Category Archives: House

Angels In The Hallway

The Either Or Pattern

We humans like choice, but not too much.

Choosing between 3 or maybe 4 things is pretty easy.

Which makes sense.

They say we can hold between 5 and 9 (7 +/- 2) things in mind at once.

So looking at three kinds and choosing one means we’re really thinking of six things at once.

The pros and cons of each choice (pro and con times 3).

When we get up to four, it’s kind of stretching our brains.

Looking at five things, it starts to get difficult.

This is what marketers have found when experimenting with different choices on supermarket shelves.

Three variations seems to be the sweet spot.

But there’s another way to look at choice.

How we compare things to one another.

Students were asked to put their hands in a bucket of water, and guess the temperature.

The “test bucket” was always the same temperature.

But their “guess temperature” was dependent on what their OTHER HAND was doing.

If their other hand was in warm water, they under-estimated the test bucket.

If their other hand was in cold water, they over-estimated the test bucket.

So when offering a choice to somebody, how you present that choice will have a HUGE impact on how they choose.


A marketer was trying to sell a kitchen gadget. It had a few features and was $150.

People would look at it on the shelf, all by it’s lonesome, and only a few people would buy it.

All he did was take a much more expensive gadget ($400 or so) and put it next to the $150 gadget.

The $400 gadget had only a few more features.

So the $150 looked CHEAP by comparison.

Simply by rearranging his shelves, he sold WAY more stuff.

There are tons of ways to leverage this.

Especially if you already have two choices, and there is ONE that you prefer.

Just present the costs of the other choice (the one you don’t want them to choose) as being disproportionately higher than the associated benefits.

Then when they choose, it will be THEIR choice.

Even though you “helped” them make it.

Luckily, this is pretty easy to do conversationally.

Just take a little bit of thought before presenting your ideas, and present them accordingly.

Learn How:

Seven Laws

Whatever You Want, You Must Build

Who Are You Waiting For?

When I was a kid my friends and I saw this cool picture in a magazine.

It was of this woman who’d stacked up three golf balls on top of each other.

Now, the article was about something completely different, and the stacked up golf balls were only there to make it look interesting.

But for the next several days, that’s all my friends and I did.

Try and see how many golf balls we could stack up.

Most I ever got was three. My friend did four.

You need a very steady hand and as surface that won’t move.

I was also big into building card houses. Seeing how many stories we could get them.

Things like this are hard to build, and they collapse pretty easily.

Clearly, if you want to build something that will last, you need to make sure you’ve got a lot of things in place.

Solid ground. Sturdy construction equipment. A legitimate reason for doing it, since it’s going to take a while.

The most important thing, of course, is your life.

Yet most people spend zero time considering how to build it.

Imagine if you had a plot of land, and a pile of lumber. And you sat there waiting for somebody to come along and tell you what to do.

Or worse, you sat their waiting for somebody else to come and build your house for you!

Most people use this as their main strategy for building their lives, without even realizing it.

This used to work out fine, maybe fifty years or so ago. You just did what you were told, maybe figured out what you were good at, and showed up to work every day.

That was enough.

Not any more.

Now every single day can be seen as a balancing act. Unless you take your time to choose the building blocks wisely, who knows when it will come tumbling down.

Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it seems. But there is ONE crucial ingredient that most people don’t even want to talk about.

And THAT is self-responsibility. Sure, it’s not YOUR fault the world is messed up and everything is rigged.

But it is.

How YOU respond, though, is up to you. And ONLY you.

Since every single person has the same problem, namely, how to get their needs met in a world that is increasingly chaotic and rigged, few people are going to have spare time to lend you a hand.

So if you wait for somebody to come knocking on your door, take you by the hand and show you some secret step by step system that only a “few” people know about, you’ll be waiting a while.

But here’s the good news.

If you ARE willing to shoulder the responsibility for your life, you really can build it as big as you want.

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