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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I'm not sure which choice is best for you, but I would recommend avoiding that last one... The "dreary job."

Life's too short to waste it on something you hate. Even if it pays good money.

I agree, but I will have to capitulate if this economy continues to stink.

If you go back to college, plan a degree that leads to certain employment.

Don't write a novel or a screenplay unless you plan to write ten successful ones. A single won't pay the bills.

Farming is exhausting, time-consuming work. If you do it on a reasonable scale, forget being with your kids.

Journalism means many hours for little pay and an uncertain future... not a career for parents.

Yes, start a business that makes money. Those are the best kind. Don't design an original product because if it's actually good, it will get copied in China and sold to consumers for half of your production cost.

Do work that takes place while the kids are at school. Be an awesome dad when they get home and through bedtime. Use the evening to plan tomorrow's awesome dad activities.

Don't sweat music, gymnastics and other lessons if you can't afford them. The best lessons in life are free.

Yeah, that about says it.

Brett says: "I just hope I make the right decision."

A lot of people will delay or avoid making a decision for fear that they might not make the right decision.

Think about how rare it is that people actually know ahead of time what the right decision actually is, until after they make the decision and commit to it for a while.

Also, don't count on only having one chance at making the right decision which puts a lot of pressure on you as well. You can change course in life a LOT of times.

So what's the best strategy? I'm not sure, but how about:

  • Don't overthink them. Make decisions quickly.
  • Don't make a decision that will lock you in to something for too long.
  • Make decisions that give you multiple paths down the road.
  • If you see a decision leading in the wrong direction, don't hesitate to make course corrections and don't let pride get in the way of backing out.
  • ...

What other suggestions do people have on decision making?

I appreciate AJ and Mark giving Brett such excellent advice. Of course, much of it sounds like the advice I've been giving my wonderful husband since I met him. Sigh. But of course, I'm only the woman who loves him, what do I know?

Double sigh.

Mark: In my past, I've tended to become less flexible once I lock in on something. I guess I'm worried I'll do that again.

Anne: I've been listening!

Brett: I think we all do that.

On one hand you do need to make a decision and commit without giving up too easily (because it takes time for something being the right decision or not to become apparent, and you need to work at making things a success).

On the other hand, you have to make sure that once it becomes apparent that something isn't working out, after you've given it a go, that you're not afraid to pull out and try something else.

How do you make the switch to being engaged trying to make something happen, to being disengaged because you have finally gotten to the point of knowing well enough that what you're doing isn't bearing fruit and likely will not?

Well, hopefully, you don't have to go to that second stage. You hope that you will have success (as do we!) and won't have to worry about that part.

But if you do, I'm not sure. Listening to others whom you trust. Me, AJ, and well... I guess Anne. ;-) Just kidding Anne!!

They say that it's good to have a small "board of advisors" who are in the business that you can call upon every once in a while to review what you're doing and to get some opinions on your business plans and who can give you advice on how and if to move forward. Just a few people at most, who don't have a vested interest in your success/failure, that you might be able to sit down with for lunch.

I gather that Anne is smart and supportive. That's a big plus. I didn't have that in my relationship with my wife (now my ex). When I ventured into starting up my first business on my own, she didn't like it and was terribly fearful of it.

So while everybody else was being really supportive of me giving it a go, she was actively fighting me.

It wasn't logical, legitimate concern. It was emotional fear that was driving her, and then I found out that her family was also irrationally fearful too. Not only is that where she got her fear, but they were actively amplifying the fear by saying that I was foolish, and selfish, and that I was going to fail; they said this before I even quit the old job and gave it a try.

I received a card from far-away friends that consisted of a "Yay! Go for it! We know you can do it! We always knew you would do something like this and we think you're the one who can make it happen!" The ex looked at it, put it down, and put on such a sour-puss face that I'm not sure if she didn't want to hide it, or just couldn't hide it. She subsequently did everything in her power to tear down my effort and when she couldn't succeed in that, her and her family decided to tear down the marriage as best as they could. That much they succeeded in.

So I really envy you for having Anne to be supportive, but it would be good to get some external sources of opinion on how you're doing that you can trust to be level headed as well.

All good points. Sorry to hear your ex was that, um, difficult.

That's one way to put it... very diplomatically. ;-)

Just thinking of the kids!

Now that I've established street cred with Anne, here's my real suggestion Brett:

Publish a sex education pop-up book.

Yeah, that will be popular.

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