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15 November 2007


Thanks Paul for that truly powerful question. It can be so easy to stay attached to an idea even when it obviously isn't working.

Zero based thinking will make a lot of difference to me and my business (although I have a feeling it might sometimes be a painful process!)

Hi Louise

Thanks for the comment but really the thanks goes to Brian Tracy.

As I explained in the blog it made me focus on whether I should stay in the business advisory network.

At some time you do have to face up to problem issues and with hindsight, it is often the case that you wish you'd done it sooner.

Difficult decisions are never easy but I find the zero based approach really focuses my mind and helps put a grey, shady subject into black and white.

Knowing what I do know, would I...have started this blog.

You bet I would.

Hi Paul,

Most of my business education is Jay Abraham focused, haven't had time to explore other authors.

But I have been familiar with Brian Tray's zero based thinking, very powerful. It definitely allows you to get out of things that arent working. Your time is so valuable, you just cant waste it on alot of things that aren't working or that you wouldn't get into again.

Hey Paul,

As someone who was a four-year participant in Brian Tracy's "Focal Point" Coaching Program, I will say that Brian's "Zero-Based Thinking" philosophy is one of the most critical exercises an entreprenuer can perform. It can (and will) change the course of a persons business and life if practiced on a regular basis.

I have found that the only way a person can take full advantage of their life and business experiences, is to consistently ask (and answer) THE question, "knowing what I now know, would I have make the same decision again?". The only way some situations can get better is to stop doing what you've been doing and start doing what you should be doing.

By the way Paul, this is a great blog.

I'll visit often.


Hi Paul,

I remember that I once listened in one of the audios for Spike Humer that there are only FOUR ways to achieve real measurable success.

First, is to STOP doing what you are doing right now that doesn't bring you any kind of success.

Second, is to START doing what you are not doing right now that will bring you real success.

Third, is to do LESS of what you are doing right now that doesn't bring you any kind of sucess.

Fourth, is to do MORE of what you are doing right now that brings you real success.

I would say that most people prefer the third and fourth categories. It is almost easier for any person to start doing more or less of any thing he/she already does than to start something new or stop something old. Thus in addition to the Zero Based Thinking question for the giant Brian Tracy, it will be very helpful for people to ask themselves,

A- What are the things I need to do LESS of in order to achieve more success?

B- What are the things I need to do MORE of in order to achieve more success?

But still an elite entrepreneur will ask himself/herself:

A- What do I need to START doing right now that will bring myself more and more success?

B- What do I need to STOP doing right now to bring myself more and more success?

I prefer to belong to the elite entrepreneurs club.

What do other folks out there think?

Thanks for this comment Bob and I use the stop, less, more, start model myself.

The big mistake I see is that people think they can do more and start doing things without recognising that they need to create the time and space to do it.

Then they get frustrated because nothing happens or their stress levels shoot up because they move from working 60 hours per week to 80 hours per week and every extra hour has a diminishing return.

While people may not be productively active, we are always doing something, even if it is watching a bad reality TV show on the television.

The zero based thinking technique is terrific for really focusing in on the key issues.

Knowing what I know now would I still...

Life should be one long journey of learning and zero based thinking is a great way to speed up that learning and for facing up to those difficult decisions.

On the Stop Start More Less model, I have now written a blog explaining how it can be sued for time management, to improve processes and to improve value of your offer.


As the recession deepens, the power of zero based thinking becomes clearer when you have to examine your cost base.

You look at your list of costs and ask the zero based thinking question "Knowing what I know now, would I still..?"

This idea is closely related to a powerful technique called Zero Based Budgeting.

In zero based budgeting you start with a blank sheet of paper and answer the question "Assuming I am starting from nothing (the zero base) what must I spend to create the results I want?"

While it is a great technique, it is difficult to do and can be very time consuming as you have to justify why you need every cost.

The zero based thinking question is quicker. It starts with your existing costs and forces you to challenge them.

Do you have examples of where the zero based thinking approach has helped you to face up to difficult decisions or could be useful to you.

I'd like to hear where it can help you because I believe it's such an important concept.

No wonder Brian Tracy puts zero based thinking in so many of his programs.

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