How to Make Quality Decisions You Won't Regret

by Shana Lynn Yao
CEO | Business & Personal Success Strategist
Total Genius™


#totalgenius #decision

Make a decision, then make that decision right.

It’s a solid strategy and makes it sound so easy. But when it comes down to making decisions – whether they are big or small, it’s never that easy.  Add to that a type A, high-achieving entrepreneur – and it’s the recipe for worry, overwhelm, or worse – procrastination, overthinking, lowered self esteem, mental bashing, loss of sleep, and in the end, ineffective leadership.

It’s the downward spiral towards unproductiveness. Ineffectiveness.  Failure.


The reality is, the more responsibility and consequences that rest on high level decision-making, the more difficult the decision. Or at least that’s the way our brains are trained to think.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. As it turns out, thinking about decision making in a more simplistic way – not making it unimportant but making the way we think about the process easier – we can turn an otherwise heavy and potentially life-changing decision into an easy system that can be used for any decision – big or small.

It turns out our brains aren’t wired for “easy”. Our human minds are not only born with limited willpower, but psychological studies have proven that we have somewhere between 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day, 95% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday, and 80% of them are negative.  That means with our 5% of conscious thought, we have to make critical and not so critical decisions, live our lives, lead others, and possibly allow some time for self-reflection.

Worry? No wonder it exists. But let’s take the decision making process out of the equation. Here is a simple No Regret Decision Making Funnel to help you make quality decisions quickly, effectively, and repeatedly.


The No Regret Decision Making Funnel is a simplistic way to make difficult decisions. It takes the decision through a 5 step process (or filter).  It’s called a “funnel” because every decision should start at the top and then work it’s way down to the bottom. As the decision makes it’s way to the bottom, it may be decided at any stage before 1 (at the bottom).  If it makes it to 1, it’s failed the other tests and at the bottom, the decision must be made.

So let’s get started learning the 5 steps to decision making justice.


This is the strategy of practicality. Is the thing that you are deciding on something you can automate or eliminate?

This strategy is at the top because often we think we “have to” do something – and the quickest way to move forward is to realize, you don’t “have to” do ANYTHING.  How you act and speak and work is up to you. As a routine person, I am a big believer in personal habits – that means routinizing everything you can so what needs to happen just DOES. It’s a DONE list, not a TO DO list.

“I have to do laundry tonight.”
“I have to be on Facebook to be seen by my clients.”
“I have to write a blog post every week.”

As a business owner, it is your job to determine what your priorities are, what actually will bring you the highest value, and what you can automate, eliminate, or delegate.

So for the top of the funnel – decide if you can turn this thing into a daily habit, automate it with a computer program, decide it’s not necessary at all and eliminate it, or give it to someone else (like an assistant).


This is the strategy of CLARITY. In this strategy, there is no decision. It’s either a “Hell yeah!” or a “Hell no”.  This strategy is when the decision is so obvious that you don’t worry much about the outcome because there is a clear answer to the outcome you choose.

“Hell yeah” is for things like “should I use Periscope as a free marketing tool if it helps me uplevel my business success, can be repurposed for my marketing 6 different ways, and build my confidence? Ummm – “HELL YEAH!”


This is clear measurement- is this decision going to bring me closer to my goals or farther?

When caught in our heads, sometimes the bulk of the information can be nerve-wracking. Every decision is made simple when put into a framework where distance can be seen and measured.

Imagine you are running a race and there is a middle where you can turn around and go back, or go forward to the other side? When put into the Strategy of Closer or Farther, it’s easy to see that just finishing the race brings you closer to the goal – instead of relying on willpower, which, if you’re tired you may want to think “I’ll just go back and try again tomorrow”.

The closer/farther rule eliminates wishy-washy thinking, giving up, and giving in to excuses.


Leveraging is a term used in the financial world. Leveraging is often used in the financial industry, but the dictionary definition of leverage is:  “To use (something) to maximum advantage. (i.e. the organization needs to leverage its key resources.)”

This is one of the best filters in the Decision Making Funnel.  Leveraging expands on your assets from the decision – so for example with Periscope – it’s all of the rage in the business world but is it really right for everyone?

Considering you can use Periscope SIX different ways in your marketing – on your Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, and sent to your email list – you can leverage ONE social media platform and create content for SIX? That’s a done deal.

Leveraging is an instant decider to YES.

5. F*CK IT

Failure. It’s the worry behind FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real.  Fear of failure is what keeps amazing entrepreneurs stuck in a negative pattern, stuck in worry, and stuck in a decision.

The Strategy of The F*ck It rule in the decision making process is the bottom of the funnel. When your decision has passed through all of the other filters without a decision being made, the Strategy of F*ck it is the deciding factor.

If you cannot make a decision after the Strategy of Practicality, the Strategy of Hell Yeah/Clarity, the Closer or Farther rule, and then the Strategy of Leveraging – then the question you must ask is, “Is being in this current position – without the decision being made, better or worse than risking possible failure?”

Yes. This is not the most pleasant place to be, but choosing to risk to fail is powerful and sometimes necessary to get you to where you need to go. Risking failure is not a prediction of it – it’s a permission we grant ourselves to leave the result up to a higher power, which is really your higher self. Being willing to risk failure is not failure at all. It’s actually TRUSTING yourself that you can handle the result – the good, bad, or ugly.

The reality is, you can. If you’re human (hello, that means YOU), then you’ve failed before and look! You survived. With flying colors.

Self trust is recognizing that you’re stronger than you know. Look for the lesson – lessons will not only help you grow, but they can be used for powerful personal change and creation of your ultimate success.

Life happens FOR you – and when you can realize that you are more capable than you know – making decisions won’t be as scary or tedious as they seem to be.


It’s time to make a decision and make that decision right. Your job as a high achieving entrepreneur is about moving swiftly to make quality decisions, using the No Regret Decision Making Funnel, and having SELF TRUST so that your success, freedom, and happiness is possible.

Be the solution to your own problem. Remember, people do business with people they TRUST.  And no one is going to trust you if you don't trust yourself. Self-integrity speaks volumes. 

In fact, having a successful business based on trust is how you lead your loyal tribe of followers, by building trust as their trusted advisor. It starts with you, the trusted leader.

This is what positioning is. It's the art and science of where you and your business sit in your own mind and then in the minds of your ideal clients.

If you would like find out how positioning can help seed in the trust inside of you, get the clients you are meant to serve and build your business in a smart, strategic and purposeful way using positioning, Click here to grab your seat at the next FREE Online Class all about the EXACT steps to get your business positioned to sell! 



Shana Yao is CEO and Founder of TOTAL GENIUS™, where she works with high achieving entrepreneurs to discover your genius - the combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience - to create a profit generating business based on your purpose, that fulfills your life and makes an impact on the world. She is an award-winning Business and Personal Success Strategist with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. 

In her signature program Discover Your Genius, Shana helps her clients achieve discover and empower their genius within. Using her knowledge of neuroscience, neurolinguistic programming, positive psychology, emotional and positive intelligence, and high level business strategies, she works to develop her client’s unique vision by uncovering their purpose, their message, building their profit-generating signature program and putting their words into action on their website and in their customized marketing strategy.Schedule a chat to get your business and personal brand positioned to sell. 

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