Why do entrepreneurs make emotional decisions? Arguably the world’s leading expert on emotional decision making, Antonio Demasio, whose TED Talk has had more than one million views, has found that people who have damage to the part of their brain that controls emotions have difficulty making even the most basic decisions: what to wear, what to eat, etc. Therefore, all decisions involve some level of emotions.

What we need to ask is “how” rather than “why” emotions affect our decisions. It’s easy to recall those moments when strong emotions swayed our decisions, usually in a bad way. Most decisions made when we’re angry or upset have negative implications—the ones you wish you could take back. Scientists say we tend to focus on negative consequences, rather than positive. These seem to take root more deeply in our memories, and we use negative memories to make current and future decisions to try to avoid those same consequences.



Since many if not most of you reading this own or run a small business, your personal and business identities are closely connected. When someone questions your pricing or tries to get a discount, many people react emotionally, as if it’s an attack on your value. While that’s a common reaction, it’s a little misguided. When you’re the customer, don’t you want to have the best quality and service and the right price? You don’t want to overpay. You want to know that someone else isn’t going to come along after you and pay less for the same services.

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