What Do You Do When Faced With Difficult Decisions?

This interview is the third of a five-part series conducted with mentors during Project Literacy Lab. Hear from the VP of Global Network at Endeavor, a serial entrepreneur credited with lifting over 20 million people out of poverty, and a rapid prototyping genius on the team that created Google Glass.


What do you do when faced with difficult decisions?

Paul Polak: I basically take a couple of dice and throw them into the wastebasket and flip a coin. If that sounds a little facetious, I have no idea. I’m not sure that some of these things are rational. You’ve got to work your ass off and really learn everything you can. When you’re in the groove or connected with something bigger than yourself, it’s surprising, but you make fairly good decisions. My wife and I decided to get married after six days, and that was 56 years ago. That was a pretty good decision.

When you’re in the groove and connected with something bigger than yourself, you make fairly good decisions. Tweet This Quote

Allen Taylor: When you’re trying to make difficult decisions, one of the things you can do is practice being comfortable or at ease with uncertainty. A lot of people are paralyzed by uncertainty and they don’t know what to do and sometimes it doesn’t actually matter if you choose A or B, it just matters that you choose. You move forward and you change the dynamics of the situation.

Sometimes it doesn’t actually matter if you choose A or B, it just matters that you choose. Tweet This Quote

I tell some of my colleagues all of the time, we don’t know everything, we actually can’t get any more data. We just have to decide based on this imperfect information we have right now. I think that’s part of being an entrepreneur.

Tom Chi: A lot of the things you think you’re in control of you actually aren’t. There are some things that are just about reframing and having a different perspective, but then there are some things about you as a person that you’re not able to solve this problem. So in a way, you need to destroy the ego projection of yourself in order to go deal with larger challenges.

Making decisions based on imperfect information you have right now is part of being an entrepreneur. Tweet This Quote

A thing that really happened in my executive career was I was an up and coming executive, pretty young, and some people really didn’t like me. I had a person pull me aside and be like, “I’m going to destroy your career.” Now that’s a pretty tough day to come back from. But actually my thought on the bus home that day was, “Well I think in the long run I want to go help solve some of the biggest problems in the world, and if I can’t deal with somebody who wants to destroy my career, how am I going to go deal with things that are actually hard?”

There continues to be moments of insane violence, there continues to be species we’re losing that we’ll never have again that took 50 million years to be here. This is reality of what the actual world is like, and if you can’t stomach the easy stuff, then how are you going to be any sort of force in the big stuff?

If you can’t stomach the easy stuff, then how are you going to be any sort of force in the big stuff? Tweet This Quote

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