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How to Make Decisions Faster & Better

by | Smart AF Podcast

how to make decisions

How to Make Decisions Faster & Better

How can some be so calm, cool, and confident when making decisions, and others are paralyzed by it? Can you get better at making decisions?

Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean go over their decision-making process and talk about how to make better decisions and how to make decisions faster.

They’ll talk about how to never look back with doubt, how to steer clear of regret, and the best advice Torie ever got about making decisions for yourself. We all have to make them, so we may as well get better at it.

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –

SAF 73

Sean: [00:00:00] That is the only wrong decision ever is the one that you never made.

Torie: [00:00:12] Hey, hey, welcome to Smart AF I’m your host Torie Mathis. We’ve got a great show for you today, so let’s get started, Hey everybody. What’s up. I’m your host Torie Mathis, and I’m here with founder of Miles Through  Time Automotive Museum, Sean Mathis. 

Sean: [00:00:27] How’s it going? 

Torie: [00:00:28] Hello? Hello. And today we’re here talking decisions. I saw this post the other day and it was a business type person and they were talking about how they make important decisions.

And I thought it was super unique because their ways of making decisions are very different than my ways of making decisions. Their way of making decisions first was to pull a tarot card. I thought that was awesome. 

Sean: [00:00:58] That’ll work.

That’s one way of doing it. 

Torie: [00:01:01] Like it’s a good way to take some action.

But it’s also a good way of putting it off onto something else. If the decision goes bad, it was the tarot card. It wasn’t me.

I think that’s an interesting way of doing it. So possibly not the way that I do it, but if that’s what works for somebody then the night, I think that’s cool.

Sean: [00:01:25] I think we should implement that. 

Torie: [00:01:26] You do? 

Sean: [00:01:26] And just random Tarot cards. How do you even apply? 

Torie: [00:01:30] I don’t have tarot cards, but I think the kids have a magic eight ball.

So let’s just all the life decisions. That’s what we’re going to do from now on, but really like Sean Mathis. How do you make, like, how do you, what’s your process for making decisions?

Sean: [00:01:48] luckily I don’t make a whole lot of decisions. Not really. Even at the museum, I don’t make a whole lot of decisions unless it with the exception of layout in the museum like I can, and even that I don’t think of anything specifically.

I might have an idea of what I want to do. But then I don’t even know if it works until I’m there. And then when I’m there, I might switch it anyways.

Torie: [00:02:13] I don’t think you realize the amount of decisions you probably actually make for a day. 

Sean: [00:02:18] It’s exhausting. 

Torie: [00:02:19] You must be very like nonchalantly.

That’s a word about your decisions. 

Sean: [00:02:25] I think I am because a lot of it, I don’t think there’s a wrong. Decision. There’s either the, do it or not do it, but then there’s also like when it is something that you need to do, there’s so many different ways of doing it. I don’t think I put too much effort into that aspect of it.

I’m more of a, off the cuff, whatever winds up happening. That’s the way I do it.

Torie: [00:02:48] I think that making decisions I think is so difficult. For lots of people that it paralyzes them to the point that they do not act at all. And I know for me even from a really young age, I always let my whole entire thing was like, close your eyes and jump whatever it is, like overthinking it or doing it.

If you’re going to whatever it is even like joining the army, like I knew I wanted to do it, but I could have been like, Thinking about it and overthinking it. And what if it should have been the air force? And I could’ve been like fucking everybody else and never joined. No, it was one of those close my eyes and jumped things that I knew I was going to do it.

I made the decision quickly. Wasn’t gonna overthink about it. And I wasn’t gonna be scared. I was going to be excited. And I have always tried be that way with any of the decisions that I’m going to make. 

Sean: [00:03:37] I know that’s probably what my thing is that I don’t even realize that there are decisions because I make the decisions so quickly that I don’t stew on too much unless it comes to buying cars, which case 

Torie: [00:03:51] Sean is a research maniac.

Sean: [00:03:53] It may take me three or four months to actually buy the car. 

Torie: [00:03:56] I definitely have a process because Sean is a researcher. So though you do make decisions quickly, you definitely go into research mode. And then make an informed decision. If you think about it though, like you might say you don’t make decisions.

Like we have made super duper big decisions that like, people don’t make like moving across the country. 

Sean: [00:04:18] We make these decisions quickly, though. 

Torie: [00:04:20] We do. I think that we talk about it a little bit, but we don’t say we’re going to do something unless we’re going to do it. And then we’re really big of that.

Shit or get off the pot are we going to do it? Is it the best thing fucking let’s do

Sean: [00:04:32] There’s the initial conversation. Hey, here’s an idea. What do you think? Okay. Here’s, pros and cons let’s do it. And then we do it there. Isn’t how, and let’s. Let’s come back to this in a week, and see if we still feel the same way, or let’s see if there’s another opportunity, tomorrow.

Torie: [00:04:50] For example, like we left.

So after we had Riley, Sean went to Afghanistan he was still in the air force National guard, went to Afghanistan, came back and we decided we did not want to be in California anymore. And so it was like, here’s why, like we want to raise our kids. Some are different. We had one kid. We, we just had Riley at the time.

We liked being around family, but like how far is okay to be away. Let’s, let’s try somewhere else, a little bit of research, weigh the pros and cons let’s do it. And I think people were probably surprised like that left that like they’re really leaving, yeah, for real, we’re gone.

Sean: [00:05:27] And we owned a house at the time. 

Torie: [00:05:29] Yeah. We had to make some hard decisions for that. And, but I think we did what at the time we thought was the best and I’ve never thought Oh, my God, maybe we made the wrong decision. No, we knew at that time that was the right decision for us. And I have never looked back and I try not to do that with any decision that I’ve made, because once you start doubting yourself and once you start getting into that, what if type of thing, like never even crosses my mind 

Sean: [00:05:55] Decisions, then start to get harder and harder even though the decision itself.

Isn’t necessarily any more difficult than any other decision, but because you’ve second guessed yourself so many times, it becomes extremely stressful. Really. You can give yourself anxiety, just thinking of, do I wear the black shirt or the blue shirt today? It doesn’t matter.

Just pick one. 

Torie: [00:06:17] And if you look back on other decisions, like as long as you go into things like confidently, like no matter what happens. This is the right one. I know it is like I kind of way, I’ve weighed the pros and cons and you make it from a place of confidence. Don’t even doubt yourself, then you’re not going to doubt what you did because you did it from the right place.

At the time. Things always change. Things don’t work out. Things never work out like you thought they would. But if you trust that the path that you’re on and that you always try to move forward, I think whatever decision you make. Is the right decision. Like the wrong decision. It’s just the one that you never made and you sat there forever.

And then you start to regret that you never did anything that you really wanted to do. 

Sean: [00:07:01] That isn’t that is the only wrong decision ever is the one that you never made. Remember that no matter what decision you make on things, as long as you make a decision, it’s the right one.

Torie: [00:07:13] Yeah. 

Sean: [00:07:14] Because there’s also, there’s no way of knowing that even if you’ve made.

Instead of choosing B, you went with A, there’s no way of knowing that if you chose the other one, the outcome wouldn’t have been worse. 

Torie: [00:07:24] Yeah. Thinking about and trying to like in your mind, figure out what could happen or what, like it’s such a waste of time, because like you said like you can’t connect the dots in that way to say that this precise decision led to this.

So I think you always have to, 

Sean: [00:07:41] So starting Miles Through Time, that was a major decision for sure. I didn’t necessarily want to do it just yet. For various reasons. One, I had just started working with Torie full-time plus there is all the doubt of I’ve only got one car and I don’t actually know what I’m doing and all the headache that goes with all of it, 

Torie: [00:08:02] But it was such a great opportunity that I think you knew you would.

I’ll look back and think I didn’t make the decision. I didn’t 

Sean: [00:08:09] ultimately the reason that we went forward for it, with it was that I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. If it wouldn’t have at least tried, I was more prepared to try and fail miserably than to not. 

Torie: [00:08:23] But, we were at a good place financially, like with where we were like, if you.

Went and it was a complete flop or whatever. Like we were at an okay place financially that you didn’t have to make money at that time. 

Sean: [00:08:41] That’s a good thing. Cause I didn’t make any money at it cost money 

Torie: [00:08:44] And I think that allowed us to, make a lot of decisions that we may not have made. So again, like you always have to make the decision that’s best for yourself.

But again, I think that if people outside of it looking in, probably would’ve been like, man, I would have said no way. 

Sean: [00:08:59] That’s most of what I got, I was like, why are you doing this? Why is it in the place that it’s at? Like, why are you here? There’s all this doubt of I, he like basically telling me I should not have done it because they wouldn’t have done it.

Torie: [00:09:12] There’s a lot of things that people wouldn’t have done, but I think that something that separates us. From what I noticed with other people is that we a hundred percent believe that we can figure it out, whatever it is, we’ll figure it out and things work out like it’s crazy. They always work out like the money always comes.

Like we’ve never starved, like even at, during like hard times, like things just always will work out if you let them. And if you always move forward and lean into opportunities and things. They might not work out how you thought, and it doesn’t mean that everything’s going to be successful, but I definitely think like we can figure stuff out the museum figure it out.

Sean: [00:09:58] Yeah. I went from no experience to, I know a whole lot now. 

Torie: [00:10:05] Yeah. I think that’s the way that you have to do for a lot of things. So in coming up with decisions Sean, definitely a researcher. I’m a little bit of a researcher too. I think that there’s a time and place for that, but I think that you have to cut yourself off to a point because I think that acting quickly is more important than over researching because too much information ends up stalling across your progress

Sean: [00:10:30] To be fair on the cars. We never actually have to make any of the purchases. So they’re not like a do or die type of decision. So I have time to research and I actually find joy in the research part of it. So although that process of decision may take a little bit longer, it’s not exactly the same as if it was like some sort of business decision that needs to be made promptly.

There’s no timeline to it in a lot of times. I don’t actually intend on buying a car anytime soon. I just find joy in learning what options are out there. And then I wind up creating goals for myself that I may or may not keep, it’s, I don’t really care all that much. If I do a little bit of research and decide that, I want.

This particular car. And then I do a little bit more research and that’s no longer what I want and there’s something else. And then it just takes a little bit of time. And then ultimately though, if we’re in a position to do something and it makes sense and I can present a good enough case to Torie to let me buy it, then I do.

Torie: [00:11:39] I think that’s a difference too. I am not going to research unless I fucking mean it right now. You’re like, do you want to go test drive cars? No, because it’s like window shopping that I don’t need. I don’t want to go to the store unless . I know what I’m getting. I’m not like a, 

Sean: [00:11:58] Yeah. That’s me too.

Torie: [00:11:59] Tell me what to buy so I can get in and out. Okay. I’ve been in and out kind of person. I want to know what I’m going for. And so I won’t put a lot of. Time or effort and things that I’m not serious about that way. I don’t have like too many options or things like that. But like you said like I have so many decisions that I have to make on a daily basis that I truly believe in decision fatigue.

So less decisions for me are more 

Sean: [00:12:23] Well design like that. Everything is a decision, whether they make the line horizontal or vertical is a decision you have to make. Even if you don’t start from scratch, like we’ve talked about, there’s still a ton of decisions to get you to the end result.

Like your whole job is a decision. 

Torie: [00:12:40] I think the hardest type of decisions for me though, are ones that are emotionally charged. If I’m upset about something or if I’m defensive about something, like whether or not I should send that email. Like for me, that’s one of the hardest things. If I’m pissed off and I have to make a decision like that is the time that I really have to.

I know myself well enough that I know I need to step back and maybe it’s, I need to type that email and I need to throw out some curse words and I need to just get it all out. And then I need to step back and come back. Not in a long time, but enough time that I don’t have that, like that vibrating emotion, because I think that’s one of the worst times, at least for me to make any type of decision.

Sean: [00:13:29] Yeah. That’s never a fun thing to go through. And every once in a while I have that as well, but yeah. I’m sorry. 

Torie: [00:13:34] If my face is hot, like I need to not make a decision. You get that.

Sean: [00:13:41] We’ve had some difficult clients every once in a while. That’s a lot of times completely unjustified, which makes it that much more difficult to get out. If you actually did something that was wrong. That’d be entirely different. You’re like, okay, maybe. Maybe they could have handled it differently and not braided you or something, but something wrong happened.

But when there’s not even, it’s not even justified.

Torie: [00:14:04] No, but that’s part of doing business. Like I think one of the best parts of not being a business owner was that I could always be like, she’s going to handle that, and you always push off, like whatever the. The hard customer or the pissed off person or the messed up job, like to be able to always hand that to somebody else, is always like the greatest part.

That to me is always because I want to do a good job. I want to do a great job. I want people to, be appreciative of what I’ve done. And so having. Yeah. Having things that, that go wrong. And like we’ve had some print jobs that went wrong. That it wasn’t our fault, but shit happens and you have to figure out what to do and you have to figure out like what to do really quickly because clients don’t want to wait around.

So those are those times that you just got to say. Okay, what is the best for right now? And then you have to a hundred percent just stand by it, try to do the best that you can make that decision and make it quick. And maybe some people are better or worse than that. But I think it’s one of those things with the more decisions you make, the better you get.

And I think the quicker you make them the better you’re going to be to make quicker decisions. 

Sean: [00:15:11] Absolutely.

Torie: [00:15:11] Think so 

Sean: [00:15:13] I do. Which is why I’m so efficient at it. 

Torie: [00:15:18] That’s why Sean is the decision maker. I was wondering how you got it. So good. Yup. 

Sean: [00:15:26] Just put it there. Do this, do that. That’s easy. I can tell you though.

Torie: [00:15:31] I don’t think I have ever looked back on a big decision that we’ve made and said. Man. I wish we wouldn’t have done that. Even when shit went wrong. Like you guys, we bought a house in 2006, like it was not the right decision. Like we did it, we bought it at the height of the market right before the real estate market crashed.

And I still wouldn’t go back and be like, we shouldn’t have bought that house. We have learned so much since then. And we’ve learned things that are like, we didn’t know, like it’s important for us to be a little nimble. Like we needed to be able to move around. We needed to be able to find our space and there were lessons learned, sometimes lessons suck, but I don’t think a shitty lesson is worth going.

Like we shouldn’t have made that decision. Do you think we should have bought that house? 

Sean: [00:16:24] I honestly don’t even think about it anymore.

Again, that was one of those things. It was like, let’s buy a house. And so we did. Yeah. And shit, that was difficult because at the time everyone was buying houses. So what did we do? We made offers them like four or five houses, 

Torie: [00:16:43] Four or five. We made offers on more than that. Like a bazillion. 

Sean: [00:16:47] It wasn’t like we were running out of homes to be able to buy.

And then it was like, all right, this one accepted our offer and we bought it. Yeah. Should we have doesn’t matter at this point? Yeah, because again, you could say if we wouldn’t have bought that one, then maybe in two years, when the market housing market crash, we would have bought something somewhere else.

But then we would have been stuck there. Like that wouldn’t have been where we you could go down this gigantic rabbit hole, 

Torie: [00:17:19] You go to the other, it’s a good thing. We bought that because that got us this and that got us this. And then we moved to here, like whatever decisions that you’ve made good or bad, like they got you to where you are right now.

And as long as you’re always moving forward, like that’s always a good place to be. You guys want to move forward. Sometimes it’s a little back forward. 

Sean: [00:17:40] Granted we can go back and see the house and be like, ah, those trees were tiny and we put them there. That’s worth it. Whatever, there’s no point in steward on any of this stuff.

Torie: [00:17:49] No. So whatever your style of decision making is. Whether it’s making them quick or researching them or pulling a tarot card. Like we all have to make hard decisions in our life, in our business, with our kids, with our spouse. Like as long as you are

Sean: [00:18:07] Moving forward, just keep moving forward. So if the decision makes you stop.

Be conscious of that and make a decision because stopping is not good. Just make a decision and keep moving forward and whatever the goal is, whatever it is you want to do, whatever it is that needs to be done. Just keep one foot in front of the other. When you come to a decision, make it and step forward again, you’re going to have more and more decisions to make, but as long as you’re moving forward, that is the right decision.

Not making the decision is the only time you’re going to fail.

Torie: [00:18:41] I think one other thing, that is really important is when I’m making a decision because you and I are a team, I’m making a decision for us as a team and us as a family. And so if we are making a decision, then it’s for the good of us.

And we talked about this, earlier about. Bringing too many people into your decisions or bringing in the wrong people to your decisions

Sean: [00:19:10] And need to bring any of those people in 

Torie: [00:19:13] man, it’s fits like stuff. Like I just need to do I would never bring you into every decision you’d be like, fricking leave me alone, or things that have nothing to do with you.

Sean: [00:19:21] Or you’re not asking me what you should wear. Fucking pick something 

Torie: [00:19:24] I don’t fucking care. You really have to think about who you want to bring, and it’s nice to have advisors or people that you trust and stuff like that. But for me, I feel more comfortable and more confident in myself if I make the decision and bring less people into it, because it’s, like I said, in the very beginning, you don’t want to.

Make the decision from the tarot card so that you can blame the tarot card. That’s not making decisions with confidence. That’s not making decisions going forward. Unless you always have a hundred percent confidence in the tarot card, but make it so that you feel good that you made the right decision.

Not I made this decision because my mom told me I should. I think that’s one of the greatest things that my mom ever did. I was going through some hard times when I was getting out of the army. I ended up. Breaking my hip and the army was going to med board me out. And it was just, it was a difficult process.

It ended up being a huge legal process. And I can remember talking to my mom being like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t, and I gave her like, what was going on and everything I’m like, what do you think. She was like, Torie, I have no idea. This is your life. And you have to make these decisions.

I’ll listen to you, but I’m not going to tell you anything to do. You have to decide, and at the time I was like, You’re a bitch. Why don’t you help me? Not really. I I wanted her so that I didn’t have to make the decisions so that I didn’t have to think about it. So I didn’t have to be responsible.

Like it would have been so much easier if she would’ve just told me what to do. And then I would have did that. And if it didn’t work out, it would have been like, that was your wrong decision. But that really made me like, Fuck. You’re right. 

Sean: [00:21:03] I think that probably the default for most people is tell me what I can, what I’m supposed to do is that yeah.

Cause it’s a lot easier than making your own decisions. 

Torie: [00:21:11] Yeah. And whether that means, like you think about something or you meditate or you pray like that decision that it’s gotta be that confident that from you, like you’ve gotta make the decision. It’s gotta be. You. And I think that’s one of the best things that, that she did because then I knew you are you’re right.

I shouldn’t be relying on anybody else to make my decisions. They don’t know what’s really going on. I know nobody else, like even if I brought somebody in and I told them my stories and everything, they’re not able, they’re not able to handle that decision making because they don’t have all those details.

Even if you tried to tell them everything, like it just, it’s impossible. Even for like financial decisions and stuff. People bringing in people that are not financially good and asking them for advice on finances. If you are going to get a little bit of input, make sure the people that you get input from are the right people.

But I really think that you should keep it small, keep it to yourself and be confident in what your decisions are. Anything else to add? Sean Mathis, 

Sean: [00:22:20] I concur 

Torie: [00:22:21] He  concurs. So if you liked this episode, we would appreciate it. If you would leave us a review and subscribe and we will see you on the next one.

Thanks. You want to get smart tools to build your business, go to getsmartaf.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs get from where they are to where they want to be by working smarter.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle. She can help you with your marketing and business growth, your clarity and purpose and help you reach your vision of success. 🙂

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Hi! I'm Torie!

From living in Europe to attending a prestigious Art School for free to traveling the world with my family and the freedom of entrepreneurship - I have a knack for getting what I want from life. I can help you get from where you are to where you want to be in business and in life.

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