Gut Decisions Are Often Bad Decisions


Tom Corley boats - crop

I’ve got a lot of hard proprietary data on why the rich are rich and why the poor are poor. Some of the research I’ve gathered centers around the decision-making process of self-made millionaires.

What I found is that self-made millionaires don’t make gut decisions. They don’t “trust their gut”. They mull their decisions over, sometimes for weeks or months, before making them. During this “mulling over” process, they seek out experts, other successful people, business partners or associates, trusted employees and close family members or friends. They are obsessed with gathering as much feedback information as possible before they make a decision. Each person’s feedback is like a puzzle piece. Those puzzle pieces are then carefully assembled to help self-made millionaires see a clear picture of the right course of action.

Once the self-made’s have their clear picture, they make a decision and then take immediate action. So, it might seem to the untrained observer, that quick actions imply quick decision-making, or gut decisions. My research says, not so.

Often, gut decisions turn out to be the right decisions. Particularly for successful people who have been around the block. But just as often, gut decisions can take you off a cliff.

Elon Musk was one of those who was forced to go right when he wanted to go left. PayPal was developed and launched as a money transfer service at Confinity in 1999, funded by John Malloy from BlueRun Ventures. In March 2000, Confinity agreed to merge with, an online banking company founded by Elon Musk. Musk and Malloy reached an impasse on the direction of PayPal. Musk’s gut told him PayPal’s business model was too limited. He wanted PayPal to become an online bank. The PayPal CEO and PayPal VC investor believed that was way beyond the scope of PayPal. Musk would not relent and was forced out. Musk held on to his PayPal stock. PayPal’s “limited” business model eventually went on to enormous success and was purchased by eBay. Musk received a windfall of $200 million from eBay for the stock he owned.

Like Musk, many of the self-made millionaires in my study acknowledged that some of their most critical decisions, the kind that can make or break a business, were forced upon them by others. Their gut told them to go left but their banks, business partners or spouses made them go right. Sometimes our gut decisions are often bad decisions.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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