Break routine. Break bread. Break sweat.

Clear your mind to make big decisions.

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I’ve always been a person who likes to gather data before I make a decision. I’m generally a go-with-the-flow type of person, but when it comes to business, I feel that as a CEO it is my job to consider all angles, gather feedback and input. Then, make a decision with the best knowledge I have at the time. The flip side of this coin though is making sure you don’t get analysis paralysis. Indecision can slow down an organization and stunt your growth. The sooner you make a decision, the sooner you’ll learn if it was right or wrong. And remember, you can ALWAYS change your mind. 

As you can imagine, when making a big decision like what to do next with your life, there are a lot of data points and input to gather. To do this, I’ve had several coffees, lunches, and Zoom calls with friends and advisors over the past six months. Some of these have actually ended in job offers, but most end with one big nugget or takeaway that I store in my head or write down in the notes of my iPhone. I love to learn from folks with different backgrounds and experiences, but what I’m realizing is that I now have a handful of nuggets, and I’m flirting dangerously close to analysis paralysis. 

Here’s how I’m trying to breakthrough:

Break Routines

One of my challenges with making this big decision is that I’m still very much employed and focused on Lemonly. I’m still in the work and have both goals to reach and people to help. A friend told me on a Zoom call this spring, “You can do more damage half-thinking about something than just not thinking about it at all.” Translation: clear your head and give yourself some space. 

Free the mind to do your best thinking. Break your routine for clarity of mind. Grab coffee somewhere you’ve never been before. Sit on a bench in the park without your phone (GASP!). Clear mind = clear thinking. 

Break Bread

Last month I had a delightful dinner with my friend, Vance. I wasn’t sure what to expect when he reached out, but he simply wanted to see how I was doing, listen to what was on my mind, and enjoy a great dinner together. I’ve long believed that breaking bread together is THE best way to build a team or company culture. 

When food is involved, people open up, share stories, and create new experiences together. Bonus points if you or someone in the group prepares the meal. Cooking a meal for someone is one of the best forms of gratitude and love. Double bonus points for great wine. 

Break Sweat

This week I drove down to a nature reserve near Omaha and went hiking with my old buddy, Dusty (pic or it didn’t happen, it did happen, see below). Dusty is one of the best thinkers I know and also sold and left his company this year. I love finding folks who have walked down similar paths as you when looking for advice and wisdom. 

This trip was the perfect win-win. I needed to get some elevation in for an upcoming challenge (I’m doing an event called 29029 next month in Utah) and I also wanted to connect with Dusty. When you break a sweat and get outdoors, you bypass the small coffee chatter and get to the heart of a good conversation. Whether you go for a run with a friend, jump on the bike, or just take a stroll in the park, try breaking a sweat with a friend, and you’ll leave with some sort of insight or idea. 

Big decisions aren’t to be taken lightly, but big decisions also require a clear mind. If you’re considering a career switch, a difficult conversation, or an unknown fork in the road, gather as much data and input as you can, but do so with a clear mind. To achieve that clear mind, try breaking things: break your routine, break bread with others, and break a sweat. 

Let me know if it works for you too.

John

P.S. Reminder, each week I’ll also share the things that are bouncing around in my mind and influencing my thinking. These are conversations, articles, videos, tools, and tweets that make me stop and think. And they might help you, too.

The Listen

What I love about great podcasts is you get to feel like a fly on the wall, listening to a conversation between two very smart people. Well, Invest Like the Best is a great podcast, and Patrick O'Shaughnessy and Balaji Srinivasan are two smart people. I really enjoyed this episode about information diets, tracking your health, and decentralization.

The Read

Speaking of making decisions, Shane Parrish, creator of Farnam Street, has a fantastic blog post on making decisions. He encourages us all to create a “Decision Journal.” I love the line, “In most organizations your product is decisions.” I haven’t started one yet, but creating a Decision Journal is on my to-do list for next week. 

The Tool

And now, for something completely different. Do you hate parking tickets? (they say there are no dumb questions, but this may actually be one) I have something for you. I’m a subscriber to a service called Do Not Pay. Think of it as robo-lawyers. The features list is immense (see below), but the app helps you save money, make money, fight corporations, and eliminate spam and fees from your life. Pretty cool huh? It’s also just a fascinating business model. 

The Tweet

I mentioned my infatuation with crypto last week. Fun fact, I actually bought my first Bitcoin in 2013 at $199. Would be pretty awesome if I still had it right? (Bitcoin is currently trading at $32k). Unfortunately, I sold it at $2,000 and thought I was big time with my 10x return. Anyway, crypto and blockchain are a big part of what people are now calling Web3. It’s a more decentralized version of the web, and my friend Eric Jorgenson summed up this new era perfectly in contrast to the previous Web2 era.

Also, for more awesome thinking from Eric Jorgenson, he was a guest on Episode 56 of the Leadmore Podcast to discuss the power of leverage. 

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Change. If you want volume 3 to end up in your inbox next Friday, click the subscribe button below. Cheers!