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Business Development

These 3 'Filters' Should Rule Every Key Decision You Make

incapableDay by day, real estate investors are faced with many business decisions. Many of these decisions are made without a great deal of insight or forethought. This can often lead to a less-than-perfect quality of life. Sometimes, saying one more yes to one more to-do item on your list can result in added stress and frustration.

Hey Moguls, Shaun McCloskey here… I’ve been an investor, author and coach for over a decade. And even though I was considered to be successful in the business (even by my own standards), my life was consumed with work. A few years ago, I woke up to the fact that something needed to change. And it all began with the decision-making aspect of my life.

I realized that I was making all my decisions (specifically referring to business) with a 1-filter process. By that I mean that I had only 1 criteria and it was this: How much money can this opportunity make me?

I was approached by people offering various opportunities, and my only question would be: How much money can I make with this? If the deal appeared to be lucrative, that was my green light. I was off to the races!

With this kind of decision-making process, I had multiple businesses going on – some matched my passion and purpose, but most did not. I was working on many things at once, but not doing any of them well. I was way too busy and unfocused. With only one filter and very few boundaries in place, every new opportunity looked good to me...

But, after stepping back and making a fresh assessment of my life, I changed my decision-making process. I set new filters in place.

Filter #1: Does it Fit with My Life Vision?

Nowadays, when a great-looking opportunity comes my way, my first filter is to ask: Does this fit in with my vision? Does this fit with how I want my life to look?

If my only filter is about money, that means I will pursue every opportunity that crosses my path. I realized I must say no to things that do not fit my vision.

squirrelAfter using this filter for a few months, I saw that most of the time, my answer was actually no. That meant I could end it right there. I didn’t even have to waste time thinking about it.

Case in point – I was speaking at an event and after my presentation a gentleman approached me. He said that he could see I was good with business and he had a proposal for me. He had bought a business and wanted me to step in and run it for him. It would require minimal time; it would pay six figures a year; and he was putting up all the capital.


Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But for me it was an easy, quick NO. Nothing about this business fit my passion or my vision. Because I had my #1 filter in place, I did not have to waste time weighing this out. (Needless to say, the guy was quite shocked. He couldn’t believe anyone would turn down such a great opportunity. But money was no longer my guiding force.)

Sometimes the answer is yes. If it does fit with my vision, then it’s time to move to Filter #2.

Filter #2: Does This Fit My Vision MORE Than What I’m Already Pursuing?

So let’s say I come across an opportunity that fits with my vision - now I must step back and assess all other aspects of my business. If this new opportunity appears to be even more in tune with my vision for my life, then what needs to be eliminated to make room?

What often happens is that people simply stack the new on top of the old. I was definitely guilty of this. It’s no wonder I was burning the candle at both ends. If you continue to say yes to new opportunities and never eliminate others, your days will be consumed. Family relationships will fall to the wayside; or your free time; or your time to pursue hobbies, etc., etc., etc.

If your life is already busy, make a quality decision and choose what to eliminate. (This newer opportunity may even take up less time. Yea!)

Now, if you’ve assessed everything going on in your life, and you conclude that the new opportunity has nothing better to offer than what you’re already involved in, it’s a NO. Easy, right?

If the answer is yes, and you know exactly what to eliminate to make room for the new opportunity, it’s time for Filter #3.

decisionFilter #3: Is This a Profitable Idea?

Remember I said at the outset that money used to be my one and only filter. Now it’s the last of 3.

Not only is the question: Will this opportunity make money? ... but also, Will it make more money than something else I’m already working on? And, Am I more passionate about this new idea?

Perhaps I need to tweak this new idea. OR, perhaps I need to say no to this after all. (If it’s not really passing my 3rd filter.)

Let’s look at an example…

I love being on the speaking circuit. Teaching and helping others fits perfectly with my vision and my passion. It fits with things I’m already doing. I love making an impact on people’s lives; I love being at the front of the room, I love being able to reach out to others; it fulfills my need to give back to others; and it’s very lucrative.

The problem is I don’t like being away from my family. In order to make this work, I had to set firm boundaries. I made the decision to take on only one speaking engagement per month. Sometimes, I might take two; but very seldom. I set the boundary and I live by it. Now I have the best of both worlds, and I’m not infringing on my vision for my life.

Point being, it can be a yes, but still needs to be tweaked to fit with your vision.

Streamlining My Life

Using the 3 filters for decision making has literally streamlined my life. I used to spend too much time mulling over decisions; I used to pile one business venture on top of another; I used to move outside my passion and my vision simply because of dollar signs; I used to live under a great deal of stress and pressure. All that has changed.

This process can do the same for you. Use these 3 filters for every business decision that comes your way and watch your life be transformed.

Do You Have Filters?

What filters do you use to make decisions about your business or even your life? Tell me about it in the comments section below.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Assess your business(es) – does everything you’re doing fit in with your life vision?

Determine what your decision-making process is when a new (seemingly great) opportunity comes your way. (Stop and assess.)

Put your new filtering system in place – use all 3 filters.

Re-assess after a few months – record how the process did, or did not, succeed in streamlining your life.

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