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Deciding with Nell Wulfhart

Nell Wulfhart (nellmwulfhart) is a decision-coach and writer. More about Nell's decision making practice @ DECIDE AND MOVE FORWARD.

To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST


ZAK: One of my favorite things is learning about jobs I didn't know existed. That's why I was very exciting about today's interview. Can you tell me who you are and what you are?

NELL: Sure, my name is Nell Wulfhart. I'm a decision coach and I help people make tough decisions in one-hour sessions where we go over the problem and by the end of the one hour they know what to do and can start taking action.

ZAK: Do you know any other decision coaches?


ZAK: So you may have invented this job.

NELL: I think I did kind of make it up, um, but it turns out there's a real need for it. Like people really struggle with it. I'm wondering if there's a way to start getting decision making into school curriculum or something because it seems to me like this is a really useful skill and something you can get better at but a lot of people have such a hard time with it.

ZAK: Can you tick off a cross-section of the types of decisions you help people make?

NELL: People who are wondering whether or not to start their own business. People who wonder if they should take a job, especially when that job involves like moving their family. People want to know whether to stay in relationships. I told somebody whether or not they should have a second child. I've given someone advice to quit their job and set-up as a sex therapist. It's a pretty wide range.

ZAK: So you're actually coming out and saying you should do this?

NELL: Yes, I wanted to call my site the Decision Maker but a friend of mine told me that people prefer to have a little more agency in their decisions so I should be the decision coach but it's essentially, by the time people get to me they've spent so long agonizing over these decisions that they just want someone to tell them it's ok to do what they want to do and this thing that they...these two things they're deciding between there is one better option and that's what I give them.

ZAK: So that's usually the case that it seems clear?

NELL: It almost always seems clear to me. I mean people come to me with hard decisions. Sometimes it's very early like somebody is in a bad relationship so you tell them break up with that person. Sometimes, like, it really is a very difficult decision but I know that any kind of decision and then taking action on that decision is better than continuing to stew in indecision so, literally any decision I tell them to make is better than continuing to be in the state of analysis paralysis.

ZAK: Which brings us to Nell's advice.

NELL: Take less time to make your decisions. The problem that most people have is that they spend way to much time trying to make decisions...which is essentially trying to predict the future, right, we're tying to figure out what decision is gonna make us happier, what's gonna make us feel better but we're all just taking out best guesses. And there's a certain amount of time, certain things to consider, pro and con list. I love a pro and con list but after that there's a lot of wheel spinning. There's a lot of going back and second-guessing and talking to other people and to me that is just a total waste of time and energy. So, the way that we know whether we like things is not by thinking and trying to predict that we might like them, it's by trying them out. So, my suggestion would be to take that time you would normally spend agonizing over a decision and use it to start taking action on one of your options. Because you'll have spent the same amount of time but if you take action you will have real tangible data about whether or not this is a good decision and the same amount of time will have passed as if you were still just thinking and debating and wondering.

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