Business Mistakes to Avoid

Episode 980: Business Mistakes to Avoid, with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

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Business mistakes to avoidLearn strategies to shift from an obligation to an opportunity mindset, guiding leaders through the business mistakes to avoid.

Believe it or not, cognitive science can help us make better business decisions and know the business mistakes to avoid. Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist who is an expert at helping business owners recognize and overcome their internal “cognitive biases.” 

In this episode of Onward Nation, Dr. Tsipursky explains the science of decision-making and shares how our tribal instincts often lead us to make the wrong “gut decisions.” 

He outlines a realistic timeline of the global pandemic and shares tips and strategies for better judgment and taking the right risks while avoiding the wrong ones so that your business can navigate the pandemic and come roaring out the other side.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about business mistakes to avoid

  • How Dr. Gleb’s family life as a child informed his decision to study the behavioral science of risk-taking and decision-making in his career
  • How Dr. Gleb’s work lies in helping business owners identify and recognize the negative patterns within their decision-making processes that lead to business mistakes
  • How the “gut instincts” humans developed during our tribal stage of evolution often conflicts with the decisions we have to make in our modern world
  • Dr Gleb will share the guides for business mistakes to avoid
  • How our tribal instincts sometimes lead us to unfounded cognitive biases that lead us to make decisions that make little sense for our businesses
  • Why entrepreneurs often lean toward “optimism bias”, and how that optimism bias can negatively impact their decision-making and risk-taking
  • What steps entrepreneurs can take to avoid making decisions based on optimism bias, and what key five questions you should ask yourself to make decisions more effectively
  • Why resilience is the key to dealing with the long-term, lasting effects of the global pandemic and the chaos it has brought to business owners
  • Why the ongoing global pandemic is the “new abnormal”, and why our lives will likely be disrupted for as long as seven years until we’re back to normal again
  • Why the logistics of the vaccines currently in development mean that even once a vaccine is created it will take a long time to deploy to a critical mass of the population


Additional Resources:



Business Mistakes to Avoid: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner. 


Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. And your host for Onward Nation since roughly mid-March, we’ve all been working pretty hard, super long hours, and under a lot of pressure and stress as we’re all trying to navigate the choppy waters that COVID has presented us with. And over the last several months, you’ve likely heard me talk often with our guests about the importance of making sound, progressive decisions. There is a great data set that shows how the companies who survived the last six perceptions came roaring out the other side. 


We are the ones who made the progressive decisions and doubled down in the right areas. There is, of course, power in those decisions, but the key is to know which ones to make and when to make them. So, to help us strengthen our decision-making muscles. I am thrilled to have Dr. Gleb Tsipursky as our guest today. Dr. Gleb’s depth of expertise revolves around helping leaders protect themselves from dangerous judgment errors so they can make better decisions and protect their bottom lines, as well as his insights and wisdom. They have been featured in over 550 articles and 450 interviews in media such as Fast Company, CBS Times, business, Insider Inc. magazine, and many more Onward Nation. 


He is a behavioral economist, a cognitive neuroscientist, and the best-selling author of several books, including Never Go with Your Gut, his most recent book, Resilience Adapt in Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. So, without further ado, welcome to Onward Nation, Dr. Gleb. 


Thank you so much. Stephen, I really appreciate you welcoming me to the show. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Dr. Gleb’s Introduction


Well, it is an honor to have you here, sir. So I’m very much looking forward to the conversation about how we can be resilient and how we can adapt in the plan for what’s next and obviously, that’s a very difficult topic, but an important one. But before we get into that, I think it would be really helpful if you share some more details about your passenger journey with Onward Nation for additional context, and then we’ll dive in with what I’m sure is going to feel like a barrage of questions. I’m going to send it your way. 


Excellent. Looking forward to the barrage, but before that, so yeah, so my journey, my journey, actually in decision making in the risk management strategy, what are, those are my areas of expertise. That’s what I do. Focus on consulting, coaching, and training in those areas, and write about them. And those areas actually became my childhood. When they said that my parents behaved in ways that I already did as a kid, I saw us, but it took a rationale, unfortunately. For example, my mom liked to buy some clothing. So it should go out, and she’d buy a hundred dollars a sweater. And my dad was kind of a cheapskate. So when she would come home, he’d yell at her. So, no sweat, it shouldn’t be worse than $20. 


Then they go out and bring up the past hurts of him leaving the toilet seat and all of these other issues that they have challenges and tensions that are around. I saw that pattern repeating time after time or the clothing with other things; they weren’t engaging in the same behaviors and were expecting different results. So clearly, that was not a rational pattern of behavior at all. As a kid, I just saw how bad it was for them. And that it was for me to see my parents fight over stupid stuff again and again and again. That made me realize how we assess what kinds of decisions to make financially in our business. 


What are the business mistakes to avoid? I wasn’t thinking I was a kid and that I didn’t know about business, right? But can I ask you about finances? You know, kind of stuff to buy it and how to manage risks and all this other stuff. How to think strategically about these issues. When I tried to figure out how do you do that? My parents obviously couldn’t teach me much wisdom. You know, my fellow peers could teach you how much it was the monitor, and I’m a teacher and teaching this. I just kept hoping it would be taught about decision-making in elementary school, middle school, and high school. There was nothing about that college, right? That’s strategic about it, nothing. So graduate school Business, no, they don’t talk about that. They talk about the supply side and the demand side. They don’t have to talk about the decision-making and how you should. 


What’s the process for making the best decisions? You know what? I was born in 80, so that was coming of age all around the time the .com boom happened. So it was 18 and 1999 when companies were partying like it was 1999. For those who remember that mold, maybe it was just me. So, those were companies that were on,, and so on. And then just a couple of years later, when I was 21, 2000, 2002, they all went bust, same companies with that confidence, not calm, and so on. And they saw it, but the tech leaders and investors who praised his genius in 1999 on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, we’re now seeing going one from heroes to zeros.


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: From Academia to Practice


What are the business mistakes to avoid? So they were in 2001 and 2002, but their decision-making hasn’t changed. They just kind of got lucky in 1989, but Gut was unlucky in 2007 and 2002. So, how much of our business success as a digital luck context placement? There is a lot of stuff to unpack there, but that made me realize that the people who are praised as brilliant decision-makers in business often don’t know where they’re talking about. So, given that I decided to study the stuff, I went to graduate school and studied these topics. I got my PhD in decision-making and behavioral science, which is kind of the history of these topics, looking at how we make our decisions. And then I proceeded from there. 


What are the business mistakes to avoid? As I was doing that graduate study, I was also doing started doing consulting, coaching, and training on these topics. And so that’s kind of a combination of my experience. I was always moonlighting, even as an academic. I spent 15 years ago, the idea for researching this topic for seven years. A professor at Ohio State published plenty of peer-reviewed papers, but my passion was always more in the pragmatic services to companies and people whom I coach to help them make better decisions. Eventually, I left academia and am running companies in consulting and training, a company called Disaster Avoidance Experts, which does exactly that. And, of course, writing about these topics. So that’s what I am. 


That’s how my journey is up here, where I’m talking to you right now, Stephen. Okay. Excellent context. And a go back, guys. Go bucks. Yep. So, in all seriousness, I am a big Ohio State fan of excellence. I’m from the great state of Ohio. I grew up in Canton, Ohio. 


Oh, okay. Well, there we go. And so, I don’t say that facetiously, and I’m not trying to patronize you literally go back. Excellent. I support that. I support that message a hundred percent. In fact, while I was a professor at Ohio State several years ago, I was contractually obligated to cheer for the bad guys. 


Well, when I worked for the University of Wisconsin, and you know, we’re watching the Badgers play the Buckeyes, my wife said to me that I was cheering for the bad guys. And my wife said to me, she goes, shouldn’t you be rooting for the Badgers? I mean, that’s your employer. Shouldn’t you be rooting for the Badgers? I’m like, no. I mean, if the Buckeye is when I’m still, I’ve still got a job on Monday, so go back. There you go. When you, when you were studying, and now obviously a practitioner of all of that, that you studied when you are studying decision making behavioral science. And, but, but you are not just this, not just studying decision-making, we were also studying the patterns. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: The Key to Better Business Decisions


Right. And it sounds like when you were mentioning before, when you used the example of your parents, which was a really easy illustration to understand that you mentioned repeating patterns, right? And so, that is part of it is how do we help business owners make better decisions, but is it also, how do you help a business owner recognize the patterns that they might not even realize that they’re in? 


The answer is yes to both. So, the essence of this study of decision-making is looking at the patterns that we make as human beings, the bed patterns of decisions. So, if we all make these, they are called cognitive biases, dangerous judgment errors that come from how our brain is wired. They STEM from our evolutionary environment and just the structure of our brain. So here’s the key to the evolutionary environment. You know, you can hear a lot of gurus telling you to go with your gut, follow your heart, trust your intuition. It’s a very common message. That is what I heard from my parents about. Decision-making obviously didn’t work out well for them, then worked out well for many good Rose and many business leaders when they made bad decisions because they followed their Gut. 


What are the business mistakes to avoid? The problem with following your gut is that your Gut, as recent research shows, is actually not adapted to the modern environment. It’s adaptive to the ancestral environment. When we lived in Savannah ancestral, Savannah, in small tribes of 15 to 150 people were hunters, gatherers, and foragers who started guarding people. For example, we talk about how we make very bad decisions about others because of tribalism, why that is a fundamental part of who we are, and this in-group, out-group dynamic in the Savannah environment. It was incredibly important for us to be tribal because if we weren’t sufficiently tribal, we’d be kicked out of their chart by the way that, I mean that it was, we are the descendants of those within die. 


So we’re very strongly tribal. That’s how we had to be. We have to be very strongly status-oriented clients to the top of the tribe because that’s how we spread our genes. So, we are descendants of those who are very status-oriented for their genes. So right now, in the mother environment, we look for people who are like us, and we look to climb the status here, and both of those cause a lot of problems in businesses. For example, we talked about the bad guys, right? I was given a presentation here in Columbus, Ohio, to a regional conference of central Ohio experts in diversity inclusion and HR experts in diversity inclusion. Those are the closing keynote, over a hundred people.


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Understanding How They Influence Decision-Making


And I ask them, by the way, the full context for, for those of you who don’t know, Ohio State’s biggest football rival is the University of Michigan Wolverines. It’s the biggest rivalry in football, college football. So I ask them, how many of you hire a Wolverine fan? How many of you would hire that person? I do not want to have people, only three, raise their hands. Then the kid would hire a Wolverine only for free, and that’s diversity inclusion experts. 


Yeah. Do you know, I’ll just maybe add this to the research here. It could be because Wolverines are members of the weasel family. I would just throw that out there as another data point, perhaps. 


All right. That’s right. But it might be yes, exactly. That the weasel or its points of care and bosses. Yeah. So that is an example of what’s called the Horn’s effect is one of our cognitive biases, where, when we don’t like a certain characteristic about someone, whether that’s relevant or not, whether because it makes us feel like that person was not part of our tribe. We don’t like all of their other characteristics. So if we don’t like the team they root for, and if we care about football, which is not people believe me, people in Columbus, a higher do care about football, then we will tend to dislike that whole person altogether and disqualify them from job opportunities, right? 


Promotion opportunities, Business collaboration. And so that’s one example. Out of many where the horns affect the way we relieve people coming from our tribal environment, causing us to make bad decisions. 


Okay. Fair enough. And all of our Onward Nation listeners who happen to be Michigan Wolverines fans. Hopefully, they know me well enough to know that I’m just teasing. I have some very good friends who are Wolverine fans, but all joking aside, though, because cognitive biases are obviously very powerful, and you just demonstrated that with that example. So how do we? Maybe we have a couple more questions here before we dive into a couple of the golden nuggets out of your books, but how do we become even more? How do we become aware of them, and how are they affecting our behavior or getting us into these recurring patterns? 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: A Key Factor in Entrepreneurial Decision-Making


What are the business mistakes to avoid? The first thing to do, of course, is to learn about them. And if we don’t have knowledge, we will not understand what’s going on. So, for example, when I was going to graduate school, and I was learning about these topics, I learned about a cognitive bias called the optimism bias, where we tend to be people who are more optimistic tend to be sort of risk blind, and they tend to see the future is bright and full of promise and great, a nice and friendly. And I realized why I made so many stupid decisions when I was a kid because that’s the bias I suffered from personally. So, optimism bias is very much a part of who I am. I tend to see the future as bright. I tend to be risk blind, and there are people who have the opposite bias, the pessimistic bias, who see the future as a threat. 


Business mistakes to avoid: And so, how do you see the world as a dark place, and who are risk averse? Neither of those is good. You want to be balanced. That’s the best way to be. But for us, let’s say entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs overwhelmingly tend to suffer from the optimism bias. I mean, there is a reason that if they become entrepreneurs, even though about half of all startups fail within the first five years, three-quarters fail within the first 15 years. Right? And a lot of them lose their life savings. Well, they don’t; they think that they will succeed. And as a result, they don’t make good plans for the future. There are two reasons why the research shows the top two reasons why start-ups fail. 


Business mistakes to avoid: And we are not talking simply about. We’re talking about a normal world, not even in the context of the covert world, we can talk about separate abilities about COVID, but in a normal world, regular times they’ve failed because of one failure of fit, have a product to market services, to market, whatever your offering to the market that simply pure optimism where you didn’t do enough research, or it didn’t do enough testing in order to see if the market would like your product before going all in and starting your business and then, well not working out. So that’s one. The second is running out of cash before becoming profitable. Yes, there is a fit of profit, your product to market, but you are out of cash. 


Business mistakes to avoid: Again, that’s an issue of optimism. You are optimistic about the kinds of cash that you need in order to get there. And part of that, by the way, there’s one about that that is too optimistic about the amount of cash. And there’s too optimistic about the direction. So a lot of entrepreneurs who are optimistic, which are overwhelmingly entrepreneurs, are they tend to run into many different directions, whether as leaders of large companies, small companies, or mid-sized companies, tend to take on too many projects, they’re too optimistic about the ability and their team’s ability to complete projects. As a result, their start-ups often fail ’cause they would have, they would not have failed if they focused on a specific project and product, but they launched too many products focused in so many markets. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Practical Steps for Better Decision-Making


And again, the same problems happen in the larger companies where you don’t go don’t necessarily go bankrupt but don’t do nearly as well as they should. So I realized that even within myself, I can take correct. And I do take corrective steps to address that can talk about those, but that’s an example of how you need to realize what’s going on within you. And if you are the trip in you or are, you better believe you’re very, very likely to be too optimistic for their own good. 


Hey, Onward Nation. I wanted to take a quick break from the Episode to share a practical and tactical Resource with you. When we first released our book profitable podcasting, it became a number one new release on Amazon in 18 hours. Well, that was nearly three years ago, and we’re still getting great feedback on how helpful the book has been to business owners, just like you, as they launched a podcast to build their business. When I think a strategy is that you could be applying right now during these challenging times having your own show, which would be a conduit that you could use to teach and share your insights with your community, launch a podcast, or grow your existing show. 


I really should be at the top of your list. I want to help you get started by giving you access to a free chapter of my book. Just go to, and you’ll get the chapter where I show you how to confront and overcome your three biggest obstacles to success. And we will send it right to your inbox. Okay. So, I would love to get your advice on how to correct those when you just mentioned that piece. After that, we’re going to get into Resilience, your new book. Tell us about it. As soon as you’ve teed it up, just masterfully, as far as like, kind of what they are then, how do you see in if there are some light bulb moments when I’m sure that we’re with our listeners going, Oh, I do that too. 


So then, how do we protect ourselves from ourselves? 


Business mistakes to avoid: The first thing to realize for optimism bias for many of these other biases is how biased starting. It couldn’t be a little bit optimistic. He can be moderately optimistic and can be highly optimistic. So you want to realize the extent to which you’re biased in a certain area, and then you can correct your decisions by the extent of that bias. So you can see what you can do easily. So evaluate and set a certain measurement for your predictions of the future. So let’s say you’re thinking about, well, my business will grow that much, or I will close this many contracts, something like that. Or my clients will respond to some many clients that will respond to my emails, that I emailed them, or something like that. Open the right for your e-mails. 


Then see how much off you are. And that helps you understand the key: I’m approximately biased by this March. You know, I tend to be very strongly optimistic. The biases there are optimistically biased weekly, and then you can correct your decision-making for the future. That’s kind of one step. Second, you want to get an external perspective. It’s really helpful for me that my wife turned out to be pessimistically oriented. So I think the grass is green on the other side of the Hill, and she thinks it’s yellow on the other side of the Hill. So it’s very helpful to get the perspective of people who don’t share your bias, especially if they are coming from the opposite perspective, say, you want to make sure to get someone who has an external advisor. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Leveraging Spousal Collaboration for Better Decision-Making


Business mistakes to avoid: Someone said my wife has been doing business with me. We went to the company together. She does an internal part of operations. I do more of the external stuff, and she really helps me evaluate strategy and my perspective on lots of decisions. You know? So, for example, I’m an optimist, and as so many entrepreneurs are, I come up with 20 ideas before breakfast. And I think that is all brilliant. Well, guess what? I’ve learned that to me a better experience so that they’re not all brilliant. So what I do now is instead of just going off and implementing those 20 brilliant ideas, I hand them off to my wife, and she says well, these are all have big potatoes, but maybe these Free are kind of worth finishing bacon. 


Business mistakes to avoid: And the pessimists are sorry to say pessimists are terrible at generating ideas, which is not their strength. They inherently see the big flaws of each idea, and this shuts down their generating process. So, if you are brainstorming, if you don’t want to be doing it, brainstorming is not your forte. You’re just making them work without any benefits, but that’s not a good role for them. Their greatest evaluation. So, they evaluate their results of brainstorming and then improve it because what they can do is they can flex all the flaws in a really effective manner, looking at all the flaws, looking at all the problems, and then fixing them. So that is what they do really well. And then my wife takes those three ideas and implements them brilliantly because there are great implementers. 


Okay. So, you want to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each individual who has certain biases and then address them effectively to get that external perspective. That’s what you want to do for each bias. Learn about them, understand what’s most powerful for you, and then address them. And then there’s a five-step process by which you can address a lot of biases once and for all to make effective decisions. So, if you wanna make sure to make effective decisions here. So to just think a couple of minutes on any decision you don’t want to screw up if you are writing an important email, so that’s kind of a or deciding on a project, Oh, the sending of the mind of the project, this is, these are daily decisions. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: 5 Critical Questions for Foolproof Decision-Making


You can also use it in this process for major decisions making a major Hyer, or launching a new product. And that’s where you can do that as part of a team. But also, and we’ll talk about that, but here are the five questions that you want to ask about any decision that you don’t want to screw up. What evidence didn’t I take into account? What information do you consider? So that’s the first question. Why is that question important? It will help because my gut reaction is to look for evidence that confirms our beliefs. That’s a cognitive bias called the confirmation bias and the confirmation bias causes us to avoid looking for evidence that confirms our beliefs. So, you want to look specifically for evidence that shows you are wrong and try to prove yourself wrong with a question. 


If you can prove yourself, that would be great. You’re more likely to be right. But if you could prove yourself wrong, that’s great because then you’re not going to screw up your decisions. That’s the first question. Second, what dangerous judgment errors might be at play in this question? So think about what’s going on in the question. If you were to leave, if you are dealing with other people, it might have the horns, if I’m going on, or the halo effect, which is the exact opposite, where if you like one characteristic of someone will tend to like their other characteristics too much. Or if you’re looking at planning, one of their problematic tendencies is called the planning fallacy. This is another cognitive bias where we make plans and things of the future will go according to plan. 


We don’t address risks, problems, and contingencies nearly well enough, as the COVID example of COVID shows what a trusted objector advisor taught me. So what would you know, for me, it will be, what would my wife tell me that would be a trust in the objective advisor, but whoever his, your trust in the objective of adviser, you think about that a little angel or on your shoulder, you get about 50% of the benefit by just imagining what this person would tell you and just stepping outside of yourself. What would you tell a trusted and objective friend to do? And, of course, you get the other 50% of the benefits by calling this person. Or if you’re a millennial texting this person, how have I addressed all the ways this could fail? 


So think about the decision. What is the decision about how have you addressed all the ways that it could fail? Imagine that they completely failed, and then what are the reasons for failure and then to address each of those reasons. Finally, what new information would cause me to change my mind is really important. We greatly underestimate the fact that once we make a decision, we are emotionally attached to it. We’re committed to it because if we have to acknowledge ourselves in the wrong, we don’t like doing that if we change our minds. But if you preposition it, the changing of the mind is saying, well, okay, I will reconsider my decision. If we have this new information, then it would be very helpful for you to revise your decision and make it much less likely that you’ll scroll up. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Adapting and Planning for the New Abnormal


Wow. That was awesome. And I think I got it all into my notes correctly, as you are, as you are referring back to, like, as you went through the five questions you are mentioning, some at least are new to me. I know they are not new to you, but they are new to me as far as cognitive bias. Forgive me for not knowing this: which of your books, if any, actually shares some real depths on cognitive biases? Which are which ones are they? 


No, they’re Gut will never go there. Gut pioneering leaders make the best decisions and avoid business disasters. It’s available, though, of course, on Amazon, your local bookstore. If you still go to bookstores of Barnes and Noble and four physical copies, digital copies, and four folks for folks who like audiobooks available on Audible, again, Never go with your gut health by new ringleaders, make the best decisions in a way the business. 


Awesome. So thank you for that. So let’s talk about your new book with Resilience because there are some really cool, or I should say interesting words in the title. For example, when we talk about resilience and then we talk about the new, or you mention the new abnormal, Okay. So why choose to title the book? Resilience adapts in planning the new Abnormal.


Resilience is what we needed to have in this situation. A lot of people who are looking at COVID-19 are treating it as a sprint would have been treating it at the sprint from the very beginning, or unfortunately, a lot of the communication from top leaders has been that, well, that’s not worse than the fluid they’ll go away. Soon. Some people set their expectations pretty low, and they thought, well, that would be no. Or should I say high? They didn’t think that it would be a problem. So then they set their expectations high above the future, and they thought that it was going to be fine. So we’ll just deal with it and go for a short sprint. And that will be fine. And unfortunately, that’s not a reality. 


And I was talking about this from the very beginning. You know, I had time to write a book about this, and this is going to be something that lasts for several years, so I can go and do in-depth through it. Talking about this question, resilience is what you really need to have in order to deal with the full depth and the full extent of the pandemic for the next several years, until 2025 or so. Have that kind of that’s a little bit of a pessimistic mindset, but it’s much better to cope with the best plan for the worst. So that’s a very important dynamic. So resilience is something where you treat the future and what you’re doing. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Navigating the New Abnormal with Long-Term Planning


As a matter of fact, instead, have a sprint and prepare for the long-term outcome that you want to see as opposed to just hoping that they will get there and hope that COVID-19 will just go away. So that is the Resilience part. I talk extensively in the book about what it means to be resilient as a business leader, as a professional, and as an individual for your household. How can you be resilient in the face of this pandemic? What are the steps? What are the strategies? What are the cognitive biases that cause us to make bad decisions about it? So, talk about the cognitive biases related to bad decisions relating specifically to COVID-19. We can talk about that then, and at that point, we can plan. 


So you want to not simply treat this as a minor thing. I had a company contact me in September with major guests, an oil company, talking about how they wanted me to facilitate their strategic retreat. And I ask them, how are you? That was based on our previous books: How are we treating COVID-19? And they said, well, we’re not really thinking about that. There’s a strategic issue or thinking about it. This is a day-to-day. It shouldn’t be over soon. That was not helpful for them ’cause they had a lot of workers out with COVID-19, and of course, that has a lot of implications for their clients as an oil and gas company, so their long-term future was not going to be good if they just created as a day to day issues. 


So, you need to think about this strategic plan in advance and consider the depths of the current reality. So both of those are important. And then I talk about the new abnormal because we’re going to be in this situation for a time, several years; realistically speaking, it’s not going to be a month-long situation. You know, as a sub, many people are thinking it would be a week-long situation. For example, Elon Musk, one of the most prominent entrepreneurs out there, is very prominent. There are key tweets on March 19th that, based on current trends, we will be closer to zero or new cases in the U.S. by the end of April. Clearly, who we are. That’s not the case. We have over 8 million cases right now. Over 224,000 people died, and it’s tragic and sad, but he used his words to be followed by so many people who set an example for so many others. 


Learn more about business mistakes to avoid by getting a free sample of the book, “Never Go With Your Gut”


Business Mistakes to Avoid: Understanding the New Normal in the COVID-19 Era


So he’s one of the business leaders who are giving us an example of folks who could really underestimate the extent of the pandemic. You want to instead treat that as the new abnormal, So adaptive with a plan for it and leave it as though this is the life that you lead for the next several years, not just grin and bear it for the next couple of months, which so many people still want. 


Let’s go back to what you mentioned several years ago. You mentioned that a few minutes ago. So, let’s go back to that piece. So why do you think it’s because it will take that long for new behaviors and new patterns to get put into place, or do you see it as a behavioral thing, or is that an infectious disease thing, or is it a behavior plus infectious disease? So, why do you think several years? Right? 


Tell me the infectious disease part. And so there is certainly a behavioral issue, but it’s mainly to the infectious disease part. We have no effective treatments except the steroid dexamethasone treatment implemented. That’s the only effect of treatment, but this severe is something that has been shown to have some impact, but there are some doubts about it. So there are new studies coming out that are basically FDA-approved based on the company, and the study is Jillian. And there are some independent studies coming out showing it’s not nearly as effective as the company Gilead claims it is. We don’t have treatment even though it’s been 11 months. So clearly, the monoclonal antibodies might be an eventual treatment, but they are very expensive, and they cost tens of thousands of dollars, even with insurance. Oh goodness. 


I have to realize that. Yes. And they are available in very limited requirements to tease. It’s very hard to make them, so it’s not something that will be easy. So, a vaccine is our only option. The vaccine is going to be pretty difficult. There are a lot of companies that are trying to make vaccines. A lot of the early-stage vaccines have not worked out. And so right now, we have several vaccines that are in the final stages, Pfizer Johnson, Johnson Moderna, and so on. Now, those vaccines might or might not be safe and effective. You know, when you look at the vaccines, about 90% of them don’t make it through all the levels of the trials. So there are certain significant abilities that if some of these vaccines or all of them will not make it for trials. 


And once they do, there is actually a pretty low likelihood that they will be highly effective. The FDA, like they don’t think you found out, has been saying we should approve of a vaccine. That’s a 50% effective. So, there are likely foreshadowings of the kind of effectiveness of the vaccines we’ll have. And that’s not great. We only have less than 50% of the American population that has indicated a willingness, and here’s the behavioral part, but has indicated a willingness to take a vaccine. So think about this. If we have 50% of the American population taking a 50% effective vaccine, we will still have 75% vulnerability to COVID-19, right? So, instead of 224,000 people dying by now, that would be something like 150,000 people dying by now. 


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Business Mistakes to Avoid: Understanding the Timeline and Challenges Ahead


That’s still horrible. The disease is still out there, and we still have a full-blown pandemic, right? That doesn’t prevent the pandemic from being there. So that’s one. When will the vaccine be available? Even in the most optimistic scenario, the vaccine would not be widely available for people to start taking it until the summer of 2021. And then it will be very difficult to produce enough with the distribution and vaccinated people. The vaccines that are coming out right now need to be unlike the flu vaccine, which is called a vaccine. They need to be stored at a very called temperature, and then they need to be taken at once. So Pfizer, the two of them, the Pfizer vaccine, for example, which looks like it’s the leader, needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. 


Wow. Minus 70 degrees Celsius. Most hospitals don’t have that. I’m not going to speak a pharmacy in doctor’s offices. This is at the research hospital level, a research university level, or the lab level here in Columbus. Ohio is probably 10 places that have its sort of capacity. So, I imagine this is the metropolitan region to have over a million people, getting a million people through 10 vaccination points, right? That will not be easy, or maybe it’s set up if the army can set up military hospitals are something like that. That will take a lot of time, effort, work, and money. So that’s not going to be easier at all. So you’ll know the vaccination process itself. It will be long in difficult and that’s with a weekly effective vaccine. 


It will probably take a second-generation vaccine once we learn, well, okay, we have a 50% effective vaccine. Here’s why it’s only 50% effective. Maybe we’ll make a second-generation one. And the second generation will need to be made after we see what’s wrong with the first one. And that, again, needs to go through all the trials from the very beginning. So it will be a year or after the summer of 2021 when we can have a 90% effective vaccine. So, that is going to be the summer of 2022. And then again, we’ll take about a year to vaccinate people. So maybe the summer of 2020 is free, and that’s going to be a pretty optimistic scenario by which we have it might take third-generation vaccines. 


So it will be more in terms of 25 instead of 23. So it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be a hard time. And that’s why I say you should eat, you should hope for the best, but you should prepare for the worst. So you should prepare for 2025 as the timeline if you don’t want to have a very difficult situation on your hands in the future.


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Business Mistakes to Avoid: Decoding the Truth Behind Gut Feelings


Okay. How do, how do I sound? Or how do I say this without sounding like I’m gushing here? I think that’s the first optimistic yet cautiously optimistic with actual facts, like a timeline, that I’ve ever heard. Oh, and I’m, and I’m trying to, yes, I’m giving you a compliment, but at the same 0.2, I’m so grateful for you sharing that because not only did you mention a timeline, but then say like, it needs a stage by the way that timeline had stages in it. And you would say this because of that need, because of that, all of these things need to add up in order for this next thing to be realistic. 


I’m super grateful for that. My guess is that for many of our Onward Nation listeners, that’s the first time that they’ve heard of a timeline as well-constructed as what you just shared. It’s super important. And we haven’t had that type of conversation. So I’m grateful. 


Very welcome. And that’s what the book talks about. So, one section of the book talks about the timeline. So if you want to go in-depth and see how to apply it to your life and to your business, check out the book Resilience so that they can plan for the new normal of the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic. 


Wow. This has been an exceptional conversation, Dr. Gleb. So, I’m super grateful for the insights and wisdom you shared. Then, the fun that we had, as well as talking about Ohio state, but in all, all joking aside, this was amazing. So, I know we covered a lot, and I also know that our time is running short. And so, but before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, is there anything that you think we might’ve missed, any final advice, or any final insights that you would like to share with us? And then please tell Onward Nation, business owners, what the best way to connect with you is. 


The first thing that they want to share about how to the final insight is to go back to that gut feeling. Our gut often lies to us by definition, our gut feels good. We feel comfortable with something. And then when we feel comfortable with something, we mistake that for the truth, and we don’t feel comfortable. Well, Stephen and I don’t feel comfortable with the Wolverines fans, right? 


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Business Mistakes to Avoid: Last Bit of Advice and Connect with Dr. Gleb


And then, that causes us to be suspicious of France. That is not a true indication of their ability to be good business collaborators or friends, right? But that’s the gut reaction of any Buckeyes fan. And that’s understandable. That’s something you need to understand, and it is going on with the news, and that applies to so many things. You know, if you are optimistically biased, you’ll try to have good feelings about the future of your pessimistic bias. You’ll tend to have a bad feeling about the future. Those feelings are not at all indicative of their reality. So you needed to separate your gut intuition from your feelings, which you’ve probably learned to trust because so many people have advised you to do so from the reality of what’s going to happen and step back. 


They evaluated that reality and the clear-headed man that night in a cold, calm, cool, detached manner. They know the way that I went about developing the timeline and sharing about the timeline that was based on extensive research. I felt very uncomfortable while I was doing the research because I wanted to snap my fingers and have the World Bank right, but that’s not going to happen. So that’s something that you need to always realize your gut is often in the modern world is going to misinform you, and you need to learn the specific failure patterns, those cognitive biases, where that misinforms you and address them effectively. So, that’s what I wanted to share as a takeaway message. For my own resources, you can check out


There are blog articles, videos, podcasts of all sorts, and online classes such as manuals, books, coaching consulting, and [email protected]. There’s also a free online class for making effective decisions in the dressing, cognitive biases calls, and wise decisions. Make a course for the avoidance experts who have come forward and subscribed. Again, this is a Free eight-module course. I’m making the wisest decisions. I had disaster points, and experts have come forward to subscribe. 


Okay. Onward Nation, my hope is that no matter how often you go back and listen to Dr. Gleb’s words of wisdom and insights that he so generously shared with you. No matter how many times you go back and listen, my hope is that you will actually take what he shared with you and apply it to accelerate your results, and make your business better because of it in a doctor’s glove. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. And I am grateful that you took time out of your compressed schedule to share your insights and wisdom with us to be our outside advisor, our external adviser to help us move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, sir. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak. 


This episode is complete. So head over to for show notes and more foods to fuel your ambition. Continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation. 


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