The Company We Keep

On this episode of THE COMPANY WE KEEP podcast, host Jason Pearl goes back and tracks the evolution of his decision-making process throughout his career and gives practical advice to help you navigate your toughest decisions.

Show Notes

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Show Highlights: 
(00:00) Introduction
(01:29) How I Made Decisions Post-College
(07:24) How I Made Decisions Mid-Career
(10:59) How I Make Decisions Now
(13:29) My Decision-Making Framework: Head, Heart, House
(18:15) Recap

Here’s a little advice: I only want to do things I’m set on fire to do.

Mentioned On The Episode: 
Gary Vaynerchuk
Dave Ramsey

What is The Company We Keep?

Jason Pearl is a second generation entrepreneur, bootstrapping business owner, loving husband, devoted dad, and raging Bills fan. He tosses aside the idea that you can't have it all and devotes his life to proving it wrong. Grab a cup of coffee and join Jason every Tuesday morning as he dives into topics to help everyday business owners and entrepreneurs think differently about growth and success, and how to achieve a better balance in both business and in life. He’s also shining a giant spotlight on some very smart people in his inner-circle that have helped ignite his success along the way.

All right. All right. Welcome to another episode of The Company We Keep podcast. I'm your host, Jason Pearl, looking forward to another episode here with you today. What is The Company We Keep podcast about? We talk about this every episode, but this podcast is about, and for everyday business owners, entrepreneurs, and high performers that are looking at the world a little differently, or they want to look at the world a little differently. They want to look at the world differently when it comes to growth when it comes to success and they want to learn and talk about how to achieve balance both in business and life. And in this episode, I'm really excited about this one because we're going to be talking about decision-making and really, quite frankly, we're going to be talking about decision-making and its evolution.

I'm going to walk you through what I've experienced in my life professionally, and even personally when it comes to decision-making and just want to break it into three categories and talk about where I'm at today, but how my decision-making has evolved over the course of the past maybe, 20 plus years of my adult life.

We decide and we make thousands of decisions every day. Most of which are small decisions. Like I'm going to put one foot in front of the other, and I'm going to go downstairs and pour myself a cup of coffee or whatever the case may be.

But we make decisions all day long. And what we want to talk about today is specifically focusing around professionally, how are ways that we can maybe make decisions and what is a process that I've gone through in how I make decisions and potentially how it may help you.


Let's get started here. Cause what I wanted to start with is basically talking about the evolution of my decision-making, and we're going to start pretty much out of college, right? So we're going to go early career, we're going to go mid-career, and then we're going to go present day.

And obviously, my career is far from being over, but I'm going to break it into thirds just to illustrate how my personal decision-making has changed and how it may be able to help you.

So we talk about early twenties. We talk about right out of college: your first type of professional job and all of that type of stuff decision-making is really interesting.

We're going to look at the approach, the motivation, and then what the results have been through the lens of what I've gone through personally. But then I'd like you to think about it through your lenses, wherever you may find yourself. You may find yourself listening to this podcast and you may be right out of college and you may be going right through this process with me as we're talking.

And that's great. That's why I might want to have you listen to this, cause it may help you. And then we're going to go through, we're going to look at it through some anecdotal, like funny stories of things that I've done through my life, but then also looking at decision-making through approach motivation, and then what the result is.

In my early twenties, I really felt that all of my decisions were based on me having something to prove. And I think a lot of young folks just trying to get their start are trying to prove a lot to themselves, trying to prove a lot maybe to their family or their parents, or, whether you were brought up in a way where you were taught that you could do anything, or whether you were brought up in a way and taught that you're never gonna amount to anything. And then everything in between of that.

And I think that the wonderful part about this life we all share together is the fact that everyone has a very unique life, a very unique upbringing, and a very unique situation where some of your decision-making is rooted in how you were raised and for me, and I've talked about it in previous episodes, and I'll continue to talk about is being a product of two self-employed parents, I had a goal in mind to achieve the success that they had and potentially even achieve more. So for me, when I got out of college and I knew that working in the family business wasn't an option anymore, I had something to prove to myself. I had something to prove to others and something to prove to myself. And what that meant was I was really focused on just trying to make people believe in me, which in some way, shape and form are good, but in a lot of ways, it's bad because I think, at my young age, I was going about it the wrong way. I was using other people's success as motivation, but it was the bad motivation, right?

It was the motivation like I was looking at others and seeing maybe others succeed faster than I had succeeded, whether it be in title and money and promotion, things of that nature. I was looking at it through the wrong lens. So for me, I was always trying to maybe do things that were going to impress people or make people think more of me.

And I think this is a common thing with younger people. Hopefully, if you're listening to this, this may be able to speak into your life and may help you change some things. But I've spoken before about some of the people that I admire and Gary Vaynerchuk is one of them. I just, love his approach and love the inspiration that he puts out into the world. But he has a really funny quote that he says all the time and it's, and this probably sums up my early twenties and early to mid-twenties. Gary Vaynerchuk says, "Stop buying dumb stuff to make people you don't even like, think you are doing well."

So when it came to decision-making, I always found myself thinking like, Oh, if I have a nicer car or if I have this, or I have that, if I have a nicer suit, people are gonna think I'm doing really well. So everything was image-based, but oftentimes when you make that be the most important thing that's going on, it leaves you hollow inside. And it makes your actions seem very vain based. And I think for me, I was probably right in that mark. In addition to that, what it does is that from a decision-making standpoint, when you're looking to do things like that, you're oftentimes taking your eye off the main prize which if we were looking professionally as success because sometimes vanity and things like that are pretty easily looked at right.

People can point that out, but also too, what it does is it makes you make bad decisions and how you spend your money. When you're a young guy or girl, just getting your start professionally, it's not about driving the BMW. I remember seeing like some of my friends buy luxury brand cars, I'm thinking, how are they buying luxury brand cars?

Do they have that much money where they can buy that car? Why don't I have that money to buy this car? I've talked about Dave Ramsey before in other episodes, and he has a really funny quote as well. It's a serious quote, but I find it funny because I believe that I probably fell into this category where it says.

He says, "act your wage." As a young buck, I was making decisions that weren't acting my wage. It was, I was acting a wage of maybe a few levels up and that creates some issues long-term. Obviously, I made some good decisions as well throughout this timeframe of my life.

But there were some negative connotations to it. So my approach during my early twenties was quick decision-making with little thought. It was almost like you want it, you buy it. Or you have a decision in front of you, you make a quick decision that was very emotionally- based, not much strategy. You just make the decision. A motivation for me was to make myself feel good or to help build myself up or to impress or prove things to others.

When that was my main motivation. That's where you can start making some poor decisions or quick decisions with vanity-type reasons is a dumb decision. So that was the result. I made some very good professional decisions.

I moved around a few times in my early twenties, which really helped propel my career. But certainly, there was immaturity in my approach and my motivation, and my decision-making, throughout my early twenties. And I think that's something that if I had to do it over again, there are obviously certain things that I would keep there. But if I started, which I'll talk about in a minute, if I was processing decisions then the way I process them now, I think there would have been some different outcomes.


As you move forward from the early to mid-twenties for me, and when you look into what I am calling a mid-career, so maybe seven, eight years into my career. How was I processing decision-making differently than maybe I did in my early twenties? And for me, decision-making started to become very much specifically around business success. So I got very focused on the evolution of my career. What was going to happen? What could I do to positively impact my career? So it came about success and promotions and all of those things. I had a young family at this time, so I was married, had a young daughter. During this timeframe, there's a significant amount of limited time. When you have a young family, and at the time I, my wife was staying home raising my daughter, which we were very proud and very happy to do - one of the best decisions that we've ever made. Probably the most questioned decision, which is really interesting that people around us had about making this choice to only have a single-income household.

But to me, that was one of the best decisions that we made. My, my wife's a wonderful mother and an extremely talented woman. But we decided together that her staying home and raising, and being a stay-at-home mom, raising our daughter was a really important thing.

And regardless of the impact, it was going to make financially, we're willing to weather that storm so that we could do things like that. So during this time there, there was stress. I had a ton of stress. I had this caveman, like I need to provide, me provide food and money for family.

I was a caveman thinking like it was the provision side of my motivation that was really driving it which pushed me into almost this unhealthy relationship with my career because I wanted to work hard and I wanted to prove that I could outwork and out succeed people so I could provide. Which maybe at its core seems noble, but because I looked at it and this limited way work became my refuge. When you have a young family at home and all these responsibilities that are going on, if I could just say, oh, I'm really busy at work. I've got to go in early and stay late. You avoid some of those things that, and this doesn't mean I was a disengaged dad or anything like that, it was, I was a very engaged dad, but I just was looking at things where my success was what my family needed. And that takes your eye off the prize, at times for things that are really the most important thing. Obviously, whether it be faith or fellowship with others, church, things of that nature, took my eye off the prize there because it was all about title, promotion, success, and things of that nature. I made a lot of very good decisions professionally throughout this timeframe. I definitely matured improved in my management style. Really started working on my craft. There's still when you have this very narrow-minded, it's only success professionally. I'm sure there are other, decisions that failed that I made because I was only looking at it through this lens.

My motivation in my approach was looking at things through a business lens. My motivation was trying to get promoted so I could provide, and it was money motivated. And then the result was twofold, some positives, some negatives, it became more focused and more effective at work. Got promoted multiple times. And that was great. But I also put probably too much value on money and didn't have the best balance in the work and home life.

And that's something that you hear me talk about a lot now and the way I am now is really very dictated by reflecting on what my life was like previously. And again, I'm not trying to say it, but life was bad or anything like that. No, it was good, but it could have been better if I made different decisions. Decisions that were processed through the lens I'm about to talk about.


So we went through my early career and then mid-career and now let's talk about some present day because this is where I know that I'm so much more strategic with the decision-making I have today.

For example, today I process decisions whether they be professionally or personally through a few different lenses. But the first lens is always faith and family first. That's been an extremely big part of my life for the past seven or eight years. And it has really helped me focus and have immense clarity and immense intention in what I'm doing.

And most people that have known me throughout my career and have known me probably since I was a kid and stuff like that would probably tell you that they've seen a change. And that changes that my, my intentionality with what I do is much more thought out. And don't get me wrong, I think some of this does have to do with maturity.

But that doesn't mean that I couldn't have been more mature earlier on in my career. I could have looked at things this way, but quite honestly my motivation was different and the company I kept was probably feeding more of this into me then than what should have been fed into me. For example, as I said, I process things through a few lenses, faith and family first.

My time with my family and my relationship with my faith are really important and they go hand in hand, and so decision-making comes into that. Money is not a bad thing, but people have a bad relationship with money. So my relationship with money has changed. As I've said in previous episodes, the day I gave up the dream of being rich is the day things changed for me.

The day I let money not be the idol that I focused on and ran after, that's when things started to change for me. And I just started doing things that I thought were going to fill me up and things that I thought were going to make me happy. Like spending more time with my family, being more intentional with the people that were in my life.

Really working hard to build others, build others up in. I talk about my professional framework, but it's really, it's both business and life framework, which is processing things, in building up people through what's going on in your Head, what's going on in your Heart, and what's going on in your Household, or what's happening in your House.

And I think this is a great framework for making decisions because it touches every aspect of your life. So for me, as I said, the lens faith, family, first, secondly, I'm looking at Head, Heart, House. So from a Head standpoint is like strategically, when I'm making a decision around I have a decision in front of me.

I look at it and say, okay what's this decision all about? And by the way, I take time and I pause. So I said early in my career, I made decisions very fast. When it comes to something that I think is going to be very impactful, either positively or negatively, you have to take time. People say I'm going to sleep on it.


I think that's a great idea. Giving a decision and processing a decision with time is important because it gives you time to work through the framework that you have. For me, it was like, what are my strategic goals? Both personally and professionally? So in my Head, it's as if it's a business-focused decision, I'll say, okay, do I have the bandwidth? Do I have the time? Do I have the effort? Is this something that I really want to do? How is this going to help me further my business, my consulting business, Nacre Consulting? How's this going to further the opportunities that I have professionally and the goals that I have professionally? So I'll process that through the Head portion of my framework, and then through the Heart portion of the framework, it's, does this match my morals? From a Heart standpoint does this decision, is this going to affect my morals of what I believe to be true in and what I should be doing both personally and professionally in business? Because who you are professionally, it should be the same as who you are at home. And then I asked myself from a Heart standpoint as well, can I be passionate about whatever this decision is? Can I go all in, will this make me want to work harder or achieve a goal? I'm going to wake up every day with fire in my belly to want to achieve whatever this decision is in front of me?

And I think that's really important. And for me, I know from a Heart standpoint, that was the reason I'd started Nacre Consulting four years ago. I knew that it was going to match my morals and helped me have a balance at home. I knew that I was going to be passionate about it because the only one that can make it successful would be me. And I would have motivation every day to get up and run after it really hard. And it was going to want to make me work harder. Cause I still have I still have the provision side of things.

I still have to take care of my family and all of those things. That's how I processed it. That was really a very Heart-based decision. It was, it was faith and family and then a Heart-based decision to make me start my own business.

And then from a House standpoint or household is you have to look and say, how is this going to affect my home life? What is this going to do from a time standpoint? Was this going to do from a stress standpoint? Effort? What's the risk versus the reward, things of that nature. Really interesting story, I have a really close friend through church that we've gone through something called Fight Club, which is a 90-day, like mind, body, spirit, men's fellowship devotional period.

We've done it twice together and we become really close, so we text and talk all the time and he was texting me actually yesterday about an opportunity. He has a full-time job, but he's really interested in potentially being an entrepreneur. And he has all these ideas that come through and he was texting me about this one idea, and it actually sounds like a really good idea.

But I just said, Hey I'm actually recording a podcast tomorrow on decision-making, so let's work through this. I said like, how are you processing this decision? There's an opportunity in front of you. What process it through Head, Heart, House, and then we processed it through Head. We processed it through Heart. And then when it came to the House standpoint, I said how is this gonna affect your home life? You work a full-time job. You're looking at doing something else separate on the side. And now this is a second side project. What is this going to do to affect your home life? Time? Stress. Effort? Risk? Reward? He's in the process of selling one house and moving in, going to be doing massive upgrades to another house. So I just said, you have to look at it. I'm not saying that the answer is yes, you should take on this project or no, you shouldn't. Only you can make that decision. But the fact of the matter is you need to process it through. We had a really good conversation about it. And so that's how I think you can use this framework and really process through decisions the right way because for me it comes down to protecting my time and my freedom. I have no problem sharing my time with others. I really enjoy it actually. But it has to be on brand and on point for what I want to do. And if it's not on brand or on point then I'm not going to do it. That doesn't mean I'm going to be rude and be like, I don't want to do it. You don't fit my brand or you don't fit into this. It's just you know what, I'm just going to pass right now. Now's not the right time for me to take this on, but in the future, maybe I'll process it again and we'll see what happens. So when you go through what I'm going through from a presentation standpoint I am working through my own framework.

I built a framework cause it was the only thing that seemed to help me. And for me it's about protecting, like I said, protecting my time and freedom, but it's also about planting seeds, right? Is this is the work I'm going to be doing today? Is it going to grow? Am I planting seeds?

Am I going to water it? And is it going to grow? Can it grow my business or can I personally grow from this? Is that the lens I look through? And also too, for me, I look at what opportunities come up. If it's a work thing is do I get to collaborate with others that I respect and that I love and that I want to spend time with.

There are all sorts of things that come through that. So for present-day, obviously my decision-making has really changed. And I love it. And I'm happy that I've had this evolution of my decision-making process, but it certainly took me a little bit to get there.

The approach has been intentionality, everything filters through that: faith, family, love, happiness, helping others, and building others up. Faith and family over everything.

That's the approach. Motivation: I look at it like am I practicing what I preach? If I talk into a microphone to you guys every week, is this what I'm talking about? Cause if it's not in that motivation, then I can't do it. And for me, I want to be very successful, but I want to be the best husband, best father, best friend that I can be. A result of doing that is I live a life of fulfillment. Doesn't mean that I don't struggle, doesn't mean that I don't have bad days, doesn't mean that things don't go wrong, it doesn't mean I still don't make mistakes. I make mistakes. But I'll probably make less mistakes than if I use this framework and filter it through.


I only want to do things I'm set on fire to do. This is why I do this podcast. I do this podcast because I've made a ton of mistakes, and I've learned a ton, and I've matured a ton. And I just want to share that stuff because I think if I can do it, I know that everyone here that's listening can do it.

And if you guys take one thing away from what I'm talking about in this podcast, whether it's this podcast episode or any other that you've listened to, like for me, I feel like I'm doing my job. Because I started this podcast to put a message out there. Those are going to help people.

And I'm not reinventing the wheel. This isn't rocket science, but the fact of the matter is I've made some mistakes, and I've learned from them, and I want to share them with you. I was really excited about recording this podcast and just wanted to, again, thank you guys all for joining.

If I can help you process decisions better, that's what I'm here to do. Through this podcast and through, all the stuff that I put out on my website, Engage with me - there are lots of ways to do it there. Go check it out and find out if there are ways that you want to get in contact with me, you can do that.

I appreciate everyone listening. It's been so much fun doing this. If you're really enjoying it, hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode. From a homework standpoint, if you actually think about how you make decisions today, and then you become more intentional about how you make decisions, I'm pretty sure it's gonna work out for you.

Thanks again for spending time with me today. This is Jason Pearl. I appreciate you keeping me company, and this is The Company We Keep podcast. Until next time I'm out. Peace.