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Well, before I tell you what the lesson here is, let me explain what 6 minutes and what 24 seconds I am talking about!
Back when Bill Gates was the CEO of Microsoft, he obviously had a huge amount of various meetings throughout the day – typical for a CEO of a $100+ billion company. However, there was something special about them. Most people spend anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour on a meeting. Bill’s rule was… you had 6 minutes and then you were out! Yes, if you had a meeting or appointment with Bill Gates at 10:48, you better be there on time – as he had another person at 10:54. You had 6 minutes to sell him on an idea. Most people aren’t even done with introductions after that time! Realistically you had about 5 minutes to present him your idea or project, as he would then spend about a minute thinking about it and making a decision. Often a multi-million dollar decision.
Napoleon Hill, the first person to write a personal development/wealth-building book: the legendary “Think and Grow Rich” had some pretty good connections and he didn’t decide to write the book simply because he was bored. Napoleon Hill knew and often interacted with the late Andrew Carnegie, the richest man ever alive – in todays money worth hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars. It was Mr. Carnegie, who gave him the task of interviewing the worlds richest 500 people at that time and writing the first “manual” on how to build wealth. He didn’t just “give” Napoleon the task – he asked him if he wanted to go on such a quest (that would take Napoleon over 20 years to complete). However there’s one thing that Andrew didn’t say – he measured how long it took for Napoleon to make the decision. He secretly looked at his pocket watch and counted… 24 seconds. If it took over 60 seconds for Napoleon to decide, Andrew would withdraw his offer.
The lesson from these two stories should be pretty obvious – you must learn to make decisions quickly! Once you have sufficient knowledge to make a decision, make it fast! And if you don’t have the knowledge, consult an expert in that field. Do you think that Dan Pena could’ve made over 75,000 business decisions during his career if he didn’t make those decisions quickly? Those weren’t trivial decisions, may I add.
Money loves speed!
Many of us suffer from being a perfectionist. That may be good if you’re an artist or if, in your career, lives are at risk, but not here – in online business! It took me a while to get used to making decisions quickly (although I am an action-oriented person by nature) but – it’s possible. Work on it. The next time that you’re spending 10 minutes making up your mind while ordering in a restaurant – think about how much time Bill Gates spent on making gigantic decisions.
One of the traits that almost all super-successful people share is:
“I may be wrong, but I am never in doubt!”
Which goes hand-in-hand with:
“Never, ever second-guess yourself or your decisions.”
Once you’ve made a decision – stick to it! Most importantly – learn to make those decisions fast!
And remember – unless you’re a heart surgeon or something equally risky, none of your decisions are going to kill anyone.
None of your decisions are a “Sophie’s Choice”. So, as my mentor would say (without the f-word): Just Do It!