A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Hey there!

We all have biases. For and against things. We make assumptions based on those biases, and we make decisions based on what we think we know to be true.

I’ve found that a simple, one-word question, answered as completely as possible, can help prevent us from making those mistakes.

And I can tell you, using that process is how I built my business (and why some people make vicious fun of me).

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and today I want to talk to you about
something that we all have we can’t
really avoid it but we can be careful
how it is used and how it rises up to
either help us or hurt us and what I’m
talking about are our personal biases so
we have bias against everything and we
have bias for a lot of things as well
and these biases are actually useful
because as over time they prove their
Worth they prove their truth they prove
their falsity we can use those to arrive
at decisions faster the the thing is
that sometimes we have a bias that isn’t
really true and so we have to be careful
that when we when we talk about our
decisions on things that if we’re basing
them on biases that we have that those
biases have been tested so there is one
question that you can ask when you spot
check yourself like you make a decision
and you go okay what would I made this
decision because I think this so the one
word question that you don’t want to ask
yourself is and
so what happened was there’s a famous
study that was done where there were two
resumes side by side exactly the same
one of them had the name of the person
who the resume belonged to very neutral
nondescript non-ethnic and then the
other was a series of ethnic names
foreign names urban names Hispanic names
etc and they asked a large group of
people would you hire this person and I
guess you can guess what the results
were that the nondescript names had a
much higher acceptance rate than the
names that were different that were
foreign that were members of minorities
or were Muslim or Hispanic there were
just all these all of these
socio-economic and racial groups that
are at risk of this sort of judgment and
bias they didn’t fare so well and when
you ask yourself why is it that you did
that you say well you know that name to
me didn’t feel like it fit for this this
this job and you have to ask yourself
why is that because you have to be able
to understand the truth behind something
to be able to find it useful otherwise
you can make big huge mistakes and
believe me this is something that other
people have used both for me and against
me as I’ve built my business some of you
may know that I teach a method of
recording audio books that’s different
from punch and roll and pro tools
I recommend a particular USB mic to use
if you’re making a decision at the
beginning of your career and even if
you’re currently doing it I use the
at2020 USB plus all the time and people
instantly make judgments based on their
bias of you have to have a great
microphone you certainly can’t do
anything but punch and roll in Pro Tools
and so you have to ask yourself and
now that you’ve come up with that
decision what makes that true do you
have experience using that mic do you
have experience with my process
completely not just what you’ve heard
from somebody who thinks they know what
the process is and this isn’t just about
technical stuff and business stuff like
you you might think to yourself I’m too
old to be successful it gets into the
whole limiting belief thing that I did
in the belief series last fall as we
record this too old to be successful and
so think about this as you make
decisions based on your rules the biases
that you have always ask and and then
try to be as complete and truthful and
accurate as you possibly can as you
complete the answer to that question I
think that’ll help you make decisions a
lot better and it’ll encourage you to go
find out more about that which you are
biased both for and against I’m
wondering what your biases are when have
you found yourself going oh yeah maybe I
shouldn’t have made that decision
because I was I had the wrong impression
you know biases rear their ugly heads
with many different words and phrases
have you had that happen to you have you
had it happen where you’ve tested your
bias and found it to be false and
changed your mind let me know in the
comments below I’d really appreciate it
we’re doing one of these videos a day
and I would love to I would love to hear
from you I heard from somebody last
night I was at sag AFTRA for a podcast
session I’m a young lady came up to me
alejandra red nose so she came up to me
and she said hello hey Alejandra um I
love hearing I just love I just love
hearing from people and I appreciate you
saying the kind words that you said and
I love getting feedback so in the in the
comments below let me know if you have
any questions about that I’d be happy to
answer them as well and we can also
answer them in upcoming videos if you
want to subscribe to my channel and know
when a new new video is coming up so go
ahead and click on my head or find the
subscribe button somewhere on this page
if you want to see the latest video I’ve
done go ahead and click on that frame
there and it’ll play for you right
that’s what YouTube does I’m David H
Lawrence xvii and I thank you so much
for watching and I’ll talk to you

4 Responses to A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

  1. Russ Wood February 15, 2019 at 6:25 am #

    I agree completely that we all have biases, no matter how vehemently some may deny it. It’s human, flawed yes, but human.

    I have made it a personal “challenge” to step back and examine why I have visceral reactions to moments, people and things. Quite often that “and” approach can be very illuminating.

    Learning to question, rather than simply decide based on bias and incomplete information can have a profound effect on your understanding and acceptance of differing opinions, lifestyles, cultures etc.

    I have just subscribed to your YouTube channel, and…

  2. ed waldorph February 15, 2019 at 10:13 am #

    One of the biases I have is, in fact, based upon one of your main precepts, David. I have a bias toward what works for me. I know that your mantra is, “Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”

    That means it is sometimes difficult for me to change my way of doing things. When I do it’s only after exhaustive research and trial.

    This does not mean I am not open to new things—this is a fast changing world and our business changes even faster. It’s just that new things come quickly but also sometimes go even more quickly. However, I’ll do my best to incorporate a new word into my vocabulary for action, and…

  3. Sheila Friedman February 15, 2019 at 5:40 pm #

    I honestly don’t know what I am biased about – however I will pay closer attention.

  4. Vicki February 26, 2019 at 8:57 am #

    First, I love these videos. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us.

    Second, I LOVE your ACX Masterclass process. It makes so much sense and makes everything so much easier and faster.

    Regarding bias, this isn’t about my personal bias (though no doubt I have them), but about what potential clients who are specifying a particular ethnic voice — African American woman, Asian woman, etc. I’ve seen quite a few of these the last few months and it puzzles me. Amongst my friends there is virtually no difference in how the African American women sound or the Asian women. They are Americans. Any different sound or accent is from the region in which they live. Am I missing something? Is there a different element to a diversity voices.

    About the example of the resume with different names, I wonder how many of those who looked as the ethnic names shied away simply because they were afraid to mispronounce it? We do tend to drift toward the familiar in our lives and even unusual spellings could give pause …. for example Kaley is a familiar name, but how a out Kalei or Kaylee. Would an experiment with a simple spelling change have netted similar results?

    Sorry, I’m too stream of consciousness today. More coffee needed.

    Thanks again!

Leave a Reply