I get a lot of questions about what makes a great project/business/successful-whateverness. People ask me all the time how they are supposed to know what move is the ‘right’ move. Everyone wants the magic checklist that will prevent them from wasting time and money.
What I tell them is that it all comes down to decision-making. You have to have a system in place that helps you evaluate options and make reasoned judgments. The hard part is that we are bombarded by the opinions of others… often people whose priorities are completely different from our own. So, without your own individual internal method, it gets really easy to make decisions based on the priorities of others.
The question then becomes, how do you come up with your own set of rules?
How do you know who to listen to?
Some of the best advice I ever received was to start listening [and ONLY listen] to people who want the same things for themselves that you do.
For the past several years, I have been informally gathering wisdom on decision-making from all kinds of people, but particularly, from people who love what they do. I really want to dig in to what makes happy people tick, and what they do that other people don’t.
So, for the next few posts, I’ll be sharing the thoughts of some really fabulous people like Danny Brown, Fabeku Fatunmise, Corbett Barr, and more. I’ll also be breaking down my observations on how I see their decision-making process affecting their businesses and project development choices.
First up, Chris Guillebeau.
Let’s talk about Chris…
Business: The Art of Nonconformity
Basics: Chris is know as a leader in the, “I want to color outside the lines while still being a really good human being,” crowd. He is known for his big, awesome quest to visit every single country on the planet, and for being a wildly popular blogger and writer. Oh, and he also helms the coolest gathering of world-changers out there: The World Domination Summit.
Chris has also written several courses and guides for his super-popular Uncommon Guides series.
So, Chris Guillebeau, Mr. Nonconformity, how do YOU make decisions?
“It depends on the specific decision, but when evaluating projects and opportunities, I tend to go with my first reaction. Does this sound exciting or interesting? If so, I tend to go for it. I don’t really consider costs vs. benefits; I just focus on what sounds fun and then I try to ensure my life can accommodate the decision. When you do things that motivate you, you don’t get nearly as tired or flustered as when you do things out of obligation.”
Chris says a lot in that statement, so let’s break it down:
The Method: Internal Q & A
How he finds ‘the way forward’: Chris is an adventurer – to his core, so he looks for excitement, interest, uniqueness, fun. It makes a lot of sense that Chris would look inward for his decision compass; his travelling spirit and non-conformist nature create a leadership ethos based on internal drive [and a crap-load of good old-fashioned guts].
Unique personality traits that point to Chris’ method: Self-reliance, confidence, a desire to live life as far from a cubicle as possible.
What this means to you: If adventure and freedom are the top two things on your priority list, then modeling your decision-making on Chris’ Internal Q & A model – with a set list of filters (fun, excitement, energetic vibes, etc…) is a great place to start. Take a good look at how Chris has set up his business. He doesn’t do a lot [if any] one-on-one with clients. Instead, he opts for doing a lot more writing and creating. He depends on income from products, self-led courses, big events, and books to fun his lifestyle. This allows him to be totally free to pursue whatever he wants from wherever he wants to be. This is an important differentiating factor: If physical freedom is a big priority for you, make sure that you build that into your business structure by offering fewer services and more products. Products allow you to dictate schedule far more than actual clients do.
Check out what Chris is up to these days!