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Good thinking is expensive but poor thinking costs a fortune

Poor thinking creates poor decisions. 

Poor decisions create more problems. 

More problems create more pressure.

More pressure creates poor thinking.

It takes a huge amount of time and energy to correct bad decisions, to solve problems and to cope with pressure. 

Far better to invest your time and energy, up front, on good thinking.

“Good thinking is expensive but poor thinking costs a fortune.” – Shane Parrish

You’ll build a great reputation and get paid a lot of money when you help your clients create the time for good thinking. 

Here are 5 ways to help create good thinking

  1. Deep listening
  2. Eliciting
  3. 10X
  4. Leadership
  5. Strategy

1. Deep listening

Bring your full presence—and call out the full presence of your client. Be patient. Create enough safety and love to get to the heart of what they really need. 

Listen for distinctions. Use curious, provocative and “obvious” questions to listen for what’s not being said. Ask “interested” questions, not “interesting” questions. 

Listen for the question behind the question. Listen for what the client needs, not what they think they want. Listen for the real problem, not the recurring problem. Use the power of silence

2. Eliciting

Help your clients to go deeper than they’ve ever gone. Elicit—draw out—their secret desires and their deepest fears. Draw out what they’ve never shared with another living soul. If you do, they’ll often cry. 

Get comfortable with tears. They are a release of emotion or tension. There’s often magic on the other side of tears. 

Be curious about how they think, not just what they think. Draw out their unseen gifts. And draw out the dark side of their gifts. Draw out the context of the situation, not just the content. Discover their sources of motivation and energy.

3. 10X

Expand your clients’ thinking and possibilities. Challenge them and stretch them. Congratulate them, then ask for 10X more.

Care so much that you don’t care. Broach topics your client didn’t retain you for. Don’t do the work for them and don’t share the burden. And make sure you don’t take on the role of a parent or friend. 

Use humor to remind them how powerful they are. Create experiments and games to draw out their greatness.

Balance challenge with recovery. Top performers can live constantly on the edge of burnout without noticing.

Discover what drains your clients and what energizes them. Help them remove everything that drains them from their life—people, places, things, thoughts and habits.

Help them spend more time in nature. Help them improve the quality of their sleep and nutrition. Help them move their bodies. 

4. Leadership

Be willing to both lead and let your client lead. 

Hide nothing and hold nothing back.

Champion your client. Tell them “I believe in you” and mean it.

Acknowledge your client’s strengths and their struggles. Celebrate their failures.

Share your biases and limits. Take responsibility for how you are heard, not just what you say.

Create clear agreements not expectations.

5. Strategy

Strategy isn’t about success in the moment but success in the long term. 

Once you’ve listened deeply, elicited what’s really going on, pushed their vision 10X and stretched their leadership, it’s often time to move into strategic thinking. 

Help your client develop a personal or business strategy. Help them think 10 or even 25 years into the future. 

Help them design environments that energize them and repair environments that drain them. 

Provide support and check-ins. Offer feedback, observations, insights, ideas and opinions. And suggest experts, books, tools and assessments. 

Good thinking is expensive but poor thinking costs a fortune

You’ll build a great reputation—and get paid a lot of money—when you help your clients create the time for good thinking. 

It starts by carving out the time for your own good thinking. 

Love. Rich


PS. Join me at California Deep Dive this May. There are only 3 spots left. There are ten spots in total and the first 7 have already gone! Deep Dives have always sold out, so don’t miss this one.


PLUS, whenever you’re ready – here are 4 more ways you can drastically increase your income and impact as a world-class coach:

  1. Read my Coaching in Challenging Times Playbook
  2. Join me on How To Coach A Superhero: The 4PC edition. Watch me coach some of the top coaches on the planet, in order to become one…
  3. Apply to join the 4PC waitlist. We’re meeting in Curaçao and Italy in 2023. Alaska, Portugal and Iceland in the years ahead. 
  4. Apply for 1:1 coaching with me in Q2 or Q3 2023. (Thinking Partnership, Protégé and Concierge Trusted Advisor)


Transforming world-class leaders into world-class coaches.
That’s what we do.

If this sounds like you, let’s talk and explore if working together is a good fit.

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