Most entrepreneurs have to make a lot of decisions daily. For real estate investors, those decisions can range from tenant selection to tile selection, and everything in between.
Being able to make those decisions quickly and effectively plays an important role in your success. So today, I’d like to talk to you about three different methods I have learned to help make decisions effectively.
I learned the first method from a great friend of mine named Kerry Milligan.
I was talking to Kerry one day about two things I was having a hard time choosing between. Kerry listened to me for a minute and then told me he had the solution. He said, “Flip a coin.”
I said, “Really? Flip a coin to make important business decisions?” But Kerry asked me to bear with him.
He told me to pick heads for one decision, tails for the other, and then flip the coin. I tossed the coin into the air with my right thumb, caught it in my right palm and quickly slapped it over on the back side of my left hand.
Before I revealed the coin, Kerry asked me which of the two I had hoped for while the coin was in midair. I told him which side I’d hoped for, and Kerry said, “Then the coin toss doesn’t matter. You already made your decision.”
Kerry pointed out that this method is super effective because it allows your intuition — i.e. your subconscious — to tell you what to do. And nine times out of 10, your gut is right.
The next method is called the “Benjamin Franklin T-test,” which I learned from my mentor Bill Cook.
To perform a T-test, you divide a piece of paper into two columns. At the top of the left column, write “Pros,” and at the top right column, write “Cons.” Then, list all the pros and cons associated with the decision at hand. If there are more pros, do it. If there are more cons, don’t do it.
This takes emotion out of the equation of complex decisions and allows logic to rule.
The last method Ashley and I use comes from the Bible. It is called “casting lots.”
This was done many times in scripture by folks like Arron, Joshua, kings Saul, David and Solomon and even the disciples.
As a matter of fact, Solomon wrote this about casting lots:
“The lot is cast into the lap, but every decision by it is from Yahweh,” Proverbs 16:33, The ISR Scriptures.
To us, inquiring of Yahweh when making decisions is a big deal. To know our Father in heaven would take time out of His day running the universe to give us guidance is both humbling and empowering.
Now, I’ve done a lot of research about casting lots and have found no specific instructions as to how to do it. So, Ashley and I formulated our own method.
We find something we can flip or toss in the air so that when it lands, one side can represent “yes” and the other side “no.” We pray and ask Yahweh to help us with the decision at hand. We then prayerfully ask very specific yes or no questions, flip the object and respect whatever answer comes from it.
We have done this many times for big decisions, and every time, we’ve had favorable results. We cast lots to see if it was time for Ashley to quit her job and for us to go fulltime in investing. This was a big deal then because Ashley’s job was our consistent income. Yahweh told us she should quit, and Ashley put in her two-week notice that day.
We cast lots on whether we should hire Marybeth to be our office administrator. Yahweh said yes, and her being part of our team has be a major blessing ever since.
We even cast lots on whether we should try to invade the Chattanooga market this year. Yahweh told us no. While that felt disappointing on the one hand, it’s liberating trusting that the maker of the universe has our best interests at heart.
So next time you have a decision to make, try one of these methods. They help a lot … (pun intended).
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.