How to make sure that overthinking doesn’t kill your business









Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

George Washington Carver



Laura Stack, Contributing Writer  May 20, 2014, 10:48am MST

Overthinking a problem can downright kill you as a business leader. You must carefully consider all contingencies and possibilities, but you must take swift action to take advantage of opportunities.

Consider this scenario. In 1996, software firm 3D Realms enjoyed its biggest hit ever — the popular “Duke Nukem 3D.” The development team immediately went to work on the sequel. It didn’t hit the shelves until 2011 and only because another company bought out the franchise and developed it independently.

3D Realms wasted 12 years and millions of dollars developing nothing in particular, because insane levels of perfectionism, over-analysis, and risk aversion sabotaged their efforts.

SEE ALSO: 5 leadership skills entrepreneurs like Steve Wozniak had to learn to be successful

Only when combined with swift, sure action and agility does careful planning equal success.

The two-fold problem

Overthinking comes in two forms:

  1. The inability to stem a flood of ideas long enough to focus on and develop the likeliest ones. This killed the Wallace Shawncharacter Vizzini in the film “The Princess Bride ,” when his ridiculously convoluted logic about which cup of wine contained a deadly poison caused him to pick the wrong one.
  2. The tendency to worry over just one idea for far too long. This killed 3D Realms’ “Duke Nukem”project and almost killed the company itself.

You can overcome both types of overthinking by simply making a decision with the best information you currently have and then getting to work. Even if you make the wrong decision, you can almost always recover mid-stream by applying flexibility and agility to the issues you encounter. Correct your course as you go, responding to events as they occur and details as they arise. You’ll be too busy for paralysis by analysis.

You won’t foresee everything — and that’s fine, because no one ever does. What matters is being able to respond to it effectively.

Did the people in Chelyabinsk, Russia, ever expect a giant meteor to explode over their city, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and injuring more than 1,200 people? Of course not, but they had generalized contingency plans that helped them handle the disaster when it occurred in February 2013.

Rather than worry about what you lack control over, seize what you can and make the most of it right now. In his book “Embrace the Chaos ,” BobMiglani, senior director at Fortune 50 companyPfizer, advises just that: to focus on your own thoughts, decisions, and actions. Move forward, accepting and learning from your mistakes.


Stop agonizing over the details. When you begin a project, rather than plan for every possible contingency, just consider the most realistic outcomes and how you can quickly respond to them. Establish a plan of attack, complete with milestones and guideposts, then spring into action. Stop overthinking and get to work!

Laura Stack helps leaders turn strategy into performance. For 22 years, her keynotes and seminars have helped leaders, teams and employees execute efficiently, improve output, and build high-performance cultures. Laura is the president of The Productivity Pro, a training company helping professionals achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. She’s the author of six books, most recently, Execution IS the Strategy. To invite Laura to speak at your next event, visit




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I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.





we are at on the a rise of the cycle in Commercial Real Estate.  so there is only one way and it’s called we are going up and now is the time for you to expand, upgrade or invest in Commercial Properties in Phoenix.  The prices on deals I may get you will not be around forever.



  We barely could give land away the last few years, but times are changing.  Even in those meager years, I sold more land across the state than most other brokers. Before the real estate crash I was a land specialist in Arizona with millions of dollars of transactions, but then I had to change and also sell other commercial investment properties, which was fun, but I am a Commercial Landspecialist in Arizonal, a Commercial Land Specialist in Phoenix and love to sell land, one acre to thousands of acres.


If you have any questions about Commercial Investment Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Investment Properties in Arizona,  I will gladly sit down with you and share my expertise and my professional opinion in Commercial Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Properties in Arizona with you.Obviously I am also in this to make money, but it could be a win-win situation for all of us. 


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