was done in November and it is now April!), and traditionally I’ve been a “feeler” and made decisions off of gut feelings, but I know from experience that sometimes gut feelings and making decisions based on emotion are not always the best way to approach things. I am so thankful that you’ve written about decision-making and interviewed Dan, because now I have an objective framework to use when making tough decisions.


I started off selling stuff on eBay & it was fun until I started selling as if I was a store & people wanted to bicker about prices. So, now I sell on Amazon & am having a lot of fun listing things and selling them…Now, I am trying to decide when or if I will be able to get to a point where I can quit my regular daily job working for the government & start selling full time. I would like to quit my job & travel finding items to sell & listing those items & make enough money to pay the mortgage.


Go big or stay small. I’m having a hard time deciding what direction to take my small manufacturing business. Im expecting my 2nd baby mid this year and in general tend to be family oriented- it’s actually the basis of my business.
That said, the business is like another baby to me. After an on/off relationship with it, I decided to go full speed ahead and hire my first employees this year (2 part timers) to help me keep her running while I recover and spend quality time with my new baby and adjust to our new family situation.

While i’m committed to keeping my biz running and using my employees to help me focus more time on my family- it would be great to expand the business and start implementing some ‘big idea’ projects rather than keeping her the scale she is now.
I’m not sure if hiring my employees and encouraging them to go forward with bigger projects would end up taking over my life like a mental drug addiction or if it would be enough for me to know that the biz is going well and allow me to just be with my growing family- zen style. I really want both.


They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – well April seems to be doing the same thing! I don’t seem to have a moment “off duty” and it’s clear some decisions have to be made.

I’m a virtual assistant + happiness specialist (yes, really!). What’s next for me? My name is out there. I could keep working for others, but what do I want? How can I offer my services in a way that are productive to me and on my terms? How can I make a pretty package? Am I even ready to go there yet?

I don’t plan on living small. I’ve got a ton to offer, and it’s becoming more and more clear that what I have to offer is NEEDED.

So what’s my next step so I don’t spread myself to thin and burn myself out? How can I be sure I’m making the right decisions?

I’m ready to be armed more of the right tools to make this change happen. LET’S DO THIS!

Knarf namhsram

Having been in business for over 40 years I think my toughest decision was wheather to get a job or not. I had never considered getting a job rather felt if I was going to do something, just do it for myself rather than someone else. I started a business and ran it for 20 years and than decided I wanted to learn to sell so I sold that business and went to work as an independent contractor for Electrolux selling vacuum cleaners door to door. I thought that would be one of the fastest learning curves there was for the skills of selling. After almost a year doing this my wife wanted me to quit because of the long hours I was spending and she hated the management which I did as well. (Very abusive, cussed, not positive in any way.)
So my tough decision was to get a job or start another business.
I understood the pitfalls of starting a business but when I compared them to working for another company and having to ask them if I could stay home with a sick child or what I was worth… well… there was no competition. Starting a business was far safer and more intelligent.
When you have to ask you give someone else permission over your life.


I just made the difficult decision of leaving my job to take care of my kids full-time. I never thought this would be an option for me but I’m loving the freedom I feel of “working for myself” albeit without immediate rewards of pay or appreciation! I know I’ll be doing this for a while, yet still I’m drawn to this site and others that give me ideas of developing a business or just getting out there and making my voice heard…this is a first step. What really hit home with me is what Dan said about how many of our decisions throughout the day are based on short term rewards and not what we should be doing to benefit us in the future. I’m going to spend less time reading and thinking (and ruminating) about what I “should” be doing and start ACTING on what I know I am capable of doing, even if it’s baby steps.

Anonymous please 🙂


Recently i got an employment offer from two completely different industries where one of them offer me a salary almost twice of the other. what was funny about this situation is the company that offer me the highest pay was in the industry that i least want to work for, where the other is a new industry that i never been to. I am still undecided 🙁

Rosalie Cross

I am a realtor. I have a daily dilema. I’m aware that successful real estate agents need lead generation and to work with both Buyers and Sellers. My “ToDo” list is as long as my arm. Every day I look at the list and wonder “What Should I be doing right now?” Should I be trying to work with Buyers? Should I be trying to get more listings? I end up not doing much of either. I need a system that tells me…Today is devoted to “Buyers” or give them the hours of 9am-12pm. And the rest of the day is for “sellers”. But, I don’t know if tht is the solution either.

Nancy Da Costa

Last year, I made the agonizing decision that I would move to Australia in the name of love (I live in NJ). Agonizing in that at the time, my father was gravely ill, and my mother would have been left alone (I’m an only child) to take care of him or afterwards. I had a hard time making this decision because I was so afraid that in a way, it would seem as if I was turning my back on them, particularly when things were rough.

But then, I don’t want to put my life on hold for the sake of anyone else (my sanity is worth something too).

Since then, unfortunately, not one but both of my parents have passed away. When my mother died in January, I was really left on a limb (I had already decided on moving to Australia, but things changed so drastically that I was having doubts yet again). I spoke to my friend and mentor about the situation, asking him what he would do in my situation.
Should I 1) go forward with my plan (I’m moving in July of this year) or 2) wait for my father to pass, then move. The second thought was horrific to me as soon as it entered my head. Of course I wanted my father to live. But I didn’t want to go crazy either. So with his help as well as my own judgment I decided to go forward with my current plan to move in July, and if I had to I recognized that I had the means to come back if necessary.

Unfortunately, my father passed away last month, leaving me with Sammy (the dog) and an estate to settle, and 30 years worth of other people’s crap to go through before I head off. My boyfriend never got a chance to meet either of my parents, but he did make it to my father’s funeral 2 weeks ago and he’s coming back again in May. I have a ton of s*** to do before I go, but after agonizing over my initial situation and decision for months, I’m happy to say that I’m still going to move to Australia and give it a 100% go. The change in environment will be very good for me (I suspect) and I’m taking Sammy with me!!!

My boyfriend has been amazing through all of this, despite the fact that he lives 10,000 miles away right now. But soon we will be closer together, and I’ll know that I gave it a shot.


First, I wanted to thank you for your podcast and your dedication to providing great education to all of us. Also, you did great on Creative Live. Your presence has made a big impact on me in positive ways.

Next, here’s my story:

I’ve been working to help my wife in her photography business while I’m working full time as a programmer. Taking photos side-by-side with her on weekends gives me shear joy. I think about photography everyday. It energizes and propels my day.

However, on weekdays I commute to work 2-hours each way for a total of 20 hours a week of commuting. This give me plenty time to listen to podcasts like Social Trigger and dozens of other podcasts. Like Zig Ziggler says I’m spending my time in Automobile University. I’m so ready to graduate.

Staying at my job means I can retire with pension in six more years. But each day going to work feels like a week, and a week feels like a month. Could I hang in there for six more year? Yes, but it would mean that part of my life would be spent on doing something that is not enriching me. Each day feels like how Tom Hanks in movie “Joe Versus The Volcano” looked. Some days, I think I have a “brain cloud” building up. Even the shape of the stretch of red tail lights in the morning looks like the lightning symbol for the company Joe work at in the movie. (I’ll have to take a picture of it in the morning.)

After being away from home 13 hours each weekday and I come home to see my two young children (4 and 6 ) and feel so blessed to see their faces. They come running to greet me when I come through the door yelling “daddy, daddy” as we fall down hugging each other.

My wife’s photography business is in the early stages, going on 3rd year, and in the negative income. If I decide to quite my job, it would mean a major reduction in income. The money from our savings would be completely depleted in less than five months.

The Decision(s)

1. Stay at my job and help my wife build her business until it is self sufficent. Currently the income from the photography business is in the red.

2. Take the savings and uses it as a financial bridge while working like hell until we are self sufficent financially. I could build web sites for additional income. Which is the direction I’m considering jumping into.

The Confirmation Bias:

Finally, listening to Dan Heath in your podcast, he has fogged up what was previously clear to me. This is in hearing about the Confirmation Bias. I think I’ve fallen into this trap.

I was seeking confirmation of my decision to go ahead and make plans to quit within a few months, and listened to and found many other speakers from podcasts that encournages the listeners to:

“Just start” – Photo Focus – by Rich Harrington with Syl Arena
“Go do it” – Converge podcast – by Dane Sanders
“Just start” – The Lifestyle Hacking podcast – by Dean Dwyer
“The time is now” – Entrepreneur on Fire podcast – by John Lee Dumas

I so much want to go ahead with my decision, that I’m looking for and finding people saying do it. So, the question to Dan Heath is “How do I get over this bias?” Okay, I’ll read Dan’s book.


Clayton Hunter

Currently I am trying to weigh the decision to hire another Physical Therapist to join our team or try and manage with the current team we have. We are currently operating at a 6% profit margin and are looking to increase it to 12%. Another therapist would help this however we may not have the space or patient volume to support it. Upon listening to the Podcast I was impressed with the WRAP acronym. It is helping me to realize that we don’t have simply the two choices of hire/don’t hire. Are there other means of generating revenue? Are who long do we have to make the decision? Etc. I appreciated the practicality in the Cast. Thanks so much.

James Dickey

Easily the toughest decisions we face are hiring ones.

We know what a force multiplier a great employee can be and what a time and resource sink a poor performer can be, so it’s a high-risk/high-reward decision.

We take the steps we can to increase the likelihood of success – ensuring we have multiple qualified candidates, a thorough interview process, relevant testing/sample projects, etc..

Those reduce the risk somewhat and definitely make the process more comfortable for the hiring manager, but you still just don’t know for sure until someone’s on board whether they’ll really perform as you’d hope.

Stephen Rummey

My toughest decision right now is deciding on if I should stay in my poverty level job that has no chance of becoming anything more, or should I open an online self development bookstore. Self improvement is a major passion of mine and I would love to make it a career.

Gina Peterson

I’d like to quit my full time desk job and become a full time photographer. I think if I were single I’d be able to take the bull by the horns and just do it on the pure faith in myself that I could make it work. Being that I have a family and husband who is worried about a varied income, I am stuck working for the man indefinitely. It’s a rut I feel like I’ll be in forever.

    Knarf namhsram

    There is a story of a preacher who went to visit one of his parishners. They were talking on the front porch and there was an old dog lying there as well. Suddenly the dog howled. Well, this went on for some time and finally the preacher asked the man what was wrong with the dog.
    “Well”, said the man, “there’s a nail sticking up under him but it don’t hurt enough to make him move.”
    So, Gina, how long are you going to lie on that nail until you move.
    If I asked you if you thought you could make $100,000 a month would you answer yes or no? Most people would answer it is impossible yet there are over 120 million people in the world doing that right now!
    It is just a decision away. The illusion is that there is any security in a job. The market pays for the value you bring to it. Develop yourself and bring enough value so that you are the security you are seeking.
    I can help you.


Like many here, I need to figure out what to focus on…but I always figure that if I do this, I’ll miss out on something.


I am trying to decide if I should get a PT job at night to hustle during the day doing what I love. My husband disagrees and thinks I should just focus on the business, which is just getting started – very little income.

Lin Young

I’m trying to decide which direction to go with my writing. I was downsized out of journalism slightly ahead of the recession. The economy has recovered somewhat, but I’m over 60 and no one seems to want to hire me for a conventional job. However, I can’t afford to retire. In the meantime, I’m not earning enough money to even cover my basic bills let alone save for retirement, travel, etc. and I’m juggling bills every month.

I can’t decide whether I should try to write more for corporations, even if that means writing things that go against my personal principles, or if I should push harder to find outlets where what I write would be more in line with my values. In the meantime, I’m trying to find ways to monetize writing on things about which I’m passionate.

It feels like I’m spinning my wheels trying to decide where to focus my efforts.

Hamza Khurshid

well,.,,,It seems that I cannot get the book…because I live in Pakistan, which is a third world country outside US…. so I cannot fill the ” State ” box…. :/


My big problem in making decisions is knowing what must be done but not wanting to do it. When this happens, I delay a decision until I feel comfortable with the consequences.

Hamza Khurshid

I have a tough decision about not pursuing formal education anymore and learning from books, internet, and people ( Seminars, Personal Conversations etc )… and Now I am struggling with the decision about should I quit my job and start my online venture?


I need to make a decision on if I should focus locally like I have been, or go broad with my business.


I feel very comfortable with about 90% of my decision making. It’s the 10% that will cripple me! I am looking forward to reading the book and listening to the podcast later today.


I’ve had to make heaps of tough decisions lately and I’ve really enjoyed the process of getting better at it! At the moment my partner and I are deciding on whether to buy a particular business. I’m really excited to incorporate the WRAP structure in our decision. The P will be really crucial I think – installing tripwires is a great idea. Thanks for the great podcast Derek and Dan.


This podcast prepared me to be aware of confirmation bias. Very useful as I am about to do market research on my first product release.
Thank you.

Mike Johnson

love sharing knowledgeable experience and wisdom with my clients. Thanks Derek. mj


I am a master at analysis paralysis. I attempt to look at every important decision from every possible angle imaginable. Then I try to find supporting data for all of those different points of view. So after hours of thought I end up more confused then when I started.


Hi Derek, insightful podcast. I see now that I can (well, anyone can) really be susceptible to those 4 mistakes. My latest tough decision is if I should open a physical location for my business.

A little background.

I got my entrepreneurship start when my father and I decided to take our online book business to a physical location in the mall. This was a few years back and though we were probably crazy for it then, it didn’t feel like business suicide like it might today. People were still going to the malls! But, while building that business I also started my skin care line and this has since turned into my true passion.

Long story short, I had to move around the country a bit and became less involved with the physical store. I’ve found my niche in skin care and am building that online and my father still runs the bookstore in the mall. But now the opportunity has come for us to open another store, one more reflective of my goals, and my mind is going wild with all the awesome possibilities I dreamed up for what this store could be and how I could integrate my love for local indie businesses with my skin care line…

But is it even a good idea? A viable one? What to do? I don’t want to fall victim to the following decision making traps as highlighted by Dan in the podcast:

Narrow Framing… limiting my options. One of the reasons I would love a store is because I really want to be a champion of local business. I love the internet and I love selling my skin care online, but sometimes you just want to go to a great space, meet & talk to people. Opening a store is a great option to build community… but are there others?? Yes. Definitely.

Confirmation Bias… Seeking info that supports what I want to do. I’ve read quite a bit lately about how the local movement is spreading. People are interested in buying American made products more than ever and are starting to take note of how they can help their local community by spending money in it. Now would be a great time to capitalize on that with a physical location…. or am I only reading into these findings because it’s what I want to hear?

Short Term Emotion… I want to quickly relieve the pressure and stress of splitting my focus. I also work a full time job. I live in Chicago and my commute sucks! I’m at work thinking about my business. I’m likely to jump on any opportunity that looks like it will be my way out the rut… purely because I feel like it will give me sanity.

Overconfidence… thinking I know how to make this work because I’ve been around the block. I’ve started a retail business before and I know how it works and all the labor that goes into it. My entrepreneurial journey started 6 years ago and since then I’ve learned a lot…. but let’s be serious. I still DON’T know a lot. It would be wrong to think I know everything I need to get a new store going.

So, there it is, all the wrong reasons for why I might have decided to move forward with a physical location and I didn’t even realize I was doing it! But it’s all right there. A physical location might still be in my future one day, but only after I can make the decision to do so without falling into the traps above.

Thanks so much for reading!! I hope people can enjoy the story and find insight from examples as I have found insight from listening to your podcast.


Help with marketing decisions; new for me. Could use help.


I like to postpone. There is not explanation for that. I just simply do it. And, because I’m very stubborn, I also don’t like to get suggestions from other people. I think it’s time to change. Because potponing has make me losing some quite interesting experiences.


I’ve got a BIG FEAR of public speaking and developing the ability to communicate my ideas is very important to me. I’ve tried it and sucked several times. To face my fears I dived in right at the deep end and started doing stand up comedy. It was going well until I felt I bombed one night. Now I’ve got to get back on it someday soon. My big decision is where and when. Once I decided that I just have to prepare and turn up.



A tough decision I have to make is to give up freelance writing and go back to working in the private sector. My freelance writing business isn’t all I thought it was going to be, or I was told it was going to be by ‘freelance writing gurus.’ No matter how much I try, it’s not working for me. In fact, it’s draining me emotionally, mentally and financially.

Another tough decision is to move back to a Southwestern state I love, or stay in my home state. I have a tug-of-war taking place inside of me. It’s driving me nuts. 😉

Jeff Nott

Decision making has always been a challenge for me.

Thankfully I use several techniques to help me do so. One is, of course, seeking the wisdom of my wife.

Others include the Ben Franklin Method (draw a line down the middle of the page and write all the positives on one side, the negatives on the other), measuring the ROI of the activity/project/relationship based on the desired outcome. If you aren’t attaining the goal you wanted, then change something or move on. reminds of the 3 D’s: Do it, Delegate it, or Delete it!

Tom P

Early in 2012, I created a website and resource platform for K-12 school leaders and communicators (narrow niche, I know, but not as small as you might think). I am also a communications specialist for a public school district. While I know the “profession” I’m finding out that I really don’t know the “market” or online marketing. Yeah, I probably fell victim (as noted in the podcast) to the obstacle of overconfidence. This mistake has turned out to be expensive…and that’s the big decision looming ahead for me. How much longer (and at what cost for the changes I need to make) do I keep plugging along? Luckily, I love the journey and what I’m learning! There are a lot of smart people out there willing to pass along their insights. This is very encouraging.

debbi dale

In making any key decision I always ask myself “What could be the worst that could happen if I did do this and the worst if I did not do this ?” What is the real risk to me both personally or professionally. My view is that most often the strongest driver is not what I will gain, rather what I will lose.

Another approach is to go with what I feel passionate about when I have 80% of the data and always have an exit strategy and then ANOTHER one…. it is better to act than do nothing out of fear…


I made the decision in early March to quit my job and focus all my time and energy on my “side” business of running websites – now my full time gig.

It was a hard decision because I had been there 5 1/2 years and had reached a very comfortable level. It was a stable and well paying ($75K/year) job with low stress, flexible hours, and no work outside the office (hard to come by these days!)

At the end of the day I just couldn’t see myself enjoying working at this organization long-term or growing in an any meaningful way so I decided to make the switch.

A hard decision but no regrets and not looking back 🙂

Sheila Berqguist

I have been trying to decide if I want to stay with niche websites or go into writing. I have done both and I keep bouncing back and forth, putting my effort into each, but feel I’d do a much better job if I decided on one and stuck to just that.
I’ve been at this whole internet thing for two years now and really need to make some major money with it. Due to some medical issues, I desperately need to make working from home work for me. But I feel overwhelmed and lost as to what to do next.
The book sounds fascinating and like it would help me figure out my next move. Great interview Derek!

Terrific Tonya Heathco

This is perfect timing. I am currently at a crossroads of decision. Either decision I make may leave me unsatisfied and to aggravate the process, I must wait to take action because there are others involved. The decision is whether I should continue with my passion and start over at square one or should I walk away and determine to be satisfied with living my passion for the last three years. It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make and I have a bad habit of running away when things get too overwhelming. So, I am interested in what this book will have for me.

Thank you for listening,
Tonya Heathco,CEO
National Seizure Disorders Foundation


I was bridesmaid dress shopping this weekend, and I kept telling all the girls that I don’t have a decisive gene. I want to make everyone happy, but I also want to be happy. Trying to please everyone is hard work!
That’s personal though, and will only impact my wedding memories forever, ha! In terms of my business life, I am just starting a new website, and the decision to put in all this effort into something that may not go anywhere is a hard one. I know my job now is not where I’m supposed to be, so I have to work hard to get out, but it comes with big choices!

Grant A

Bootstraping and torn between the decision to hire a virtual assistant or not, in order to ship ASAP. Risks, cash, training, time, etc…oh and a full time job. Not an easy decision to make on my end. Trying to “eat the elephant” one bite at a time.

Caroline Buhler

A big decision I’m looking at right now is continuing school or not. My marketing business is doing well and I absolutely adore helping people make more money. On the other hand I love learning cool science stuff and do not want to give up school as it’s something that feeds my brain and helps me make connections. Plus I don’t want to die not knowing as much as I can about science and earth and the universe and all that cool stuff. Yet, the idea of just focusing on the business is so appealing. But then I would be giving up something and not finishing something I started is not me. Tough one eh?

There is more to life that marketing companies (even though I like doing it) and going to school is slowing me down, yet filling my soul.

Peter Billingham

Thanks again Derek for another insightful, comprehensive and detailed podcast. I listen to many different podcast shows, mostly similar interview style, but yours stands out for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is obvious that you put significant time on research into, in this instance reading the book, before the interview takes place. Secondly, I find it immensely valuable the way you stop, rephrase, sum up what has been said so far before moving on to a new point. In this interview, particularly the idea of “narrow framing” was very interesting but I do have a question. In the conversation about “your baby is ugly” where does the concept of persistence come in? While I can understand what you’re talking about with an idea that is turned down which is rubbish, most entrepreneurs would see their idea as having value. Where is the point that being turned down stops being persistence and becomes foolishness? Isn’t sometimes “beauty in the eye of the beholder?” While some ideas will never fly, some ideas need the persistence to pursue them till they develop.

What is interesting with your interview style is the different subject you bring out the same conversation. I listened to Chris Brogan interview Dan Heath and while you were both speaking about the same book, you both brought out considerably different points.

Thanks for the content.

Bob Bryan

I often wonder if it’s the fear of failure or the fear of success. I gave up a 20 plus year medical career, which was a decision of morality, and decided to just write about the dangers that people need to avoid. I don’t regret my decision but I do wonder about continuing my site because I don’t know how to attract readers. I’m working on my 3rd book because I love to write. I won’t give up…I’m just frustrated. Do I stay or do I go? I don’t know! One year ago I knew nothing about computers and in turn, nothing about marketing. Any thoughts? Anyone!


    If you care about the things you’re doing (and it seems that you do), then you can easily acquire the skills to understand marketing and attract readers. There’s a learning curve, but there are methods and it isn’t rocket science. There are lots of great resources out there these days. Derek Halpern is one resource. creativeLIVE is another GREAT resource. They have top-notch teachers who do 2-3 day classes on owning a business (and many other topics). You can watch the classes live for free. If you choose, you can purchase the class to get lifetime access & watch it at your leisure. (Derek just taught a 3? day class on marketing your business on creativeLIVE.) Another resource is Marie Forleo, who does an intensive 8-week class on building a business (it is called B-school, and is going on right now. Unfortunately it will not be offered again for another year, but I’m taking it at the moment and it really great.) Marie Forleo also does a weekly video broadcast (called Marie TV, which often addresses business topics. If you add yourself to her mailing list you’ll be notified. (Same goes for all these people). If you’re interested in video, check out James Wedmore. (He makes it non-intimidating. He has a creativeLIVE class and also his own website, etc.) Ryan Holiday talks about how to market your business by getting free press coverage, and how to position yourself as an expert so that reporters quote you in their stories. This might be a REALLY good thing for you, considering your career in medicine. He has a new book out, he has a creativeLIVE class (in which I’m an audience-member), and he has his own material on his website (I think–not totally sure about that one.)

    Spend a couple of months learning about how to market your business and you’ll be astounded by how much you’ll learn, and can apply to your business. SO many people never bother to do this, and then give up because their businesses aren’t successful and profitable. You can learn how to build your mailing list, how to use keywords to your best advantage, how to reach your ideal customers, how to get free press for your business, etc. etc. You also HAVE to figure out your product offering and how you are actually going to make money. Best of luck to you. Hope that is helpful.

      Bob Bryan

      Thanks Laura! You just gave me information that would have taken forever for me to find. Seems I’m always looking in the wrong places. I have been following Derek for about a year now and love all the advice he gives. My hurdle continues to be technical understanding of certain things, but I just started my site about 6 months ago and know it takes time. How do you know of all these resources? I guess I’d better pay more attention…and jump a little higher. Thank you so much!


    I love your site, Bob. Just gave it a look-see, since it’s so unusual to hear of a 20-plus-year physician walking away from medicine. I can see you’re passionate about holistic approaches to health and wellness.

    Your field is one I’m unfamiliar with, but one quick idea for you: Since so many women shop for books in the fields of health and self-improvement, you could
    a) offer a media/speaking tab on your site for mom-bloggers, singles/midlife bloggers, and health podcasters to get in touch with you. (You’d then have those armies of folks helping promote your site).

    b) Write a practical, straight-talking, solutions-oriented book on ED targeted to female readers. There’s a dearth of good info out there, and it all gets pretty confusing for women.

    Hope that’s somewhat helpful!

      Bob Bryan

      Thanks Maureen, I appreciate your good advice. The book I have written on Erectile dysfunction is also designed for women to understand. It’s written in terms we all understand and has a very comical relaxed approach. It’s called, Erectile Dysfunction?…It’s time to straighten up.
      It’s on my site. The groups are the difficult thing to locate, but I do like your idea of the Mom bloggers.
      Thanks again.


I’ve been feeling stuck at my current job and I was considering going to graduate school. I looked for cases of people who got better a job after graduate school. I realized I was just looking for a confirmation bias. So I should also try to look for people who has gone to graduate school and had no dramatic change.


My wife and I just had our first baby and I am trying to decide on starting my own business. I believe it would be a good way to have more flexible time with my new family which is very important to me but I am afraid of leaving a secure engineering position and the finances that it provides for us. Would love of there was tools to help me better evaluate what is best for myself and my family.


I hear you Kalyani but I do need to pay the bills – I am a single mother so the only person bringing money in – I am selling some personal items to keep going but running out of that too – I believe I can be successful at this but need a bit more time – I dont have the contacts of people who have been doing this for a long time…..


Excited for this. Always looking for ways to grow.

Israel García

This decision-making is quite difficult, I always asked the same intuition.

It is the guide I sometimes can not consciously make decisions because you get a lot of questions that you can never answer you.

Is as if prompted, your daughter is beautiful? The answer will always be yes.

Greetings from Spain.

Melanie Dick

As a lifelong self-doubter and think-too-much-er, I’m intimately familiar with the paralyzing effects of indecisiveness.

A tough decision I had to make recently was whether or not to enroll in Marie Forleo’s program, B-School. I’ve been wanting to do it since last year when I heard Kris Carr talk about it, but it was one of those things I put in my “someday” file.

So when this year rolled around and I started seeing B-School ads again, I knew I had to make a decision. But the more I thought about it, the more I questioned if it would be right for me. “Will it be worth the money? What if my business idea doesn’t line up with what she offers in the program? What if my business idea turns out to be a worthless pile of crap and I have to stay at my 9-5 job forever?!”

This went on for weeks until I finally told my brain to shut up and I enrolled in the program. It’s one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made, and it is because of B-School that I learned about the fabulous Derek Halpern! Social Triggers is my new Internet obsession, and I get school-girl excited when your emails arrive in my inbox.

In regards to this podcast – I especially loved the part about thinking of decisions as commas rather than periods. Nothing is permanent, and reminding myself of this on a daily basis helps me avoid feeling like I’m going to make the “wrong” decision. Decisions are never wrong; they just lead to more chances to get things right.


My tough decision basically revolves around moving.

With a location independent business, where should I live? The irony is that I thought it’d provide freedom and make me happier, but it’s only made life more complicated and confusing. When you can live anywhere, nowhere jumps out and feels like home.

USA? Abroad? Abroad, then USA? If I stay in the US, which city?

Alas… I guess I need to keep the jam experiment in mind, eh?


    why don’t you create a list of your top 10 places to live – and make a random selection then do it? it’s not the most scientific way of making a decision – but with your freedom, if you go to place #1 and find you don’t like it, you can always move on to place #2 fairly quickly…


I’m living on a shoestring with my three kids and so afrai that if i take the reins and start my own business i might lose control over what happens in my life, be too busy to be there for them, too obsessed with my business. I also am having a hard time making the de ision what that business looks like and should be because i have a few careers in the arts, performig and teaching, and making things.
I want the best for my family. Everyone says ” get paid doing whhat you love best”, how do i get paid being a homemaker and mom? By getting married :0) ? I’m getting so tired of reaching and striving. Should I just realize how lucky I am to be here period? Bloom where i’m planted? Or take the career ive had for
15 years and turn it into a business?

Carol Maryam Reimer

While I search for a new job, I’ve debated about which direction to go in my search and whether to get a job at all. Maybe just spend more time with by new business.


Am deciding to keep working on a career I love that hasn’t yet brought enough financial success or divert my attention towards other projects and work.


Man, the big decision I always have trouble with is walking away from my J-O-B!

I’m a school counselor and I’ve always loved interacting with students – but the combination of overbearing administrators, angry/entitled parents, stupid rules, and SH!t pay make it harder and harder to go to work. Throw in the fact that my wife works weekends so we don’t have to do daycare (but that means very little time off together) and I have a miserable, sickening day-to-day professional life.

Now, the flip is that I’ve always wanted to have something that is MINE – my business, my thing…and I think I’ve finally found it (or at least one part of it) – I’ve recently started doing Freelance Writing and realizing that the potential for serious income and serious freedom is in my grasp…but, but, but…I can’t seem to pull the trigger and say “ahscrewit” and put in my notice for fear of it not working out!


The decision I’m currently facing is how and to what to degree do I want to scale my business. While I like to think that I’m self-aware, I keep finding examples supporting where I emotionally “think” I should go a.k.a following my gut.

To get around this, or at the very least to test the validity of the examples that keep presenting themselves, I’ve sought out my family and friends who typically operate from a very different perspective than mine. I actively seek out someone or someones to challenge me and my thought process, to help bring up the underlying questions or concerns. If I find myself really frustrated, upset, or defending my position (something it sounds like you have experience with when letting down requests honestly) I know there’s something there I need to look at.

I know I’m on the right path when even my conservative, corporate father thinks I have a point or validity in my professional decision! And what’s even better, is that in those same conversations, I am able to very clearly articulate and work through the pros and cons of the decisions. And discuss elements I hadn’t ever considered!

Steve A

My biggest life-decision so far was made around 6 years ago…

I was 28, had a mortgage, doing ok in my job, and had my entire career path laid out in front of me… Did everything I was “supposed” to do until then… (i.e. school, uni, job, property, career and so on)

Then in a relatively short amount of time (a couple of weeks) I made the decision to take a voluntary redundancy package from my job, sell my flat, car, all my possessions etc… and apply for a visa to live in Australia.

The visa took a year to come through, but as soon as it did I left my life behind in the UK and my girlfriend and I headed to Sydney with our entire life’s possessions contained in a couple of suitcases…

And 4.5 years after arriving, we’re still here and going strong 🙂


4 years ago I had the pleasure of being part of a 5% workforce reduction at my last corporate job. The decision I had to make at the time was major. Should I try to land another corporate job I would not really love anyway (but comes with the kind of steady salary I was used to) OR should I focus full time on my online business and see if I can make it work financially. With the blessing of my family I decided on the later and have never regretted it. It was hard in the beginning but I worked through it and now I am happily self-employed and have almost recovered my previous paycheck. It wasn’t an easy call but a a rewarding on on many levels.

Travis Keller

Hey Derek

Thanks for the awesome interview! I’ve read Made to Stick and it was really good; I’ll definitely be reading Decisive.

Jeff Tompkins

My tough decision is whether or not to use the daytime in following my passions. My current job is not interesting to me. I’ve got many different passions. Now it’s deciding where to spend my time to lead a more fulfilling life.


Hi Derek,
I walked past this book while I was at Barnes and Nobles and actually stopped a moment to skim the cover, finding it relevant to my life.
Indecisive….where do I start? My whole life things have basically come to me that were great opportunities and the choice to be made was quite obvious. For instance, I applied for an internship at the Jim Henson Company and got the one spot they had. After leaving the safe institutional structure of college, I was thrown into the world with no professional degree and still no direction as to what career I need to proceed with. Optometry?..no because my career will begin when I’m 32 and gives no freedom. Own a business?…eventually, but which one. Before owning that business, what career do I get involved with? I’m good with marketing, but it’s long hours. I like finance, but am I good enough to have a career in it? I love real estate, but what careers in real estate really interest me? So I jumped into insurance for now, and I’m not a fan of being a sales professional already.
This doesn’t even include my personal life….that’s a whole other story.

I look forward to listening to the podcast to see if it can shine some light onto my life as to which path I should be going.


The decision that I struggle with is to redefine or simply to end the relationship that I am in. I do go through all the typical questions, concerns, good and bad reasoning, doubt and uncertainty. I find myself in a downward loop of indecision. Should I change course, should I end it, should I waste my time finding out, should I, should I, should I….. Argh !!!!And definetly not wanting to make the wrong decision.

Still debating with myself. Maybe, this new way may shine a light on my cloudy brain ! Thanks


Hi Derek,

Great podcast. There are some great insights in this podcast. I usually listen twice to make sure I do not miss any points.


The decision I have the hardest time with lately is this.

Do I stay with my Girlfriend of 3 years that move across the country for me or do I leave her to be with my best friend that confessed her love to me. I almost left my current girlfriend before for her and here I am again. Oh to make it more interest the best friend is back home where I just moved from 900 miles away!

I still have to decide on this and it sucks either way I am likely to lose someone in my life that is important to me. I have been debting for a good month and it is simply overwhelming I keep flip flopping daily it sucks!

I wish that the book was available now I NEED IT!

Eric Triplett

Lets do this!


A tough decision I had to make recently was deciding between two business ideas. After testing both of the ideas in the real world, I decided to choose one over the other, even though the one that I dropped was a project my good friend and I were planning to launch together. Based on the feedback from the market, I felt that the other business idea (the one without my friend) was going to have better results. This was super hard, considering it was my good friend, but I knew it was the right decision. I’d love to learn more about Chip and Dan’s decision making process as I begun my new startup. Thanks!


I’m currently trying to decide what to do with my life! I’m 24, 2 years out from getting an engineering degree, but with no desire to do engineering. I’m currently a housewife. My real passion lies in health, wellness, nutrition, alternative healing, etc. I started a blog on these subjects, but I want to do more. I’d love more than anything to make a business out of it.

The problem I’m seeing, though, is that if I were to come up with some brilliant business plan and a way to make money, would anybody trust the information I’m giving out? I have no training whatsoever related to wellness, just that I’ve been a sponge reading books, watching movies, and researching online about everything.

I can’t decide if I should/need to make an investment that I really don’t have to go to school to get some cred or try to start a business anyway and hope people trust that I know my stuff.

Mukkove Johnson

Thank you for sharing. Decisions are certainly a weak point and this podcast was very insightful. I am in the midst of deciding if I should move my website and/or blog for my books, or after listening some other option. I’m striving to simplify the time needed to maintain my online presence. I’m a fairly new subscriber and enjoying your posts, Derek.

Dave Bross

Way back when I would hurt myself via “paralysis by analysis”.
After enough losses from not making any decision, I got past the fear that whatever the decision was, it was going to be wrong.

Once you start making decisions within a reasonable amount of time and info it just gets easier.
You’ll develop a little bit of native skill in spotting the traps the authors are talking about here.
A lot of decisions are more reversible than you might think if all the data is pointing to a “miss”… assuming you made the decision early enough.

Just what’s in the podcast here could easily save someone a good 20 years of hard experience.
Kudos to the authors for putting together a very valuable tool.

I was very lucky in one other way. I caught on to not doing all or nothing decisions about work early on, always sampling whatever was looking like it would be fun/worthwhile in my spare time before committing.
It was NEVER what it appeared to be in my imagination…for better or worse.


I guess I am backwards… I am trying to secure an income before I leave this current life (job) behind.

I wish is was so easy


For two years, I researched and weighed my options about going to grad school versus remaining an entrepreneur. I knew that I didn’t want to use my undergrad degree to teach in the public schools, but I felt like being an entrepreneur just wasn’t giving me the lifestyle I had hoped for. The simple fact that I spent two years not firmly planting my feet in my business or into a grad program meant two years of making little to no progress on either front. However, once I made the decision to remain an entrepreneur rather than go to grad school to change careers- my business started picking up big time and I can say I’m really happy I made the decision I did. I only wish I’d had the strategies to help me make it sooner!!


Sounds like a great read! Having just turned 50, quitting a sales career to start a business sounds very appealing. Or is it just a mid-life crisis? Feeling a bit stuck in corporate America, and am questioning my motives, happiness, talents, etc.

Michael Spencer

Great post, Derek. This talked me out of quitting me job for the wrong reasons.



About 7 years ago, I made the decision to stop waiting for something to happen in my life and ended my 20 year marriage. It was a difficult and painful decision. The past few years since then have been a struggle and it is now time for me to make another very important decision about moving on, literally. It seems I am longing to be a part of a community where I feel I belong. Do I pack up my belongings in search of it? I have spent the past 17 years on the outside looking in.


Hi Derek, I’m at a major crossroads where the next few steps will be major. Do I commit to my chosen industry or go back to a proven but unhappier prior profession. It is unpredictable career achievements verses financial stability. An old chestnut but while I find giving advice easy this one is causing sleepless nights for me. Also I have come half way around the globe to make it!


Keep doing hair, stop doing hair. Start doing more artwork, wait- will not bring me the cash flow I need. Graphic Design? Marketing? Conquer public speaking. Yeah. No. Start my own business! Wait- I know I can’t do that completely by myself…

Ugh! I know I could do something freaking AWESOME, but what is it? How do I decide what path to take? I’m willing to take some risks, but I do have a family to support!



Can’t decide whether I should stay in my very secure job with awesome work or take a 20% pay bump for a less secure position doing boring stuff. Not sure how I could be more decisive?!?


There are a few decisions I need to make, yet the most important is:

I have 3 different career options are open to me: run a cafe, start a career as a speaker/writer/coach, help to run a business that is a way for teens to learn work skills. Is there a way to do all three a little at a time? Do I pick one and devote all focus there? Do each one in steps (start the speaking now and then the cafe and then teach entrepreneurship?

Starting a cafe will cost more up front though when started should (by way of research) do quite well right away. Speaking and coaching should be low cost and yet little coming in at first until I’m better known. Working with youth is gratifying and at the same time it won’t likely pay anything or if it does, perhaps not enough to live on.

It feels right to me that I need to search for what it is that I really want for the next five years or more and what direction I want my life to take before I can make this decision. Considering only the money aspect won’t make me happy and neither will deciding to go with something I’m passionate about while being stressed about paying the bills wouldn’t be a good choice either.
What do you think?


I am so overwhelmed with all the information flowing around the World Wide Web about starting and running an online business. My biggest decision now is where to start, how to start, and how to keep going. I want to write blogs, but I also what to make an income at it. I don’t have the first dollar to give to anyone promising me I will make $500 per blogs. I read and read but it all comes down to, you cannot be successful in any business unless you buy “this course” so depressing.


Definitely looking forward to this podcast; thanks!


I’ve made so many major decisions in my life the last 3 years. I’m exhausted, overwhelmed and now can’t seem to make simple decisions. Unfortunately I have another major decision I need to make between now and August of this year. Just can’t seem to look at the decision let alone have confidence that I would be making the right decision. Maybe reading this book will help me?!!

Andrea Wasik

Should I buy a house or continue to rent?


I want to leave the Army after 15 years. 5 years short of a retirement pension. With radical cuts in budgets, personnel reduction, promotions and career progression come to a road block. We select what looks good on paper not innovative and creative leaders. I am indecisive on leaving a life-long career this close to the end of a major milestone. I want to pursue other passions and opportunities but cannot make a decision to throw all the work I’ve done during my adult career to pursue something without a safety net. If I walk away I walk away from everything I know and have done and cannot look back. I will have nothing more than experience, some education and a GI Bill to walk away with. No lifetime paycheck, no medical, no dental, nothing. How do I move forward to pursue my dreams when I feel like I’m pinned down in a career field.


Wow! Great interview! Thanks for doing this podcast and inviting Dan Heath. This is great timing for me and I’m certainly inspired to read the book, free or not. Of course I’ll still leave a comment for the free one 🙂 To answer the question about a tough decision… I feel like any decision can be made tougher than need be and Im pretty good at doing that, but today I’ll share my current situation. I’m a mom of two little ones, I’ve just graduated with a bachelors in Spanish Teaching (no license) and currently spend most of my time cleaning and going to parks and play dates. Ahem…yes this is my life. This is my job right now and Im looking for something more. Another issue is my marriage, balancing my husband’s schedule and needs, etc. The question is… Do I go back to school to get a license to teach and become a teacher, do I follow another passion I have of nutrition and what do I do for that– go to school, get a certification– do I start up that blog Ive been wanting to do, do I try to volunteer, do I work on my marriage or can I decide I’ve had enough, do I pick up just any old job to help out my husband? I feel like Im in a crossroads like never before and Im interested in sitting down and brainstorming through this wrap process to see maybe where Im stuck or where Im leaning, what I want to believe… Etc.
Again very interesting interview! Thanks!!

Derek Wyatt

I’ve been struggling with the decision if I should become 100% independent and work solely as a free lancer and as a consultant or just go get a job at an advertising agency. I love working my own schedule and the contacts I’m making as a freelancer, but the income is growing slower that I would like. At this rate I can pay my bills in August, but I’m sure the bill companies wouldn’t like that.

Do I tough it out and stick to building my own business or do I give in and “work for the man.”

The answer seems obviously, but my wallet says otherwise.
Thank you for listening!

Ilia Garcia

Thank you so much for sharing this! This podcast really helped me to think about the way I think about my decision making skills. This was so helpful.
A tough decision that I will have to make in the future is how do I start to implement my services in my business? How do I deliver services that will be supportive to the audience that I am serving?

I am pursuing a career as a life coach. Currently, I’m in the planning stages of creating my business and building an audience. I have narrowed down a specific theme, self love. My focus is on to help others to love themselves and be able to allow them to let love in from others. I have not provided direct services as of yet. I want to concentrate on the audience that I am trying to reach and whether the services are beneficial to them. I want to experiment in the next month or so by providing workshops and one on one coaching in order to see if these services are reflective of what my audience needs.

Adam Hunter Peck

Hi Derek, here’s my chicken-or-the-egg dilemma:

I want to start a blog about game design. I’ve spent years reading about the topic, and I’m confident that I can produce a consistent flow of fresh and valuable posts about the subject.

I also want to make my own games. I’m 25% done with my first game.

What’s the problem?

Part of me feels like I need to make the blog first as a platform to promote my games when I release them. But I’m afraid that no one will read a blog about game design by some no-name who hasn’t made a game yet (what does he know about game design?!?).

The other part of me feels like I need to make the game first to prove that I’m a legitimate game designer, and then I can attract readers to the blog because they will trust my experience. But I’m afraid that my first game will disappear into obscurity once released without a platform to promote it (games generate the most traction at launch, then downloads quickly fizzle).

So, which do I launch first: the platform or the product?

Thanks Derek!
– Adam


    Adam, since I’m better at giving advice than coming up with any of my own, I’ll offer this. In my opinion, your blog should come first. I’m seeing a blog that’s about you first. About your first foray into designing a game, the pitfalls and little triumphs. The progress. Peppered with what inspires your creative ideas.

    In the online jewelry/art/craft business world (which I’m in), many bloggers who are successful business people have blogs about this very thing. Not just being “experts,” but also sharing semi-personal stories and showing their process (without giving too much away), along with tutorials.

    At any rate, By the time your game comes out, there will be a whole network of people who have been following your “journey” (I hate that word) and will be excited to go out and buy your game!

Owen Blevins

I’m deciding if I should grow my online consulting business or take another direction in a different industry. I’m passionate but new and don’t have the clientele lists of others in the industry. I know what I’m talking about but need to find my niche.

Jake Olson

The tough decision I need to make is really regarding my commitment level at work vs. holding out hope of doing my own thing. I have a great set up where I can make plenty of money for me and my family by working 3/4 time. The goal in this setup was that I’d spend 30 hours on my day job and 20+ hours trying to discover what I really want to be doing with my life. My boss really wants to see me increase my commitment and particularly to take on some management responsibility. This would clearly translate into more income, but less freedom to pursue the big question of what I really want to be doing with my work life for the next decade. This is a big decision for me, and I think the book would help a lot.

nicky moran

Hi there,

I really enjoyed this interview and gained a lot of insights – thank you Derek.

A tough decision that I have had to make in the past year is whether to choosing the right niche to focus on. I was torn between ‘coaching creative people to help them step up in their businesses and careers’ or to work as a ‘charisma coach’ and work with a more corporate audience (where I often do training).

I really struggled with this decision for about 18 months and did both topics for two audiences for a while. However, I was very frustrated that I couldn’t decide on one and therefore was not committed with marketing myself to either consistently and found it hard to focus. I couldn’t make a decision or more forward.

In the end, I decided to coach creatives AND to teach them charisma. (So I guess I gave myself another option!) Suddenly, I got lots and lots of new creative clients show up who wanted my services. I was so thrilled to work with them. I was so happy that I realised that it was more important for me to work with creative people, as I find it completely fulfilling being able to help them. This realisation also helped me to shift my offer for them, and I’m planning to do products such as ‘getting things done’ and ‘self promotion’, which I wouldn’t have wanted to do before I became more committed to that decision.

I can still put in my ‘charisma’ expertise into this training, but it’s helped me clarify what was the most important aspect to me – and that was that working with creative people was the most important factor. (A bit like your example of buying a stereo and having $300 worth of music!)

Thanks again for an excellent interview – I listened to it twice as I found it so compelling.

Nicky Moran


I am trying to decide if I should quit my full time contract job to either get a corporate job in the same field or pursue my dream of being a full time SEO and social media consultant.

Jim Cumbee

I am a solo practioner lawyer/business broker with a very successful practice. I love being on my own, I am responsible for my own brand, I pick and choose the work I want to do. However, I turn down a lot of work because of lack of time and/or energy. I am considering bringing on an employee but I’m not sure I want to spend the money, much less the time to get that person up to speed and working consistent with my values & expectations, but I’m fairly certain the economic payoff would be substantial.


Thank you very much for this opportunity!
I am SO indecisive. I so look forward to making better decisions in a shorter time.
Can’t wait to read this book, thank you again 🙂

Luisa Nims

Do you really have time to read all of these comments?!?

I want a beauty pageant winning baby and an advanced tripwire sensor system. I am quite decisive however, sometimes too quick. Being more flexible and forward thinking in my decision making are skills that need to be developed more.
Send me a book!

sashka hanna-rappl

Whether or not I should go into debt to start up my new business (new homepage, press release)? I have a family history of everyone being in debt for start-up businesses (often losing everything). Will i or will i not be the next? I have wanted this business my whole life, and up to a few weeks ago was finally able to put “what” my business is onto paper and slowly into action (i create and manage brands but i start at the beginning with young entrepreneurs and managers of SME’s: the business plan – not the excessive paged plan, no, the 5-10 page plan – the one that gives me direction). now it’s up to action steps. something i’ve been too chicken-shit to do because of the family history. i watched a movie today with my kids “the croods” and I cried alot through the movie. Here’s why: I realised. If some caveman/woman never took that risk of getting out of their cave, where would we be today? certainly not with my wonderful world of technology and social media.
it’s not that I am not able to take the risk, it’s taking the risk with no money (cash flow. i’m a stay-at-home-mom) backing me up to put my ideas out there and taking the risk of involving my kids.
i want to take the risk but not at the cost of my kids (going into debt)…
??? so i research some more and still ask : whether or not to go into debt to start my business?
answer: get your back know what if my market has revenue – if there’s revenue there’s potential…right?


HUGE decision to make: When should I propose to my girlfriend?

I want to propose by the end of the year, but not sure when…

Carmen Amato

I try to be organized when making big decisions, like the decision last year to be a full-time mystery writer. My character uses some of the same techniques and I recently wrote about them in this blog post “Solve Problems Like a Detective.” Would love to know who else uses any of these techniques and for what decisons.

Jared Kimball

One of the toughest decisions I had to make was whether or not to keep an employee on the team or let him go. In addition to all of the missed days of work and late arrivals his work was majorly lacking. It would take him 2 weeks to do something that took other team members 2 hours to do.

I’d never been in a position to let someone go before and it kind of freaked me out. I knew that if I let him go he’d more than likely struggle financially in his personal life, and I didn’t want to be the reason for causing his job loss.

However, on the flip side I could see that other team members were really annoyed that he was getting away with being lazy. I heard some people make snide comments under their breath like, “I wish I could show up to work 2 hours late.” or “It’d be nice to not have to work very hard and still get paid the same as everyone else.”

Believe me, my team was suffering and I could see it. Everyone was looking to me to do something about it…

After multiple chances and sit downs his performance never improved, and I explicitly gave him a project to work on with a deadline as a last chance. He failed miserably on the project, so I finally let him go.

It was hard on me and him.

However, the team was grateful he was gone, their productivity went up, and the atmosphere became happier at work.

A tough decision, but in the end I have to look out for my team and my customers.


I need help decided what Craft Shows to do this year. I have 1 confirmed so far and am deciding about another.

Eduardo Minaya

I have been in the field of the visual communications and marketing for the last 14 years and I specialize in web design and mobile app design. For the past 10 years, I had a part-time freelance business (http://www.EdGraphics.net) and in the last two years, my part-time business has grown organically, but not big enough to replace my day job. I know that eventually I want to work on my own, but my idea in how this transition will happen was very different a few years back. Five years ago, I thought that I will eventually get enough freelance clients that will replace my day’s job salary and that I was going to get there by doing a good job and giving my freelance client the best service at a low price. Boy, was I wrong!!!!

Over the years, my day job has started to be more demanding and I am now working longer hours, which means I have to work A LOT MORE to keep my small part-time clients. I have been working every weekend for the longest time, so long that I can’t remember the last time I actually didn’t work on Saturday and Sunday. So what I decided to two years ago was to try to launch a group buying website targeting Latinos, in Spanish, in the area that I live. I invested lots of time, a good amount of money for development and marketing and then I launched it. It was a one person company, so I was doing administrative work, sales, marketing, follow ups, all while holding my day job and working with my part-time freelance clients, yeah you can say that the wife wasn’t too happy.

The more disappointing thing is that that it didn’t work! When I launched the site the group buying business was starting to slow down and this demographics wasn’t ready for something like this. A few months in, I started to shift the idea to mold a new plain field, but I was left with lots of print collateral, a website, on the red with numbers, and my hours of my life gone. I have been trying to see what I can to shift the concept to other ideas and I have had suggestions from other entrepreneurs in what I should do with this, but I think at this point I am going to call the idea quits.

Now, over the last couple years I have been working with a local dental office doing their design communication and their digital marketing and I started to realize that this industry is in real need of good design, newer technologies, and better marketing, so I am launching a concept called NayaMark Consulting (nayamark.com). This time, I am not going to spend thousands like I did with the other concept, nor try to have everything perfect before I launch it. What I just did instead, is to launch a website and to start to blog about it to get some traffic. I am now in the middle of that process.

I see tons of potential in this industry and while there is competition, I think maybe this idea has better legs and more scalable. Here is my reasoning. I want to provide technology and marketing services that will make save them time and money and bring them new patients, but I want to do it in two languages English and Spanish. I want to take what I learned about the Latino market from the other project and apply these parameters to this idea. Dentists don’t really target this demographic and doing it right, it can increase their sales revenue to an undisclosed percentage (I don’t have it yet =))
I left the name of this concept sort of generic, so in case it doesn’t work I can use this name as a consulting firm.

I have started to save money up, so it can survive for at least four months without an actual income and I am starting a business plan, something I started with the other concept but never finished it. I am also connecting with local centers to help me plan this business and the right way to launch it. I am mentally preparing to do this around September of this year. Any sort of feedback will be appreciated it. Thanks

RG Riles

Derek – there are many of us struggling with those very questions. While I don’t have an official system for making big decisions, I do have to perform a reality check and smell test before I do anything that may affect my family or my brand!

I think many of us certainly wish it were practical to just quit our jobs and jump into something new. However, just like with the launch of a new program, a new book, etc. – you really have to take some time to build your tribe before you quit that job.

I have heard Mr. Heath on other Pods and really do enjoy his discussion of systematically making decisions – and I look forward to reading “Decisive” sometime very soon. Talk to you all later.


I am having a tough time deciding whether or not to home school my baby girl or if I should send her to public school like me. Luckily, I do have a bit of time before this decision actually has to be made, but I really want to do what is best for her.

Thanks, Reggie

P.S. Thanks for this opportunity to win a FREE book!! FREE books are always good but I especially love this subject! Crossing my fingers!

P.P.S. This was my favorite podcast yet!

P.P.P.S I know you love your post scripts, Derek!

Taylor Howe


This interview was incredible. Thanks for everything you do. Going to buy the book right now!



This is perfect timing. Thank you for bringing this out.
My big decision of the moment is… Do I quit my profession of 30 years and pursue what I enjoy doing and believe has potential? or try to cling on and find a better angle?

Randy Cantrell

I know Derek’s next decision. Who is going to read all these comments and select a winner? Good luck with all that!

Ananda Kesler

I’d like to know if I should invest my entire (tiny) life savings in starting the buisness of my dreams. I’ve only dreamed about this for 16 years, and the longer I wait the more I worry I’ll never do it. I tried to start once without much success or momentum which worries me about investing all the money I have. Tough call, if you ask me.


We struggled for years with the decision to quit the job, start the business, sell the house, move the family etc. etc. etc. Eight months ago, we just decided. We sold our house, quit the job (after 24 years!) and moved half way across the country. We’re now busy bootstrapping our self-funded start-up. It feels awesome and scary and empowering.

Lots of big decisions going on, esp. since we are a family of four (plus two dogs) now living on our savings, with no income at the moment.

The big decision currently in front of us is whether to spend some money on one of Ash Maurya’s courses (or something like) to accelerate our pre-launch efforts.

Now that we’re on the other side of some big-ass decisions, it’s easier to see that it is our actions in the aftermath of a big decision that determine whether or not the decision is a “right” one. Can’t wait to check out the book!

Carol Brown

By the time I got here I forgot to enter my tough decision. I am a writer, not a marketer and find that aspect of writing utter pain! I come into writing with the mindset that once I did my job then the publisher took over–wrong! Now I find myself a published author with hardly any platform and need to go back and build that and then start marketing. Do I really want to do that? This podcast gives me hope that are are viable alternatives and that I should consider them! Thank you.

Kiki kranX

My “whether or not” question right now is>> Should I get a “job” when I’ve been off of other people’s payroll for more than 10 years?? or Will I figure out this marketing thing and propel my business to the next level. Thinking I need a “job” for extra income to fund my marketing endeavors but vowed to never go on other people’s payroll again. Decisions Decisions.

Anna Diaz-Kelleher

I’m a massage therapist, and the hardest thing I’ve had to do was introduce a new massage product to the marketplace. I specialize in mind/body work. How exactly does one do that, and come up with a name for a company thats nontraditional? It all came one night as I heard an owl, and thought…listen to that owl with his wisdom and funk. Based on the name alone, I’ve gotten 30 likes on my fan page.

Scott W

40 yrs old, I have been freelancing part-time the last 10 yrs with acceptable results, while I primarily focused on being a stay-at-home dad. Kids will all be in school full-time this fall. Time to reinvent myself, all prospects seem like gambles, either financially, or possible impacts on the family.


I too can be indecisive, however the older I get the easier I’m finding it. When I actively keep my questions to a yes or no answer, then I always have an easier time making an important decision. For example, I recently quit my job to start up my own company. Looking back the first question I asked myself was, “Are you happy?” When the answer was “no”, it lead me to a few more yes or no questions until I got to “Am I happy at my current job?” Again the answer was impulsively “no”. That’s how I knew it was time. On the flip side I have a hard time with simple decision like what I’m going to eat for dinner. I usually say yes to everything which leads me back to the initial question. LOL!

A painter friend of mine also shared her secret about decision making that has profoundly affected me. She had the dilemma of wondering when a painting was finished or not. Should she continue to paint or is the piece finished. She came to realize that it didn’t matter. If she continued to paint and was unhappy with the look or feel of the piece she could always paint over it. If she decided it was finished and later on changed her mind she can always keep painting.

Dominique Mendez

I need this book!! I think it’s time for me to expand my “pros vs cons” method of making decisions!!

James Meny

Living in Austin, I was considered one of the top professional vocal coaches, not only in Austin, but in the entire state or Texas. The problem was that I was miserable. I HATED the months on end of 100+degree temperatures, the year-round allergies and the very laid-back style of the people (flip flops and shorts to the opera where not uncommon). To make the move to somewhere else seemed the only option. Now, I live and Pittsburgh and, though the temperature and allergies are handled, the people seem to be so “backwards” that I have NO students in the area after 4 years. Luckily, 100% of my current students take lessons via skype or phone, so, I’m able to survive. But, “surviving” was never my intent. I’m looking to thrive and grow. So, decisions…do I move, again? or..do I stay and try to make it work? ….or (the one that I’m leaning more towards) create a bigger “buzz” online and offline so that it doesn’t matter where I live. So, though, I’d love to make the last option work, there is something slowing my decision…the fact that MOST people taking vocal lessons want to have face-to-face lessons….something to think about..

Dawn Kotzer

Difficult Decision:
How do I Inspire people as well as support people
without coming across as a ‘dreambuster’?
What’s the best way to use my ‘Build it and they will come’ vs ‘Dream it and they will come’ success experience?
{People have asked for my help and guidance AFTER they’ve discovered that Operating under the Confirmation Bias has cost them a lot of $$, stress, heartache…}
It would be GrAnD to prevent even a little bit of that.

Thanks for the great interview, you two.


Decision I am struggling with:

Do I pay someone (which I can’t really afford to do) to improve my website and make my business more professional, or continue on the DIY route, which will likely have inferior results and take a lot longer (but it fits my budget). If the answer is “A”, how to do I o about finding someone to do the work and make a decision about which person to hire?


I am really struggling with decisions regarding getting a new job. It’s not the choice to apply for new jobs… it’s that I can’t decide what type of job is even right at this point. I know I’m not happy with what I’m doing now, but I don’t know what direction I should go in next. I feel like I need to explore my options but I have no idea where to begin!


Hi, I keep looking into new business ideas and am not able to settle on one of them. Each has pros and cons so its hard to decide between them.


Deciding what craft shows I should pursue doing – just handmade (not too many) or some with resellers. How do I figure what my profits should be? and get them?


I’m facing the tough decision of which direction to go as an entrepreneur to begin speaking as a ministry and/or help others build a platform. Both can be done simultaneously, but when, where, and how?

MJ Hafemeister

I made the decision to move my young family 100 miles away after my husband died 12 years ago. Starting over in a new local, away from familiar memories and people along with faith and the security of the option to return in the event it did not work out helped. Making a fresh start in a whole different location helped to rebuild our life. I also believe my mother was a very independent single mother and her strength influenced me.

Carol Brown

There were so many comments I nearly decided to not try! But then I came to the end of them…so my comment is that although I tend to make solid decisions without a lot of turmoil, there is still some second guessing. I liked what I heard and think this will help make the whole process quicker, crisper, minus the angst!


My husband is active duty military. For the past seven years his career has whisked me away to foreign countries and frozen tundra. I have had to make career choices based upon what was available, not necessarily following my passion. Somewhere along the way I lost myself and a clear sense of what would truly make me happy. We have now moved back to the continental U.S. and are unlikely to move for quite awhile. We bought a house. We are putting down some semblance of roots for the first time in our near 9 year marriage. But I have no idea what I want to do…I don’t really want to have a JOB…with the 40+ hour a week grind. I want flexibility. I want excitement. I want creativity. I want to follow my heart’s desire. I’m entrepreneurial. I’m willing to take a risk. I’m a really hard worker. I’m well educated with incredible professional experience (surprisingly so, given our history of moving to crazy places). But I’m stuck. I have all this drive yet no direction. I feel lost, unsure of what to do, where to give my time, talent and energy because for the first time in a very long time, the sky is the limit and I can have anything I can dream of….How do I learn to dream again? What if I make the wrong choice?


The portion of the Heath interview which resonated with me was the discussion about confirming vs. disconfirming evidence. Dan Heath shared a story about the comments he would get from VC firms when he gave his pitch. The firms never said anything negative about his idea, but they never followed up with funding either. In my life, I am have similar issue but with inverse feedback. The people around me (mostly my family) are constantly belittling and berating my dreams. “Stupid idea, that will never work” “Who do you think you are to try that?”. It is hard not to take their comments to heart, but much like Dan’s experience, I have to stop and say to myself ‘what is the evidence for that?’. As in what is the evidence that my idea will ‘never work’. It was a great interview with Dan Heath, thanks so much!



Perfect timing. Neil Strauss recently talked about the 2-Train theory which I think, in tandem with what Mr. Heath said, is all I need right now to make an important choice. Thanks bro.

Alex C

The hardest decision I am facing right now is a choice of going to college or not?

My opportunity cost is about 20,000 (average college debt) that could be invested in the stock market for the next 40 years at an average return rate (8%) which would return over a half a million dollars.

I already have a full time job making 30,000 and do not know if I should go to college or not.

    Taryn Seeley

    Soon, 30K will be poverty level if after taxes is isn’t already. You are worth more, so much more. Believe it, go to college, get your 4 year degree and out of there expect that you’ll be able to put away 30K per year of your much larger salary for the next 20 years.


Great podcast, and the book sounds great. I will purchase a few as gifts for friends.
My focus has switched in the past couple years from business entrepreneur to author and artist entrepreneur. At present I travel several months a year internationally with my husband for his concerts, support my kids in college, and do book tours in the USA.
I’m presently deciding where in the world (literally) I want to settle that is ideal for health, writing, art, and marketing.
After hearing the podcast I’m considering additional options, including making plans for one projet location at a time, and not concerning myself with deciding on a long term “location.” Thanks!

Pam McCall

This was given to me in a meditation and automatic writing:
“When you’re not acting in accordance with your personal laws (values) you attract those imprisoned with the same reflection. ~ Pam McCall”

I can’t help but notice a correlation with what Dan said about decisions shouldn’t have periods but in fact should have commas. Maybe we should not limit our support systems, or mentors that we look up to for advice when deciding.

I am wondering about being mindful of those we choose to support us in our decisions. If we have a narrow framework around those we bounce ideas off of could that in fact create a difficulty around decision making. Especially if its not in accordance with our values.

Just an observation. . . did I say I LOVED this topic today!

Taryn Seeley

OMG! I’m surrounded by naysayers and I fear making a bad decision that will empower them to point at me and decree, “I told you so!”
Help! Empower me to believe in my decisions and have absolute conviction and not be talk out of my dreams!


Awesome podcast. Dan’s quote, ‘The answers are in the world and rarely in our heads’ hit home for me. I am deciding if I should let go of my for profit to focus entirely on my non profit OR get a J-O-B and pull back on my nonprofit for some time till I am able to support myself from the nonprofit. I don’t believe my baby is ugly. After listening to this podcast, I am thinking that maybe I’m not feeding it with the right foods so it can grow.


The biggest and hardest decision that I’ve had to make was to decide whether or not to leave my cushy job in pursuit to follow my bliss. This job of mine was a 6 by 6 cubicle from hell (at least that’s what it seemed like to me) and I fell harder and harder into a depression state, every day that I worked there. After a few years of debating this, the pros and cons (I had a child to support in all of this as well) , I finally decided to take a chance and trust that I would figure out what I wanted to do. I was sick of helping someone else live out their dream and I wanted to live my own. After giving 3 months notice, I quit. And thanks to the help of a few classes, (Institute for Integrative Nutrition, & B-School) I am on the perfect path that resonates with me, and leaves me with a sense of fulfillment . A pat No more 6 by 6 cubicle from hell.


I have been wavering for months now to find out if I should drop a client. Right now they are my first client and the most steady work but I also feel as if I am missing opportunities to expand my consulting business and personal passions by continuing to work with them.

Lester Lim

I’m struggling with coming up with a decision of whether I should go into CPA Marketing and doing Mobile apps marketing (niche apps) which are both totally NEW to me, and of course I will need to spend more time to learn and implement.

I’m currently doing pretty well with Product Launch Strategy & Management and JV brokering (including webinars) so am wondering if I will be spreading myself too thin if I go into either or both of the 2 models I mentioned above. However, one of my concerns is also that I shouldn’t put everything in 1 or 2 baskets so that’s the reason I thought of diversifying my income thru different streams.

Great question and contest you have here, Derek

– Lester

Jill Will Run

My tough decisions are in regard to my career and parenthood. Do I keep working my job and sending my baby to daycare, or do I take a few years out of the workplace to raise her? Do I have more children in the future and if I do should I give up on work for a while to save daycare costs, implement my own business, or just stay with the status quo? And do I even want to own my own business?

Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being

First, thanks for bringing this book to my attention, AND offering a chance to “win” one!

I’ve downloaded your podcast and checked this book out on Amazon and OMG, I could definitely benefit from it!

My husband and I had a major financial meltdown a few years back, and the need to make good decisions has continued to ripple through every aspect of our lives ever since. It’s way more than a comments-worth but to summarize we are both looking for careers that are profitable and satisfying; we live in a remote place and would either need to move or do something substantial online (which is why I’m subscribed to your blog); moving involves expenses and it’s not exactly a seller’s market yet may pay-off in the long run, etc.

I would LOVE to have this book to help guide me. I tend to research the hell out of things, then over-analyze, then try to balance it all with my gut feeling. Once I’ve made a decision and taken some steps, then the second-guessing begins. Aaagh!!!

Thanks again for all you offer, and for your consideration. 🙂


Sometimes the best way to make a decision is to remove all your attachments to an outcome, step away from the dilemma and ask questions about why this is a dilemma. Once I started practicing this, several things about a business surfaced: that my product lacked actual trials, that I loved to work at home by myself and that I loved to teach. So, rather than quitting my job, I ended up making peace with the people who infuriated me (oh and I asked why these people infuriated me), and now doing a trial of the product with real people and in response to my answers about “Working by myself”, I am now in a trial testing a profession where meeting people is optional. I found that releasing the attachments was especially helpful in combatting conformational bias and overconfidence.

In addition, I reformulated my intent on internet marketing training to learn how to use these to market myself should I discover that my product really is good enough to charge enough money for a livable income. It remains to be seen whether the second profession can assist me in enabling me to reach my financial goals. My hunches is that it will because my hunches are frequently correct, and my timeline is 90 days. If it doesn’t work, it is time to move on. If it does, my manager will see a notice from me and I will know 110% that this new profession will work for me or how to tweak it so that it does.

Also since my day job does pay fairly well, I will use it to pay down some of my useless debt (that is debt that does not advance me towards my goal). Overall, once I started asking the questions and gathering data, the dilemmas are no longer dilemmas.


My wife and I are facing several corresponding decisions. We are wanting to have children this year. She would like to stay home full time and raise our children and is considering part time work with the same company at which she currently works. The challenge is we are still paying off some debt, she makes very good money with more to come. I am currently unemployed, starting life coach schooling to be completed over this next year to launch a private life coaching practice. We could end up in a situation where my coach practice doesn’t pay the bills, with a child and no second income. The environment in which we are making these decisions is in light of real global and national economical-governmental-military threats and etc.

We are constantly trying to identify external and internal factors and discover how to make best decisions, improve how we make decisions and minimizing existing barriers to quality decision making.


I am in the land “in between” working my day job and building my business on the side (ooch). My passion for my business is at all time high!

My challenge is impatience! I’m not making enough money (yet) to quit my day job and work f/t on my business.

I am contemplating leaving my day job so that I have more time to work on my business which I believe will produce greater results.

I haven’t read Decisive yet but would love a copy from you!

Lisa Nalbone

I am in the midst of many decisions: best affordable care options for my mother with dementia issues, work options for me that will allow time for parental care and potential travel time with retired hubby, publishing options for two book projects, what type of business product/format makes sense for me. I appreciate the WRAP approach and think I need to get going on the R, reality testing. Think about the decisions as a comma instead of period is very helpful. Thank you! Iloved Switch and Made to Stick and can’t wait to read Decisive.

Sue Campbell

I just made a tough decision about whether or not to leave my job to become a freelance writer full-time. I’m please to say I managed to avoid narrow framing before even hearing this podcast! I struck a deal with my boss to stay for a limited period and reduce my hours to make more time for writing.

Thanks for the great podcast!


I am considering whether or not to take a Master’s degree in Social Work or Psychology. I am a trainer, coach and marketer with an expertise in persuasion psychology. Much of my expertise isn’t based in formal education but rather personal experience, lots of reading (much of the reading is academic writing), a variety of training courses (not a full program), coaching, therapy, etc. Will an MSW boost my legitimacy and business?

Kassandra Bibas

The tough decision I’m facing is when to leave my day job. I used to think that it was an either/or decision: “If I want my business to grow, I need to spend ALL of my time to it or it won’t grow.” That didn’t work out well so I’ve learned that lesson. But I also know that my day job is getting to the emotionally draining part, the part where I no longer enjoy it the way I used to. The decision is not “Will I leave this job?” but “When and how am I choosing to leave this job?” I need to look at what outside, tangible, results driven factors will give me the go ahead to leave the job. I need to look at the viability of my business and get a real grasp over the next year on whether I have an ugly baby or not. I also need to accept that the decision, at the end of the day, is provisional and not permanent (today’s podcast was the FIRST time I ever heard that and it’s given me such a feeling of relief to accept that). So… big decision… and it’s time decide.


I was laid off last November. Fortunately I was in a coach training course at the time and continued to pursue my training. I am about to launch my business, but wondering if a should get a part-time job while I build my business or put 150% of my time and effort into my business and take an all or nothing attitude.

Not being sure how long it will take for my business to sustain me is making me want to get a part-time job, but the part-time job will take valuable time away from building my business.


My tough decision is whether I should start my own business or continue working as an employee.


Exactly four years ago yesterday I took a leap of faith. I left a very comfortable corporate job for the life of a freelance copywriter. Instead of over-analyzing the situation, I went with my gut, put my head down for six months and didn’t look up.

I’d say go with your heart over your head. Take a look at the people you’ll be involved with (clients and colleagues) and ask yourself, “Do these people fire me up? Would I hang out with them outside of work? Will they help me move forward? Will I help them move forward?” 3 out of 4? Go for it.

Lin Young

I’m trying to decide which direction to go with my writing. I was downsized out of journalism slightly ahead of the recession. The economy has recovered somewhat, but I’m over 60 and no one seems to want to hire me for a conventional job. However, I can’t afford to retire. In the meantime, I’m not earning enough money to even cover my basic bills let alone save for retirement, travel, etc. and I’m juggling bills every month.

I can’t decide whether I should try to write more for corporations, even if that means writing things that go against my personal principles, or if I should push harder to find outlets where what I write would be more in line with my values. In the meantime, I’m trying to find ways to monetize writing on things about which I’m passionate.

It feels like I’m spinning my wheels trying to decide where to focus my efforts.


Tough decision: Do I quit my current job and take up a new one, eating the sunk costs, or do I stick it out now that I’ve invested a lot of my time and work into my current job to reap some rewards later on?

I really need a framework to making these decisions…..and I’m glad to see this interview and this book in existence. After all, nobody ever taught me a SYSTEM for making decisions. Pros and cons list–does that help people? I’ve actually thought recently about making some sort of spreadsheet system for making important decisions less emotional and more likely to be logical…

I guess it would rely on weighted averages (I’m not a stats guy). But basically, for any big decision there will be many variables in the mix. My typical decision making process, at least in my own head, goes something like this: “Man, I should just do X….think about [example supporting X] and [another example!]”

But then the next day, continuing to ruminate, I will think about other variables supporting a different decision. The real problem, I think, is that for big decisions with lots of factors at play, it is impossible to imagine and fairly weigh all of the evidence at once.

Excited to dive in and see how I can apply Heath’s ideas to my personal decision…

Tonya Rothe

Any guidance in decision making is welcomed in my world. I have so many ideas and thoughts about career I rarely know whether I am coming or going. Great podcast!


LOVEEEEEE the podcast with you and Dan!

Pam McCall

What a great interview, I was taking notes as fast as I could go. Really great content from both of you.

My big decision before me is rather I want to continue doing one on one personal coaching or strictly through groups and my membership.

I am having to decide what is best for me vs. what serves my clients

Jessica Oman

I’m trying to decide where I want to live. Part time in the US, part time in Canada? Making big decisions that may take me outside my comfort zone are the most difficult. I’m trying to allow myself to make the uncomfortable decision because I find that when I make a choice that could logically be deemed “riskier”, I usually don’t regret it.


Should I post or should I go?
So you got to let know
Should I listen or should I go?

John Ringgold

I need to make a decision on what the best revenue model for my company is. Do I focus on training other to use technology to better their business, do I build websites that will offer good residual income, but take my time with tech support and changes, or do I look for more products to license or revenue share with and market to my members? I just am not sure what direction to go. Going in all directions is stressing my out!


This podcast and book could not have come at a better time…trying to decide whether to quit my job and pursue my own business (everyone tells me I am crazy…) and whether to break up with my bf – I have been teetering on both of these decisions for almost a year now…must win this book (or buy it!) 😉


Great CreativeLive course!


Just one tough decision? I have a few coming up…
I want to… get a new job and move to a new city. Yes, I have a plan in place, but it requires quitting my job without having another job lined up. That’s an over simplification, but that’s essentially what I want to do.


FEAR…false evidence appearing real-
For me- the paralysis of in-decisive action is what happens when I over think the “what if’s” as opposed to allowing: careful planning, confidence, determination and FAITH to lead me in the direction of optimism and achievement.

Getting hung up on speculating all the reasons “not to” are keeping me from the “want to”…

Strangely enough-
When I have let go of FEAR in the past…
I have landed quite well.

It’s a mindset of taking the jump and building wings along the way.

I’m hopeful that with the aid of your program I won’t miss future opportunities that are just over this side of the cliff.

April Greer

My best decision-making advice came from a good friend of mine. She said, “Do what makes you happy – the ‘right’ decision will become clear.”

Julie Carruth

Loved the podcast, as always.

As an entrepreneur, I saw myself completely in the trap of the Confirmation Bias “villain.” Dan pointed out that this was the archenemy of entrepreneurs. We have an idea that we want to run with, and look for any confirmation to make it so. How many products have been created and failed because of this one trap?

I was also interested in learning more about the “trip wire” for a known rock band. When the interview never came back around to telling the story, my curiosity got the better of me. I had to satisfy my itch. This is what I discovered…

David Lee Roth wrote in his autobiography that his touring contract demanded that at each venue backstage there would be a bowl of M&Ms with all of the brown ones removed. Sounds like the demands of some quirky rock stars, right?

There was good reason. If he saw a brown M&M in the bowl, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. He knew from past experience that when the promoter did not read the contract fully, that other problems and technical errors would occur unless they fully vetted the production setup prior to the show.


Loved the interview. Looking forward to reading the book:-)

Ryan Cunningham

Right now I’m working through the decision of choosing what I’m gonna do next in my career. I’m intent on pursuing my passions (and tired of not doing so), but narrowing down my options and getting started are in the way.


I’ve been a solo-preneur and graphic designer for nearly 20 years and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. I adapt to the changing times, but I keep my focus on the projects that I do best, designing for small to medium businesses. I look forward to your fresh insights, to help me to move forward in a significant way.

Jin Won Choi

I’ve quit my job 7 months ago, and I’ve been focused on developing my business full time since then. I had this fantasy, where my sales would skyrocket right after I launched business, and I’d earn enough to support myself.

I’ve since learned to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

I still believe in the long term potential of my business. I have customers, just not enough yet to support myself. I’m wresting with the decision of whether to take on part time freelance work to sustain myself, or whether I should raise money for the business instead, or whether I should just continue to work my business full time, and drum up more sales.

Jill P. Viers

I started my own business in December and I’m laughing now as I realize how little I actually sought out real information about whether it was a good idea to go on my own. Of course family, friends, and colleagues weren’t going to tell me my baby was ugly. My big decision now is to figure out how I want to design and package a product I’m working on. It’s helpful to realize the decision doesn’t mark the end (it’s not a period).


Thanks so much for the informative podcast. (I’ll be sending my college bound son a link.) I found myself thinking… wow what a great idea, wish I’d thought of that when I decided to do such and such…
As to my own current dilemma: I have a small business that’s been slowly building momentum for a couple years. I also have several other passions including writing and art. I am currently torn in several directions and am trying to decide which area to pour all my focus.
Just FYI, if you pick me for your giveaway, you’ll be helping my indecisive son with some vital choices too, as I’ll make him read it when I’m done! I don’t know if that helps with your decision process 😉 but I’m putting it out there!
Thanks so much,

Gilbert Nichols

In order to qualify to win a free book, I gladly submit this one decision I’m trying to make at this actual time: I’ve been in advertising sales for over 8 years, mostly print and billboard and occasionally Internet and selling radio spots. Narrowing my focus to one type of advertisement while maintaining my pursuit of business with my MLM company. Although a new tool has been introduced with the MLM company to help quantify my time and effort, I cannot seem to decide which advertising sales, if any, I should do during the day that will bring me consistent lifestyle income. I’m a victim of the “Second Villain” to entrepreneurship. Thanks.


Hi Derek – thoroughly enjoyed this podcast thanks for sharing.

Recently, the company I work for, ROVH | Rent Orlando Vacation Homes, started considering “whether or not” to abandon and/or expand our current line of services.

We currently offer online listing and booking for vacation rentals based in Orlando, Fl and it’s an extremely competitive space to market in and be successful.

The reasoning behind considering to expand the line of services was to help promote our company, obtain more clients and ultimately improve sales.

After listening to your podcast, it’s clear that we were falling into at least 3 of the 4 decision making traps.

1. Narrow Framing – we were limiting the company’s options to “do we abandon our current line of services for something completely different”?
–In fact, we could help ourselves by conducting a series of experiments with different, new services while maintaining our current services. We’ll be making a “this AND that” decision rather than a “this OR that”.

2. Confirmation Bias – when looking at the current and potential new services we definitely fell victim to looking for evidence that proved our viewpoints. For example, we blamed lack of new leads on lack of prominent connections and felt justified that our new services would be successful because they’re isn’t much like them on the market and therefore it’s probably a niche that customers definitely want filled 🙂
–A better way to test the need for new services is to do small experiments and collect neutral market and target audience research to test our assumptions.

3. Overconfidence – Again, we felt like because there’s little on the market related to our potential new services, that our new services would be very successful.
–Instead of implementing the services and hoping for the best, we would be better off creating those “trip wires” that let us know weeks/months down the road whether the new services are actually successful.

I think the biggest lesson I learned from this podcast is that decisions are more like hypotheses or experiments than “finales” and that we should be testing to make sure they’re correct.

I will be bringing this changed point of view to our company so we can widen our potential options and create measures to test success with our potential new services. Of course, we’ll always be prepared to be wrong, but let’s hope that’s not the case 🙂

Thanks again!


    I run a site about WDW trip planning so I thought I’d check out your site but it’s down?

Al Hanzal

I am retired from active business. My tough decision is to say to others that “I am now retired.” This is difficult because when you tell others you are retired, people think you are less worthy. You’re not working so therefore you are not like the rest of us. So, instead of being straight forward with people, I tell them I still do some work, etc, etc. I am always hedging instead of being straight forward with others.


I’m notoriously bad at making decisions. I make lists, weigh the pros and cons, then usually go with my gut… which invariably tends to be wrong. Sometimes it feels like no matter which decision I make, I end up regretting it, and this increases my anxiety about attempting to decide anything!

I’m currently sitting on a whole slew of put-off decisions. Should I give up the whole notion of being self-employed and just get a “real job?” Should I move out of state? Should I put everything on hold and focus on helping my partner realize his goal of being a working musician? ….Should I just dig a hole and hide in it? 😉

Monica Marusceac

“Where should I have my baby?” is a question all women SHOULD ask themselves when they decide to conceive, or at a minimum, when they find out they’re pregnant.

Instead, most women choose NOT to take on this decision and just go to whatever doctor is closest to their house and give birth at whatever hospital he has privileges.

People spend more time researching their TV purchases than they do their choice of maternal healthcare provider.

My goal in business and in life is to make it easier for pregnant women to make the right decisions during pregnancy, labor and birth.

In fact, I’ve launched a community website, (www.NoVABirthNetwork.org) and will soon be launching a coaching program, for helping busy, working pregnant women achieve easy, natural childbirth without having to spend hundreds of hours in front of the computer or reading books on natural birth.


I am deciding what parts of my business to focus on. Currently I do health coaching, but a lot of that involves telling people things they already know. I would like to add an adventure travel component.

Rasha Proctor

Hi Dan,
Thanks for the great podcast. I loved it!
I am currently in a situation where I am debating on returning to a familiar and successful path, or continue on exploring a new one that I chose few years ago and I am still struggling to find success in it.
Thanks again.

Alex Newell

One of the many big decisions I struggled with was whether to walk away from my job to focus on my online venture.

I did!



Ann Bevans

My big question right now is “How do I transition from my paying gig (which happens to be my own business) to writing fiction full time?

Deciding what to do is not the hard part for me. It’s what moves to make for a successful transition – and letting go of the fear that keeps me from making them.


I’m struggling with a huge decision on when to start my own company, but struggling to have ‘the’ conversation with my current employer. I’ve spent years planning, building my client list, forging professional relationships with consultants and vendors, and making concrete steps to make this transition. Now, I know it’s time to make the shift and I feel as though I just need that final push to make this new start. Thanks for sharing this podcast and book, Derek!

Gilbert Nichols

Derek, all the time I’m listening, and taking copious notes, to this podcast I’m thinking how beneficial this subject IS for procrastinators worldwide! I’ve got three books on stopping my tendency to procrastinate but zero books on decision-making. Excellent material from the Heath brothers! Thank you for sharing this information. I’m getting this book one way or another. Fantastic podcast!


I’m currently weighing the decision whether to return to work full-time or maintain my current entrepreneurial business. I’m currently giving my business all I can to keep it profitable, but the lure of a steady, reliable paycheck could positively impact our family. At what cost though, and there’s guilt and other emotions complicating the issue.


    Hi Julie – The personal and emotional cost to you and your family if you go back to a job will far outweigh the temporary stress of dealing with financial issues.

    What we give to ourself, our family and our world when we are feeling inspired from within is of far greater benefit than a mom/woman/partner with a steady paycheck that teaches herself and her children that settling is okay rather than coming together as a family and buckle down for a short time to help mom create a successful family business that allows you all to be free to be together and be the example… that you are meant to live your dreams if only you dare and believe!

    Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that we have to do the same thing always. Maybe it’s just time to refresh your entrepreneurial adventures.

    Shared from a MOMpreneur of 18 years that has had my share of peaks and valleys in business but because I dare to dream and believe I’ve had way more high peaks than valleys. And when we did we came together as a family even stronger than before, because being a MOM (Mentor of Magnificence) means my main purpose is to be the empowered example for my kiddos.

    Keep Calm and Rock On!

    Kalyani ;o)

Jill Purtan Stone

I am a photographer, and I feel so blessed because photography is my passion and I get paid to do it. When I first started out, I was photographing anything I could, anything that would pay the bills. Babies, children, families, seniors, even weddings. In the past year, I have come to realize that my passion is shooting contemporary glamour portraiture of women. My dilemma is this: should I #1 focus my business only on glamour photography, and potentially give up a good portion of my client base? Or #2 should I continue with the clients I have and shoot glamour if I have the time? The later option really leaves me with little spare time to shoot what I REALLY love, but I will have an easier time paying my bills.

Wow. The fact that you asked me to write a comment actually just helped me to discover the answer to my dilemma. In reading my comment back to myself, I felt a little bit sick to my stomach when thinking about pursuing option #2. I love my clients, but shooting contemporary glamour photography is what makes me soar. I know deep down that my business will thrive if I focus on what truly makes me happy. So option #2 it is. Sometimes I just have to get out of my own way. Thank you!!


I am doing about a few different things now, including a day job crunching numbers in a cubicle that I can’t stand. It’s a safety net, but it is so time consuming. I’m trying to build a different type of real estate company that what is out there now. It’s coming along slowly, because my time is limited. it’s a risk, but I know I have to take it….


I was always in the same position as Andy- I always wanted to make the right decicion, checked everything, analyzed a lot- and did finally nothing!
Now I have the principle to make just small steps, but continuously, keep going- and make decisions! And live with the decisions! Its always better to act, than to do nothing,
Cheers, Chris


I’ve got a start-up to help non-native English speakers do business in English. Native English speakers have biases (often without realizing it) against non-native English speakers, so I help them ensure that their materials sound 100% native – and we can even tailor materials to specific countries and industries (USA, Canada, UK, etc.). However, I’m still struggling with trying to figure out how to target my first customer segment – should it be by industry? If so, which industry? How do I decide which one to start with?


I have an important decision to make too. I have my own home business that was doing fairly well for a new busines until the holidays when my customers and distributors dropped like flies. I did decide I needed to get a job but the job situation is dire so I really need to focus on my home business and lead development. My big decision is do I try to tough this out or focus on the job front? My feeling is this business could pay off and I love doing it – I don’t really want to go back into Corporate America but the decision may be made for me if no-one hires me….decisions, decisions……. Business is picking up a little but to surviver I need it to pick up a LOT and get a lot more leads! So I have no money to pay for any courses that all the main Network Marketers are offering – their too good to be true schemes dont net me anything…….


    Hey Jackie – Forget the Plan B of going back to a job… back is never good… for the mind or spirit!

    If you REALLY look you KNOW exactly where you can stretch out of your comfort zone… get more focused on helping people live their dreams…

    if your business doesn’t do that – and it’s more consumer product driven trying to sell them another something to accumulate – then you may want to look at another home based/online business that empowers people to take action to create the life they say they want to experience.

    That’s empowering and fulfilling for you and for them! :o)

Heather C

Deciding on pricing for my photography business and products are always a great source of stress for me. Sometimes I really wish I could think these decisions through matter of factly and not so emotionally. I too have made the pros and cons lists, endless phone calls with friends/boyfriend asking THEM what I should do… After listening to the podcast it sounds like I should really step outside of myself and think things through. After all this is my BUSINESS

Patrick Brennan

Making tough decisions can be…well, tough!

The problem I’ve faced is letting the decision linger. I used to think I’d somehow come into a moment of clarity & the right decision would come forward. That rarely happens! This would cause me to delay making a decision, which would ultimately make things worse in the long run. It’s better to be decisive, for sure.

Unrelated to an actual decision, I came to the realization that if you’re “on the fence” about something, you actually probably already have the answer! If you’re thinking about ending (or slugging it out in) a down hill relationship, quitting a job with a toxic environment, etc, and you’re just on the “fence”, in actuality you’ve already made the decision in your mind. The quicker you act on it, the sooner you’ll be happy & can move on with your life after making that committed decision. The old cliche holds true. Trust your gut.

I’ll put just one caveat to that. This doesn’t mean to say I just act without thinking! Depending on the severity of the decision, you should carefully weigh your options, solicit advice from trusted friends, etc. I’ve changed my ways by acting quickly on this, instead of letting the decision stew in my head. Verify what your gut is telling you is the right decision to make, do it quickly, and act.


Awesome topic Derek! Decision making is what most people struggle with, and I am no exception.

However, I did find a system to use that has been serving me well. It is not perfect, but it shortens the time to make a decision (I used to sit on tough decision for days or even weeks).

So when making a decision, I ask myself these questions:
1. What is my gut feeling telling me?
2. What is the best possible outcome if I go ahead and listen to my gut?
3. What is the worst possible scenario?

When you honestly answer these questions and write them down, things usually seem much better than if you just: “sit on that decision for days”.

And the worst scenario is also almost NEVER as bad as we imagine.

Another way to do this is to listen to your gut and see what it “tells you”. Then simply take a piece of paper, draw two columns – “For” and “Against” that option and write down everything you can come up with in both columns.

In my experience, just from writing down good and bad points almost always makes it crystal clear what you should do. Try it -you will see. It just works.

Risk tolerance also comes to play. When I left my job to start my own business 2.5 years ago, I just could not stand the “prison” called job (stands for: Just Over Broke) anymore. Anything else would be better I thought!

And it was! Ups and downs in my business, occasional shortage of money – sure it is all a part of my life now, but the freedom and the sense of: “I can do anything I want, when I want” cannot be matched.

Currently, a dilemma I am facing is whether to focus all my energy and time into a project that could make me: “the first guy in a small niche”, or to focus on becoming “one of the gazillion players in an almost endless niche (weight loss)?

Maybe this book will help too 🙂

Thanks Derek, for an awesome post!


Thanks for the good information. You are on my A-list along with Ryan Deiss, Sean D’Souza and Andrew Hansen.


Since I’m currently unemployed, I’m spending time writing (my dream). I’m trying to decide between going for the gusto of a full-time writing career or whether to seek “gainful” employment in the short-term. I intend to work on my writing either way, but know it will be much slower going if I am working full-time too. SO, I reluctantly look for a job, but I really would rather be a free, writing spirit!


    Hey Sandy – You can have both dreams! You can write about anything you want on your own blog that makes you money! Simple as that! You can find out more at my blog site linked in my name. ;o)



Thanks for this giveaway!!!

I’m struggling with what ideas to pursue. There are ideas that have short-term cash fixes but there are also ideas that are more long-term that would lead to a big business.


Yassin Madwin

OK. I’ve bought the book. i will review it and post it here on the comments. so if you didn’t get lucky. you can know what are you going to learn


My biggest decision I’m struggling for is how big to dream and how much to risk on the next chapter of my life. I know what I’m doing isn’t working — I’m trying to decide how big of a change to make.


I have an amazing (Like many of you) business. I am an Acupuncturist and everyday I help many people actually feel better and improve their lives. However, I find it a constant struggle between being a great practitioner and a great business owner. The constant demand to continue to flow new patients in. I get trapped in a cycle of indecision and second guessing! It’s driving me insane!! I’m going to end up treating myself soon for stress.

I need a way to better automate and funnel in new patients and leads, without distracting me from treating.

Katharine Trauger

I so need to learn how to build a business WITHOUT quitting my day job, which is the foundation of all the sideline activities. (Live it in the daytime and write/advertise about it at night.)
Surely there’s a video course on how to go without sleep?
Actually could use some real help in prioritizing, hiring outsiders, etc. Those decisions amaze me in their ability to stop progress if done wrong.
I am not afraid to decide, just need to avoid deciding wrong.

Trey Carrico

The #1 way to help the human species is to teach us how to make good decisions. Even intelligent people make bad decisions. A reduction of 1% in bad decisions could literally save the planet.

Dan Heath’s “Decisive” is #1 on my list.


I’m debating whether to spend money on advertising or to just go out and network on my own. I think the best thing to do would be the boots on the ground approach but it seems easier to just go out and buy advertising. And that is the problem: if I buy advertising it makes me think that I’m doing something even if it is ineffective as opposed to actually doing something. Thanks to this post now I know what I need to do. Thanks Derek!

Richard Thomas

Derek, I rellay enjoyed the podcast with you and Dan! Keep up the great work! I’m glad to see you are on iTunes – fantastic!

If I win a copy of the book, that would be great. If I don’t I’ll likely pick up a copy anyway. Keep up the great work!


To love work or to love working?
I was a teacher for years, recently quit to go into full time photography!

I once wrote on my facebook (about teaching), “I have found the a job I would work for free, to teach is my gift!” I believed this for years and then was faced with a growing photography business and the politics of teaching (yes, politics) that began to make my love and passion look more and more like a ball and chain.
So in just December I chose to resigne and go into full time photography. I’ve seen amazing growth in clients, income and joy! However, now that I’m in a good place with my business I was saught out not once but twice for a teaching position. That does not happen in teaching. Never are YOU asked to come teach (usually you are begging for a job). So, I’ve had a teaching break, love kids, have been introduced to an amazing new district and faculty.

Do I continue to grow my business a job, a work I love? Or do I go back to a job I love working??

Things to consider (or not)-
-Finances are not an issue (wow, can’t believe I said that! But it’s not a matter of where I can make more money, my finances come from another source I’ve been blessed with, I work for ethics).
-we don’t have kids to ‘stay at home with’
-I’m a wedding photographer, most weddings are summer, teachers have summer off remember
-we just moved to a new city 3 hours away
-the reasons I resigned earlier don’t ALL hold up for the new position

To love work or to love working?

    Taryn Seeley

    Teach! The children need you. Continue your photography on the weekends and share your love for photography with the children. On a recent cub scout hike, the children were asked to bring an old digital camera (all families have at least 1, right?) and the scouts were given a list for a scavenger hunt and had to photograph their findings. They came back with photos of frogs, blue birds, different types of leaves, etc.


Hey Derek,

Thanks for the great work and the opportunity to be selected to grab a copy of Decisive! There’s so many decisions to make along the journey of going from long time employee to entrepreneur including when to make the leap and leave behind a current very successful career. Sure, it’s easy to jump when things in one’s career are a struggle and the money isn’t there, but what’s social triggers do I need to put in place to make that decisive choice to do what I’m passionately yearning to do by going out on my own to help others and earn even more income?! I have a family, mortgage, etc. naturally with those responsibilities I need to make well thought out decisive choices along my journey.

Thanks again Derek!

Vince Robisch

My tough decision is whether to take on a design partner in a new venture by giving up an equity stake or by raising the funds, and taking on all of the risk, for a design-heavy project.


My wife and I, both just 60 years old, are trying to decide whether to turn our home into a B&B. We’ve started a couple businesses in the past and this seems to be a less risky venture in that all the sweat, time and money we put in will go towards equity in the house. We’re just starting the research but it’s still a big leap of faith in ourselves and our abilities.

Steve Spring

I believe that we all need help with decision making. Some of us struggle with the simple day-to-day decisions of life such as what to wear and where to eat. For others, the struggle is with careers, education, and relationships. The bottom line is that all or almost all of us can use this book.

Kirsten Weiss

Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do with a small office building I’ve inherited. It needs lots of work before it can be rented out, but it’s an odd building so selling it might be tough. And weirdly enough, I have emotional attachments to the building.

Lori Stalter

Right now I’m struggling with deciding if it’s wise to cancel my home alarm monitoring system and my internet provider. My budget needs more wiggle room as I try to feed more money toward building my business – and while waiting for my business to reach a point that it’s able to “feed me.” These would be temporary cancellations, but I live near a major city with high crime and I need internet for my online business. I’ve already cut out obvious things like not having cable or satellite TV, not having a high-end cell phone plan, eating all meals at home, etc. These two expenses are about the only ones left as not completely essential. So I keep circling around and around on my decision. I could use free wi-fi at the library if I had to. I’d love to find a way to make this decision once and for all!


The late Grace Hooper, an IT legend, said in a 60 Minutes interview that colleges were focusing on graduating managers, not leaders. The huge difference is that leaders can make an informed decision, take action, follow it up and monitor the progress only interfering when they need to step in. We need true leaders and it starts with being able to make good decisions. It sounds very simple, but look into any company, especially a large one and most are lined with gutless managers who lack leadership and play follow the followers, avoiding making a decision hiding status of projects and pushing blame to others peppered with corporate double-speak. You want to wake up every day like it’s Christmas morning, then take a leadership role in your job, you don’t even have to be in management to do this. You need to live by and with your decisions, take ownership instead of hiding in cubicle.


The Heath’s are a perfect example of why consumer behavior is so invigorating to me. Their research, and Derek’s blogs show off the most interesting and invigorating side of marketing: Understanding the consumer. Love it. Loved the podcast. Thanks for the exceptional conversation Derek and Dan.


    p.s. Notice any grammar errors? Good.


I’m developing a new product and not sure which way to take it… I’d most like to license it, but there’s also crowd funding and other opportunities for selling a manufactured product. How do I position my new product to create the most sales?


Should I keep putting money into my existing car or get a new one?


I’ve been a web designer for over 10 years, and I’ve LOVED my work. But now with so many designers flooding the market in this industry, plus tools that allow people to build their own sites, my business is barely a part-time job these days. I’m trying to decide if I should quit my business and begin another career, take a full-time job, or go back to school for a masters degree in some new field. I’m also considering leaving my long-term relationship, and moving to a different city altogether. It’s all so overwhelming I’m struggling to make any decision at all. I could really use that book. And a shot of whiskey 🙂


    Okay Shannon – I was just heading off this thread and the Universe compelled me to see your comment and respond. :o)

    Get the shot of whiskey and BREATHE…

    Forget the new “career”! Get out of the stale relationship! Move to a new environment (yes that means city or state or even country)!

    And Get inspired! Come ALIVE! Start an online business that let’s you start living and feeling fulfilled! Be free… travel… relax… whatever!

    Just get around people, places and ideas that inspire you… so you can then inspire others! That’s what we’re all here to do in our very short time!

    Cheers to living FULLY!

    Kalyani :o)

Reiner Lambert

As someone who makes 100’s of decisions everyday, I look forward to your thoughts on improving that decision making process.

Josh Fulton

I recently started a business. Worked my butt off to get to the point where it could finally support me full-time. Now, I started this from nothing, poverty level income, just a few things. It’s making over $100k now.

I had a little plastic machine to put capsules in at first (my business is dietary supplements). Then I gradually upgraded to slightly more elaborate plastic machines. And by machine, I mean I was powering it. They were really just places to put the capsules.

To upgrade, I need to automate it. The machine I needed costs about $6k. It’s not prohibitive, but I don’t like to waste my money, and I needed to order from China, something I’ve had trouble with before. My first order from China was screwed up. The rest have been fine, but there’s always risk.

Anyway, I finally decided to go forward with it, because that’s the way to go forward. This thing can’t get bigger unless we automate.

In retrospect, I should have done it even sooner. I still have a month and a half before I get it. Ordered it two weeks ago. That’s a whole lot of work for me to do by hand.

Anyway, it’s kind of about this need we have to hang on to cash. “Commodity fetishism” (I’m no Marxist, but I think that’s a valuable idea), it’s like the money begins to develop its own characteristics, as if it has some form of agency.

You’ve got to be analytical about this stuff, and you can’t run yourself ragged trying to hold onto money.


I’ve been self employed as a real estate broker for 16 years and am in the process of setting up a health coaching business. I am so jazzed about the new business and I am regularly pulled away from it by a crazy busy real estate market. The money is flowing and I’m on track with my fanatical goals after falling into some major debt when the real estate bubble burst in 2007-2008. Based on my health coaching business model, I stand to earn more within 3-4 years than I ever made in real estate, yet the first 12-18 months will likely be pretty lean. So do I walk away from short term income to pursue a long term goal and risk going back into debt, or do I stay on track financially and allow my new business to start more slowly, delaying the time it will take to replace my current income?

Brice Durand

Two tough decisions I need to make:
– Should I start my own project/business or join an early stage one?
– Should I move out and live by myself or stay in my current share?

Clayton MacKnight

Right now, I’m stuck in a job where I have to renew my contract 6 months before it expires. What this means is that it is virtually impossible to switch jobs ‘safely’ ie. Get hired by someone else than give my old employer 2 weeks notice. So I’ve been hesitating about switching jobs.

But, I need to earn more money and need different hours. Also, to complicate matters more I’m living in Japan. Although my Japanese is decent, it isn’t as good as I’d like it to be. If I had a job using Japanese it would get better, but is my Japanese good enough to get a job using Japanese? haha

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the podcast.


I’ve recently launched my own business, which is going well but I don’t have enough income coming in yet and am running out of savings. My decision is to get a job working for someone else until my coaching biz is supporting itself. So, the conflict is whether to take something just part-time, and just enough income to meet my basic financial requirements, or take something full-time.

I’d love to know more about how to make this kind of decision well. Usually, I weigh all the options and then do whatever my heart feels like doing. Not sure if that’s the best game plan! 😉


    Hey Renee – It’s definitely wise to weigh all the options to take care of the basics and listening to your HEART is certainly a must…

    but what I’m curious about is why you are giving yourself permission to have a plan B.

    You said you are “running out of savings” which means that it is not gone yet, so why not hit the pavement harder… stretch out of your comfort zone… get more creative with acquiring new clients… create stronger offers…

    Any amount of hours spent working at a job will be hours taken from growing your business. Plan Bs usually end up deterring a person from their dreams all together… it’s going back to what’s (uncomfortably) comfortable. Hmm

Kim Wendkos

Should I write a book or make a DVD for dog training? Or both?


    Hey Kim – First I have to say Haha! I love Matt’s response! But seriously now… if you have to ask someone else which you should do… then it sounds to me like you don’t really have passion for either one. Just sayin!

    As a serial entrepreneur/MOMpreneur I don’t ever ask others what I should do in my business…

    but I do learn from successful mentors how I can more passionately and powerfully serve others and inspire them to make the decisions and changes they already KNOW they need to make in order to step into living their extraordinary life they came here to live!



    Neither…have you read The 4-Hour Work Week?


I’m what you would call an expert at the idea avalanche. I have so many great ideas and where/if to start is a daily dilemma. Creativity is a two-edged sword, no?


I believe decisiveness can be taught, along with other wily skills


The trap I fall into is the fear of not making the PERFECT decision, as though once made it is eternal and unchangeable. It takes me forever to weigh the pros & cons, get advice & input, consider all possible outcomes, and then finally commit. The fallacy with this approach is that I cannot possibly know everything about this issue before I decide. However, I have learned that I can know enough to MAKE the decision…and then the adventure begins as I figure out what to do next. I’ve realized that most decisions are actually a series of decisions, not just one all-or-nothing, win-or-lose contest. It is an ongoing challenge to know when I know enough to commit.

Bill Harris

How I fail to make decisions:
1.) Think about it
2.) Think about it
3.) Think about it

The problem is, thinking is easy, safe, and familiar. “Doing” is hard, risky and mysterious. It’s deciding to get past “the think” and moving into “the do” that I’m struggling with right now.


Stop thinking about it!


    Amen to that!

Tammy Helfrich

I’ve been seeing this book pop up on many blogs lately. It sounds great, as I am in the midst of determing a business to start. Looking forward to listening to the podcast.


Hi Derek ~
Toughest decision? Going all-in to begin an online business.
Living… “The Entrepreneur lives like no one else will, so we can spend the rest of our lives…like no one else can”.
I’m bring’n it; I’m thankful for your work that’s helping guide me down the path.
Cheers Bro’
~ James


I co-own a 2-family house on the east coast but currently live in Colorado. When I first moved here for grad school I intended to move back, but 8 years later I still haven’t. I have to decide whether to hang onto the house in case I one day wanna move back, or sell it and let go. Lots of heart/community/attachment stuff around this decision. Ouch. I need help!

    Taryn Seeley

    Have you thought about making it a vacation rental? That way you have income off the property to atleast pay the taxes/insurance, if you own it outright. I know many military families that end up with homes all over the world!
    Good luck and check out vacationrentals.com in your city to see what the rates are like.


I’m not sure if I should stay or go with my business. It’s not easy to run it when you are living in another part of the country.

PS. I wish Canadians could enter for the free book!

Paula @ Afford Anything

I’m a landlord. I buy rental properties. And right now, I’m thinking of buying a 4-plex, but it needs a TON of work. About $100K in work, to be precise. And I’d have to come up with the money to fix it up. It could be a great deal, but in the meantime, before it’s fixed up, it would be a LOT of stress, hassle and headache.

Alternately, I could use the money (the amount I would have used to purchase the 4-plex) to buy a few cheap, turnkey houses in a different neighborhood. The returns wouldn’t nearly be as good. But I’d save myself from a lot of risk, hassle and headache.

What should I do? I can’t decide.


    What would be more fun? Neither of those options sound particularly appealing to me. If it were me, I’d go with something that would be fun to fix up and garner a moderate-to-good return. Cheap properties in lousy neighborhoods come with their own kinds of hassles.


The difficult decision I am about to make is to let go of the project that I greatly care about. I wish I could also make a decision (and stick to it) to not to regret my decision! 🙂

Leah Jantzen-Life and Business Coach

I have a BIG decision to make regarding my business. I want to re-brand myself but I’m struggling with which route to go. Could use some guidance and direction on this front. Hoping this book helps me gain some clarity…

John Shea

Well I just put in an offer on my first house, I am pretty up in the air and nervous about the whole process since it’s the biggest amount of money I’ll have ever spent on anything in my life. That’s my big decision right now!


I have the same issues at times….I’ll sit around for a 30 min or even more debating what I should do when it comes to small things…The internal debate that goes on about bigger issues is also frustrating at times.

Marva Little

This information will help me, I need help in making sure that I think through what I want to do.

Jill Benbow

Hi Derek!
I launched a solo online biz a few months ago and am getting ready to launch my first product. There are a bazillion little decisions every day that end up overwhelming me, things like what font to use. Seemingly simple and then I start thinking about brand consistency and suddenly fonts seem really important.
Looking forward to the podcast.


In June of last year, I made the decision to leave my job as senior editor of a national print magazine. I liked my job, but budget cuts had made the workload unmanageable–and my time with my kids was suffering. I wrestled with the decision for months–and finally (after running through the soundness of my freelancing plan with a financial advisor) just went with my gut. That is, I considered how I was waking up each morning feeling a sense of dread about the day ahead. I then imagined how I’d feel about writing each day if I were not at that job, and I felt nothing but excitement. Leaving was hard, and it certainly diminished my income (for now)–but my excitement about being a writer came back the day I walked out of that office.


I really struggle with being decisive and have been reflecting on why a lot lately. Personally I think my issue stems from not trusting myself and my instincts. I have always looked to everyone else for approval in my life and decisions, but I am working on it! Right now I am trying to decide what kind of business I want to start, I know that I want to be an entrepreneur but just not sure how yet!


    Hi Elizabeth – First let me tell you that I TRULY believe that each and every one of us knows deep within what we really want… if we just TRUST our internal HEART compass. And then take action immediately in the direction of what we KNOW we really want.

    I’ve been an entrepreneur/MOMpreneur for 18 years and I can tell you with conviction that being an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to learn what you’re really made of.

    It’s a great adventure that opens the potential to empower you to dig deeper than you ever thought and shine brighter than you ever imagined you could!

    Maybe instead of thinking about what kind of business to start you can shift your attention to how you want to feel on a daily basis. And involve yourself in a community of entrepreneurs (like I do) that daily live what we want to feel and experience and empower each other to focus on inspiring others to make a difference in their lives, their families, their communities and our world… which will naturally inspire you.

    Hope this helps you! <3


Diogenes Saraiva


I’m from Brazil, and now we’re living a great economical moment. I’m studying a lot (and trying to improve my english 🙂 ), in order to profit with that and I’ve just chosen to help small companies how to deal with marketing online (lots of them dont know how to do it). Now I’m unemployed, and almost running out of money, but I don’t know if I help a small companie for free (because I’m a beginner) or already start to charge them.


    Hey Diogenes – If you have marketing skills that help companies grow then you should absolutely require them to invest in your services. If you feel like you still need some additional training (both for English and marketing) then invest in yourself to build your confidence and abilities. Then get clear about what you want and how you can help. I’m happy to help you with that.

    Your English is sounding very good! :o) Keep practicing!


    P.S. I plan to visit Brazil this year. Where are some beautiful areas??


Hmmm have been struggling if I should move to another country or not…


    Hey Va – Time and again people will tell you that their one big regret in life is that they didn’t just take action to do the things that they wanted to do. No holding back!

    What is the worst thing that could happen if you move to another country??… you may not like it and have to move again.

    If you don’t go you will never know! And you’ll always wonder… what if???

    Life is too short for what ifs!!!!

    Just the decision and action of doing it will shift so much within you and then you don’t even know what amazing things you open yourself to when you have that internal shift.

    Like NIKE says… Just Do It!

    Enjoy the adventure!


    P.S. I’m a traveler and I’m curious… what country are you going to??

Erik Shear

I am in a “should I stay or should I go” situation. It’s great on the surface but deep down there are problems that only really rear there head occasionally but they are always there. There is no clear path out…

Difficult decisions, where conflict is involved are my weakness and why I need help in making those tough choices.


I start everything well and finish nothing. A framework for making conscientious, thoughtful decisions with a plan for succeeding would help me commit to less and help me quit leaving a trail of unsuccessful projects behind me. Ability is not the issue- decision-making and follow-through are the issues.


    Hi Laura,
    You may want to check out the book Do The Work by Steven Pressfield. It talks about why we don’t finish things. It’s called Resistance!
    You will love it. Stop beating yourself up and learn about more about the process of creating projects. You will feel so much better about yourself after reading this little book. It is incredible! Good luck! Rosie

Sean Mysel

Hi D,

Toughest decision I had to make was going to grad school. Was lucky enough to get into an Ivy League school, but at the time I was taking care of my grandmother who was unable to do so herself.

I’ve never moved to another city, in this case I moved from San Diego to New York. It was heartbreaking, but I had to grow up and be on my own.

Ended up going, ran a major sport facility and got the skills to start my own business that has been profitable the past two months.

Thanks again!

Ryan hache

Flip a coin, while its in the air you will soon know what you are hoping for.


i am in the throes of several tough decisions. The one that I feel is holding me back the most is about actually quitting smoking. I can SEE how it holds me back in so many other areas of my life, and how the life I want to live doesn’t sync with having an addiction.

I know that this doesn’t sound “business-like” , but while doing a lot of inner work and going through tremendous personal growth, I am finally beginning to see the areas within myself where I hold back because of fear.

Can’t wait to read this book, and thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Between B-School and everything new that I am getting exposed to and tackling, I am sure that I will overcome this obstacle 🙂


    Hey Zia – Addiction is always a tremendous hill to climb, but I believe in you! Good for you that you are recognizing where you will be able to live more fully by freeing yourself of unserving habits and stories that hold you back.

    And absolutely everything in our life overlaps each other, so even though the big decision of quitting smoking (which by the way sounds to me like you already know the answer/decision to your question) may not seem “business like” it with out a doubt affects and mirrors other things that you may or may not be doing when it comes to being successful in your life and business.

    You got this! Everything is figureoutable! Sometimes the unconscious of the human nature is to make things way bigger than they actually need to be. The only power they have over us is the story and energy we give them.

    With purpose, passion and prosperity,



    Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can do, and I commend you for recognizing it and trying to wrap your head around it. It won’t be easy, but the best advice I can give is to turn your war with addiction into small battles. You’ll fight those battles every day, and sometimes you’ll lose.. but your victories will be ever sweeter. Find things to help distract yourself from it. Gum, suckers, candy, e-cigs, just about anything to help fight the urge. Good luck to you.

Takeshi Nakagawa

There’s a time and a place for everything. Making that right decision is one of the hardest things to do. I am very OCD, and strict on myself with principals and doing the right thing, all the time. When I see others cutting corners or skipping certain protocols, I feel that I should respond.

What questions should I ask myself to help me decide if something should be brought up immediately, after the work day, or schedule a meeting?


I am always interested in acquiring clarity in decision making and discernment in fact and probability over emotions


I’m planning to share this post with several important people in my life. Thanks for putting it out there!


Hi Derek,

Ironically, I was just speaking with my 17-year-old son who’s in the middle of making an important decision.

This gave me an opportunity to share with him one of the methods I use to make good decisions. That is, I have three men in my life that I value and esteem as solid, integrity filled, good-decision-making mentors. So, what do I do when I have an important decision to make and I’m not exactly sure what to do? I take some quiet time for myself and I carefully think through this question: What would (John, Brad, Billy – my three mentors) do in this situation?

These are three men that I cannot imagine getting involved with silly, frivolous, costly situations. This has been a very powerful concept for me and has helped me, more than once, to make a solid decision.

Great question!


Randy Cantrell

Deciding who not to serve can be more challenging than deciding who you want to serve. Or is it “whom?” That’s currently my biggest decision…when do I use “whom” and when do I use “who?”


    Hahaha, no clue.

    Pam McCall

    Wow! that was taking my comment and defining it to a sharp point. I’ll use that line Randy!

      Randy Cantrell

      Great minds think alike. 😉

        Pam McCall

        Great content and website, Randy. Just saying.


I want to quit my full time job as well, and work on my websites from home. My primary site is starting to get to the point where it’s making more per month than I am from my full time job, but it’s still a risky move because I depend on search results on that site. What if my rankings plummet one day after an update? I have a house payment and a family to take care of. It’s a tough decision for sure.

I feel like in order to make it work, I need to have my eggs spread across more baskets, and incomes coming from multiple websites just in case, which is what I am currently working on.


    Donny I say go for it! I know it’s probably easy for me to say since I don’t have any children but if you really think about it, your eggs are in one basket when you are employed by one company anyway.

    When you quit, you will have all this extra time to dedicate to your other websites or other freelancing gigs, ultimately varying up your income. Of course, you do have to be real: do you have six months worth of savings for your bills? If not, then save up, and then go for it. You can at least sleep better at night knowing you are covered for a few solid months.

    As Ramit, always says, ‘where will you be one year from now?’

    Do you still want to be in the same place, torn on making a decision? Don’t let it paralyze you. I believe in you Donny!


    I agree with Vincent. You need to work on building your list so that you aren’t reliant on just one source of customers. But if you’re already making more than at your day job (or the same amount), how much more could you grow your business if you didn’t have to spend so much time working at your day job?

    I also agree with what Vincent said about burning the ships. You shouldn’t burn them unwisely, but necessity is also a huge motivator. I am starting a new business, and my back is against the wall, as my family really needs the income from the business. My sister is trying to start a new business and also has a lucrative and flexible day job (that she really would like to quit). Which one of us do you think has made more progress toward creating income from our businesses in the last 6 months? I have studied a ton and worked my a$$ off and made huge strides and tested my ideas like nobody’s business so that I have a really good idea of the potential of my business (even though I still have a LONG way to go). My sister has continued to use the same strategies that she has been employing for years (which won’t get her the business she desires until she optimizes her strategies), and she’s not really getting closer to her dream– she’s just spinning her wheels. (Sorry, sis). I attribute this to the fact that her back ISN’T against the wall. She can continue to make good, easy money in her day job for as long as she wants, so she does the “easy / enjoyable” parts of building her business (which in her case is writing blog posts and purchasing the equipment she hopes to need “someday”) and ignores all the other, more difficult aspects of building a business .

    Vincent Polisi


    “When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result, his men were well motivated.”…..Sean Connery as Marko Ramius in, “The Hunt for Red October”.

    You can’t reach the shore of the promised land by holding on to the side of the sinking ship. Your job will end one day as well whether you want it to or not. Lifelong jobs are non-existent and even if they did exist, what idiot would want one?

    You’ve never met a wealth employee and you never will. It’s an oxymoron.

    If you’re reliant on Google, you’re dancing vigorously on a frozen pond. While you’re dancing, focus on building your email list so that if the ice cracks and you fall through, there’s a bungee cord attached to your belt that stops you from drowning.

Ben Nesvig

Need to decide what to learn in my free time. Between coding, design, videography, editing, writing, and on and on. Too many things interest me.


Do I want to sign up? Well I’ve decided to!


I found a profitable idea to build a business around. However, it is so boring and is definitely not my passion. Should I pursue this endeavor and learn to love it? Or move on to something I will enjoy? The business is small but has been pretty profitable from the start.


    My 2 cents – if you haven’t even started and it’s boring? HELL no. You won’t last a month. You’ll want to stab yourself in the face after a few months and will never persevere to make it profitable.

    For whatever it’s worth 😀

    nicky moran

    Hey Grace – I’m wondering how and if you could bring your passion into your profitable business idea to make it work for you? To me this question reflects the excellent advice from this podcast that it may be about expanding your focus to look at more options around your topic. An example for me is that I coach creatives, and one of their main needs is ‘getting things done’, which I always found to be a boring topic I Resisted creating any sort of product for them as I found it so dull! (Although I know it would profitable) It occurred to me while listening to this podcast that If I asked the question ‘what’s my passion and what would make it fun for me?’ then I could create some training in a way that I find compelling/fun – then it would much better serve the needs of my audience! Thanks Derek for the really comprehensive interview.


    Hey Grace – I feel compelled to share my thoughts and experience with you… as an entrepreneur for 18 years I (and my hubby) have started and built a few different businesses… that all became successfully profitable very quickly. However because neither of us were totally passionate about them they were simply profitable businesses serving a need in the community.

    And we both remained UNFULFILLED in our own self expression… which consequently (no matter how much you may not think or want it to) carried over to every area of our life. Not a good thing! So we would inevitably sell each business and start DOING something else.

    So even though we have made some pretty kick butt risky decisions in our life that paved the way for living a money rich life… the beautiful moral of the story is this…

    make BADASS risky DECISIONS from your HEART that you believe are in alignment with your passions (like I now have) – take MASSIVE ACTION – and the Universe will rise to meet you… and you will live an extraordinary life – money and spirit rich – helping others to realize their dreams as well!

    But don’t expect it to happen overnight! Jump in with both feet and stay the course until it matches or exceeds your powerful vision!

    Enjoy your journey! <3



      Wow thank you all for responding. It really made me feel good that strangers care enough to take the time to comment. I really and truly appreciate everyone’s responses.

      I realized that at the moment, I need to stick with it as it has been profitable already with little funding and little marketing. I figure it will pave the way for me to learn more about creating a business while simultaneously helping me become debt-free.

      Although, it’s not a passion of mine, this particular industry, I promise my self to make heart conscious decisions that will bring me closer to finding the passion, I would like to create my business around.

      And that’s another reason why I will go ahead and pursue this: I don’t know what my passions are so hopefully along the way, I can discover them.

      Thank you everyone and thanks for the post, Derek,
      (PS Found you through Marie Forleo 🙂


    A wise man once told me that “passion is the residue of discipline”, which basically just means that if you force yourself to do something enough, you’ll eventually enjoy doing it. Obviously that isn’t always the case, but it’s worked for me in the past. If it was me, I would probably try to start my first business around something I already enjoy, and do the boring stuff on the side.

      Katharine Trauger

      Yeah! Build your business around the darling baby and do the diapers as a side business! 😉

Justine Thorner

I am SO indecisive. I know it, but I cannot conquer this fault. I literally have to be pushed to make an important decision, I will often wait until the last possible minute to decide on something important.

Right now I am facing a huge decision – Do I quit my job to pursue my own business?

I’ve been going back and forth on this question for some time now. I need something that will get me to the right decision for me. If you asked me this each day, I would have a different answer, reason, excuse each day.

I need to read this book!


    It’s a big decision, and like me you probably can’t just make a decision like that on a whim like some people. If I were you, I’d make sure you to have a decent income stream from your business before you quit that day job. It might take some time, but businesses take time to build, so you don’t want to hurt yourself in the process.


      +1 to this, for whatever it’s worth.

      I previously jumped ship too early to start my own business (and went back and got a job). If you’ve never started a business before, and know nothing about online marketing, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by launching without spending some time learning the basics.

        Pam McCall

        Hey! Sounds like you learned a lesson Donny. I never regret a lesson learned. I am crazy about researching but I spend a big part of my day in learning mode. So I agree being prepared is essential.

        You can always pick it up again at a later date, armed with more knowledge, right?

      Pam McCall

      Justine, what you need is a Play List Darek and Dan spoke about. You need a list of all your fears around this decision and a strategic action you could take to rectify each of the fears.

      You would end up with a Support Play List, options that support or diminsh your fear. Support is a great confidence booster.

      Good Luck!

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