Zero Based Thinking: How to Improve Your Decision-Making Process

As a business owner, making decisions can at times be difficult and challenging to do. Making a poor decision often comes at a very high cost; sometimes financially, emotionally or both. Fortunately, there is a quick and easy method that can assist with the decision making process, and all that it requires is using your hindsight.

Introducing Zero Based Thinking

I first learned of Zero Based Thinking from author Brian Tracy many years ago. Zero based thinking is a decision-making process based on imagining yourself back at the point before particular decisions were made, and being free to make those decisions with the knowledge that you have now about their outcome.

In other words:

“Knowing What You Know Now, Would You Make The Same Decision Again?”

Would you go down the same path as you did before? Would you engage in this activity again?

Ask yourself these questions to every key area of your business and life. If the answer to any of them is NO, then this means you should stop doing this activity or get out of this relationship or situation. Answering NO to this question is an indicator this activity or relationship or situation no longer suits you or is in your best interest.

Nipping It In the Bud

I have been guilty at times of holding on to something, or staying in a situation far longer than I should have. I now use zero based thinking as a way to nip a bad decision in the bud, and cut my losses as quickly as possible.

What I also like about this simple process is that it can be applied to any part of our business and life, including relationships, clients, employees, and partnerships.

Having the Courage to Change

Zero based thinking validates my gut feeling that I often tend to ignore. It has guided me in making some major life changing decisions. If you have never tried this before I encourage you to do so. Question every part of your life. If you receive a NO answer, the only thing left is to have the courage to follow through with what you know you should do.


Daryl Murrow

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