Want to be a millionaire?

Start making some decisions.

After studying over 500 millionaires, a journalist found that they had a single trait in common – decisiveness.

Analysis of those who had accumulated fortunes showed that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly. And in addition to making decisions quickly and confidently, they would also change decisions, if and when needed to, slowly.

On the flip side, “People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

This is something we empathise with at UrbanVolt as one of the most frequent hurdles we face in business is not price, or product. Nor is it the fact that our Light as a Service (LaaS®) is a new business model which we created in order to deliver energy efficiency projects for zero capex, something which had never been done before. 

The biggest hurdle is usually that the client can’t make a decision. And this paralysis by analysis does not discriminate between business types or sizes.

Picture the setting.

You’re in a meeting room. A group of 6-10 people are holding a meeting (again) about the various options on the table. Someone might have written the highlights on a whiteboard, or drawn a table of pros and cons.

They debate over what is on offer, but with no sign of any progress or decision being made. They end the meeting by agreeing to think over the various options and to come back next week to talk over the options. Yet again.

Sound familiar?

So how do you stop this vicious cycle?

One way is to attach a cost to the process, and make that cost public.

Using basic math, add up the cost of staff who are stuck in these meetings. If you have 10 people who have met for an hour, that’s 10 hours of productivity. And those are hours which those 10 people could have spent executing on the project which was being debated. In fact, you could even be enjoying the benefits of that project if a decision had been made earlier.

It’s also worth looking at whether there are potential cost benefits attached to the project you’re looking at. 

At UrbanVolt we deliver the majority of our clients significant net savings, as well as a full LED upgrade. But despite all the benefits, we have seen some companies become paralysed by indecision.

Take Company Y. Due to a number of on-site factors including long operating hours, there are significant net energy savings to be made along with a full LED upgrade – €65,000 per annum in fact.

‘A no-brainer’, they told us. And we agree.

But then Company Y decided that that they needed to have a closer look at it. And they fell into the vortex of indecision.

The outcome? Well, there hasn’t been one. Two years later Company Y still hasn’t done anything. It has not upgraded its lighting, it has not reduced its energy consumption, and it hasn’t added €65,000 in cash flow to the company’s bottom line. Nor has it said that it doesn’t want to go ahead with the project.

But what is has done it taken up significant internal resources in Company Y with meetings, questions back and forth to management, and analysis of the ‘options’ they have been given.

It is a classic case of paralysis by analysis and unfortunately, it is not an isolated case. And it occurs in all departments in all types of companies.

The worst decision you can make? To do nothing at all. And to waste even more time and money on going through the same painful process in the future.

So if you want to become a millionaire – or even just get some projects done – start making some decisions. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s better than no decision at all.