There’s a lot of advice out there on how to be successful. Many will say it depends on what you want to be successful at but this is not necessarily true. There’s one key, a master key if you will, that determines just how successful you’re going to be in both your personal life and in business; decision making.

It’s fair to say the quality of your life in any area comes down to the decisions you make. Granted there are many things that affect you that aren’t due to any decisions you’ve made but it’s evident that your decisions determine where you go. Here are the keys to decision making to make you a more successful and effective person.


Whether it’s in business or your personal life one important factor is how quickly you make decisions. Many cases of people not making decisions in time and windows of opportunity passing should be known to you. A study was once carried out on what separated good managers from not so good ones and they found that in the area of decision the difference was not the number of correct decisions versus incorrect ones but rather the speed with which these decisions were made. Good managers made decisions quickly and realized the bad decisions were bad very quickly too and moved on to the next option. Which brings me to my next point.


If you’re going to pick only one lesson from this article let it be this one. As I pointed out above the high performing managers made as many bad decisions as did the low performing managers and it is much the same in life. Successful people make as many, sometimes more bad decisions than unsuccessful people. The difference comes in how people behave after the fact. Will you justify your mistake? Spend more time money and other resources on your mistake? Or will you face the truth and cut your losses? People are weighed down by trying to support their bad decisions instead of accepting as soon as they realize that they made a mistake and taking corrective action. Whether you spend another 2 years investing in an idea that hasn’t performed in the last 5 will determine where your life goes.


You know your goals. You should know what it takes to attain them. You should certainly know the things you need to do regularly, perhaps daily to achieve your goals. Doing them is another thing altogether though. This is an area you need to work on with focus. I have chosen to start my day with those things, this helps me get these important things done before dealing with anything else that life, work, family and friends may bring my way. If it should be done, it’s highly likely it must be done.


Waiting for the perfect time or contingent events is a form of procrastination of the worst kind. It robs you of your personal power because what you will ultimately do depends on the decisions or actions of another party. Granted there are things in life where we must wait on the actions of others but I’m willing to bet most of these are creations of our own minds. You really don’t need to wait on the logo quote to start writing your company profile or registering your business.  You certainly don’t need to open a shop to sell your products. All you need to do is put the power back in your own hands; register your business, create your company profile, start selling on your Facebook page or in your circles.


In all decision making it is important to remember that you, yourself, are a factor in the decision. You can only see as many options as your mind allows. Decision making needs to factor this in. You may not see all the options. Perhaps you are prejudiced against a particular alternative. This is perhaps the most difficult part of decision making. Even if you seek the advice of others it’s important to remember that they too only see as much their mind allows. Research your decision alternatives deeply and thoroughly. I advocated for making decisions quickly earlier on so the research process needs to be handled expediently.

Go long

When you are faced with a decision always do your best to solve the problem for the long term. While short term solutions tend to be easier, decisions that consider long-run implications tend to work out better. It’s almost impossible to make future proof decisions but making short, medium and, long term considerations can save you a lot of trouble going forward. You need only look around you to see just how destructive short term solutions can be to a situation.

These 6 things will make you a better decision maker. Any other tips that you think can help you make better decisions? It is not always possible to make the right decision but that shouldn’t be a reason not to make decisions at all. Decision making is the most important success skill in life, the rest is commentary.