Billion Dollar Decisions

HarperCollins, one of the largest publishing companies in the world, has ties to some the greatest authors of the last 200 years.  Throughout its history, having merged with various companies, HarperCollins has published authors such as Mark Twain, Agatha Christy, and J. R. R. Tolkien.  A couple of titles that can be credited to them are children’s classics like, “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Charlotte’s Web”  But do you know what children’s classic they didn’t publish?  The entire “Harry Potter” series was NOT published by HarperCollins.  The gross earnings from the movies alone have been estimated at nearly 8 billion dollars, yes billion, with a B!  While you may never be called upon to make a billion dollar decision here are a few steps you can take to give your decisions the best possible chance for a positive outcome.

1. Identify

This may seem pretty elementary and even a little childish but it really as simple as identifying the decision that need to be made.  Let me give an example.  Your boss presents you with 2 different projects and asks you to choose one to work on.  In that situation it’s simply a matter of identifying the details of what you’re deciding.

2. Identify: Part 2

This is a matter of identifying the decision options.  Here’s a scenario, your car has broken down and the repair cost is $1500.  There are several decisions that may need to be made. Should you repair the car?  Replace it?  What should you replace it with?  Another car? A small truck? Maybe an SUV?  The decision that needs to made is not always obvious.  In order to make a wise decision you have to know what decision you’re making.

3. Research

Now that the mechanic has convinced you your 1982 Accord Hatchback (don’t laugh I actually owned one once – good car) is not worth repairing and it’s time to have it “put to sleep” you must decide what you’ll replace it with.  Buying a car on a whim is almost always a bad idea.  In fact, most of the decisions you regret were ones made on an impulse.  Take the time to weigh all the options so you can be confident in your decision.

4. Implementation

Acting on a decision is almost always more difficult than making the decision.  So you decided on trading in the Accord for a Ferrari, all you need to do is write the check, the quarter million dollar check.  A decision not acted upon is simply an idea.

5. Evaluation

So you decided on the Ferrari and you really like the red one.  You’ve got the paperwork in front of you and it’s ready to be signed. (the payments will only be $4700 a month so why not!)  Now is when you take a step back and double check yourself.  This is where you ask yourself if the Hyundai may be more practical and besides, it does have a better warranty.  In any case, always review your decision before you pull the trigger.

Some decisions are going to require much more scrutiny than others. Of course buying  a home is more involved than choosing what to watch on Netflix tonight.  I’m also fairly certain choosing between a Snickers or a Milky Way is not going to be life or death.  I am also certain that you are either currently facing a decision or you will be soon.   If so, what steps do you need to take to ensure you make the right one?

brad.schmidt@bradschmidt.netDecisions
Billion Dollar Decisions HarperCollins, one of the largest publishing companies in the world, has ties to some the greatest authors of the last 200 years.  Throughout its history, having merged with various companies, HarperCollins has published authors such as Mark Twain, Agatha Christy, and J. R. R. Tolkien.  A couple...