Do Zero-Based Budgeting of the Mind

Do Zero-Based Budgeting of the Mind

When determining government appropriations for future years, some politicians recommend “zero-based budgeting.” Nothing is sacred in this situation, and there are no programmatic entitlements to funds just because they were appropriated in a prior fiscal period.

Similarly, we believe companies are not entitled to do business the old way. Instead, you should be constantly checking to ensure the old way still makes sense and eliminate any commercial preconceptions in your mind; as a result, you can maintain an open mind and be prepared to change the way you think, like Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates tend to do.

Even if you are strongly attached to every aspect of your business, it couldn’t hurt to consider what other options exist.

Although much of what you have learned in the past (particularly from your parents and your schooling) can be applied to your business, you have to be eager to let go of any ideas that no longer make good business sense. You need brain space for newer and better ideas; do not become stuck on the way things used to be or how you wish they were.

This beneficial brainwashing effect is what we call “zero-based budgeting of the mind.” Take nothing for granted and re-examine what will really allow you to accomplish your goals. The details of your industry and your business are what they are and you must comprehend and accept them. In addition, you must also know the effects you can have on these details, and therefore, your market at large. The main thing holding businesspeople back is the failure to pay attention to real facts and details. Instead, they become stuck on false ideas about what will make them successful. Your mind is your only barrier to success; you can decide to break down that barrier anytime you choose.

“You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.” If you become stuck on the wrong track, you could fail. Of course, using our methods, failure is not an option.

Similar to business leaders, military leaders are expected to make risky decisions every day during wartime to advance their cause. Every day is wartime in the business world, unless you are just playing the role of the victim of aggressive competitors. You are either a victim or a perpetrator in the economy (or the winner or loser of the war).

Some people become paralyzed with fear because of this responsibility and have a hard time moving forward aggressively. On the contrary, if you approach your opportunities with good information and know the approximate level of risk involved with each possible decision, then with that level of confidence, you need not hesitate.

When in business, you have to take calculated risks every day. As long as you understand the key risks and opportunities inherent in each deal, you can hedge by placing many bets. Presumably, if you do proper due diligence, they will all have a greater than average chance of going in your favor, and you will have safely spread your risk. Those who are hesitating, getting scared, or becoming paralyzed lose out on the opportunities at hand, and typical industry leaders are moving on to the next big thing.

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