The Jeff Bezos Regret Minimization Framework

I preferred to avoid risks, especially big ones, until I saw this short video by Jeff Bezos. In less than four minutes he changed my perspective on how to take risks and have more confidence in your decisions.

I preferred to avoid risks, especially big ones, until I saw this short video by Jeff Bezos. In less than four minutes he changed my perspective on how to take risks and have more confidence in your decisions.
He describes the framework he uses to deal with risk-taking and gives examples of how you can apply this approach to your life.

[Video] Jeff Bezos & Risks Assessment

How to use the Regret Minimization Framework?

Like most great things, it’s very simple. If you have trouble making a decision, for example, leaving a high paid job with all the nice perks to start up a business, then you can use this framework.
After all, this is the way he justified his decision to himself when starting Amazon.
We’ll come back to justification later on but, for now, keep it in mind.

Regret Minimization Framework

To reduce the fear you have of taking a risk, try this:

  • Imagine you are now at the end of your life, about 80.
  • You look back on all you have done and all you have NOT done.
  • You regret certain things you did, for example, hurting others and causing them pain.
  • BUT you deeply regret NOT doing things when you had the time, energy, and opportunity to do so.

As we age, it’s what we COULD have done but did not that hurts the most. Other things we accept as they were part of growing up, maturing or things beyond our control.
Think about this…
Ask yourself, at the end of my life, would I regret not taking the chance to setup the business (when you really felt it would work)?
Chances are you’d regret it deeply. You won’t regret that you didn’t make enough money, or had a bigger car, or wore fancy clothes but you would regret not doing what you felt was part of your calling.
Others might call this your destiny, vocation, fate, talent… it doesn’t matter what you label it as. It was something you felt you could achieve and you let the opportunity go. That will hurt if you don’t take it.
Bezos assessed his life and decided that he could forgive himself for many things but this business (Amazon.com) had to happen. He didn’t want to meet himself later in life and have to justify his (lack of) decision.
and…
Taking a long-term view allows us to stop thinking about the mundane daily worries that clog our thinking.
By reviewing our lives from a future place (eg as an 80 year old looking looking backwards), we’re removed from the little things that distract us.
The other side of this is how we justify this decision to ourselves.

How We Justify Things

Another way of looking at this is how we justify our decisions.
Look at how you justify things you buy.

I often disguise my true motives with loftier aims. For example, I bought an iPad because I wanted to be in the loop. Like a small child, everyone else had one, so I wanted one.

The justification was… this is an education tool/I can learn how to monetize my business with this/my kids will learn things with it.

When I go on expensive holidays, I can justify it be pointing to all the hard work I put in over the year. But, at the back of my mind, I simply feel that I deserved it. Explaining that to other can be tricky, awkward, and embarrassing depending on who you’re talking to.

Conclusion

Emotions often drive our decisions: we use logical arguments to justify the outcomes.
We can reduce our fear of Risks if we fast forward to the end of our days and revise these decisions. From that place, what seems like a risk to us now, appears almost irrelevant.
Why would you not take the risk?
I would urge you to watch the video and see if you agree with what Mr Bezos has to say. His arguments are very compelling.
Let me know what you think.

Getting Things Done… on Twitter

You know GTD? It’s also known as Getting Things Done. David Allen wrote the best-selling book on GTD and has been using Twitter to increase his fanbase. You can learn from watching how these folks use Twitter as they have access to the best brains in the business and are usually one step ahead of the rest of us. I’ve been following GTD on Twitter for a few months and, as they say, you learn for the best. I’ve looked at how he uses Twitter and try to blend that into the approach I use. And it seems to work.
Getting Things Done On Twitter

Do’s And Don’ts For Using Twitter

Twitter is about publishing. Twitter is about writing. And it’s about having fun, making connections and sharing things. Here are some ways I use Twitter and some ways I don’t!
I’ve made a focused effort to use Twitter a little more strategically since May as it tied in with some other business aims. And it’s started to work.
Don’t …

  1. Thank me for following you. I don’t read DMs as I get over one hundred and fifty every day and it’s just not possible.
  2. Get angry with me for not thanking you for following me.
  3. Send me get rich quick schemes or introduce me to ‘Natasha.’ I’m fine thanks 🙂
  4. Tweet every mundane details of your everyday life. Some is fine but I don’t need a running commentary of your daily life. No one does! No, really, they don’t.
  5. Tweet embarrassing (for me to read) private details of your significant relationships. And your partner may not want it in the twittersphere either.
  6. Moan, especially about Microsoft Word. You try and build a better office suite and see how far you get.
  7. Start flame wars with people in twitter. They’re out there, just ignore them.

Do …

  1. Use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck so you can track by keyword, monitor things, and share information quicker
  2. Create lists like this http://twitter.com/ivanwalsh/thoughtleadership and follow all of these wonderful technical writers as they tweet.
  3. Follow other lists like this http://twitter.com/tom_peters/cool-friends from @tom_peters
  4. Retweet others tweets. This is the fastest way – by far – to increase your number of followers
  5. Tweet things that are interesting. Such as… pictures, articles, websites, news items, exhibitions, shows, tutorials. You get the idea.  Share, share, share
  6. Help others. Reach out to those who ask questions and see if you can point them in the right direction.
  7. Tweet your own blog posts. I’m still amazed that so many business writers write so little. C’mon, folks get a blog like these guys.
  8. Share quotes, sayings, and interesting thoughts.
  9. Share jokes and humorous items. We all need a laugh during the day. I use Twitter at short breaks and catch up with friends. If you share something funny, I’ll pass it on to them.
  10. Re-write tweets to make them more interesting. You’re a writer, go on, give it a go! Think of it as a challenge. How can I make this tweet more interesting?
  11. Add hashtags like this #smb. But don’t go overboard. One is fine.
  12. Track your Twitter stats on http://twittercounter.com/compare/ihearttechdocs/month/followers. This is my list. See how it’s grown in the past 30 days.
  13. Think long-term. Remember that Rabbit and the Hare? Use Twitter for 15 minutes every day and stick with it.
  14. Start conversations. Don’t always be in broadcast mode. Create a dialogue and get others to join in.Act as a conduit between different people.
  15. Be the link that joins.
  16. Parse your text back to 100 words. Why? So there is space for others to add to what you said.
  17. Open with a question. This encourages others to think, consider, and act on what you said. Your goal is to get a response.
  18. Add those who retweet you to your most important list. Retweet them every now and then.
  19. Schedule tweets for 2am. Someone, somewhere is online at 2am. Don’t post at 9am when everyone arrives at the office. It will get lost in the deluge.
  20. Tell people where you are. It adds a personal touch.
  21. Connect Facebook to your Twitter account and also the other way around.

Write, re-tweet and be interesting.
What else?
I’m @ivanwalsh

Why Google Adsense is Not a Business Strategy But Still Money in the Bank

Would you take $740 if I gave it to you? Most people would say Yes. My Google AdSense check came today. It’s for 548.65 euros, about $740 dollars. I get this check every month; payments range from $700 (low) to $1200 (highest). But, I’ve decided to stop using Google Adsense. Here’s why.

Google Adsense is Not a Business Strategy but It’s Still MoneyWould you take $740 if I gave it to you? Most people would say Yes. My Google AdSense check came today. It’s for 548.65 euros, about $740 dollars. I get this check every month; payments range from $700 (low) to $1200 (highest). But, I’ve decided to stop using Google Adsense. Here’s why. Continue reading “Why Google Adsense is Not a Business Strategy But Still Money in the Bank”

The Dunning-Kruger Effect & How To Fail Slowly

Have you noticed this obsession with speed? Everyone is doing things, real fast. Even failure has to be fast. Fail fast is the new mantra. Christopher S. Penn takes up this point, ‘Ever done this? You see a traffic jam ahead, get off at the next exit, and spend 30 extra minutes on side and back roads to go around the jam… which in reality is only a 10 minute traffic jam? This is the dabbler. This is the person who fails too fast.’ Do you fail too fast?

Christopher S. Penn’s Awaken Your SuperheroHave you noticed this obsession with speed? Everyone is doing things, real fast. Even failure has to be fast. Fail fast is the new mantra. Christopher S. Penn takes up this point, ‘Ever done this? You see a traffic jam ahead, get off at the next exit, and spend 30 extra minutes on side and back roads to go around the jam… which in reality is only a 10 minute traffic jam? This is the dabbler. This is the person who fails too fast.’ Do you fail too fast? Continue reading “The Dunning-Kruger Effect & How To Fail Slowly”

12 Steps To Getting Started as a Business Consultant

Most people think it’s difficult start a career as a business consultant. I used to think the same in my early 20s when I started in IT. In retrospect, I should have made more efforts to establish myself as a consultant earlier; the benefits certainly outweigh the downsides. As luck would have it, I was forced into a consultancy role when I lost my 9-5 job. Time to learn to hustling and bring in business.

richard bransonMost people think it’s difficult start a career as a business consultant. I used to think the same in my early 20s when I started in IT.
In retrospect, I should have made more efforts to establish myself as a consultant earlier; the benefits certainly outweigh the downsides. As luck would have it, I was forced into a consultancy role when I lost my 9-5 job. Time to learn to hustling and bring in business. Harvard Business Review refers to it as The Hustle Strategy. More on that later. Continue reading “12 Steps To Getting Started as a Business Consultant”