Many times, especially in business, we are faced with a difficult choice.

Often, these difficult choices leave us trying to decide between one option or the other.

Buy an office building, or lease office space?

Hire a new employee, or outsource to the Philippines?

Develop a new product, or focus on better marketing for the existing product line?

In almost every case, there is more to be gained by refusing the “either/or” decision paradigm… and instead embracing a “both/and” paradigm. For instance…

Instead of either buying an office building, or leasing office space… what if you became the landlord, owning the building, leasing from yourself, and collecting rent from other tenants? That might let you enjoy the best of both the options.

Instead the choice between hiring a new employee in-house or outsourcing to Manilla… what if you did both, and extended the speed, flexibility and working hours of your team… without spending extra money?

Instead of choosing between product development, or marketing existing products in a better way, why not do both? Is there really a reason you're forced to choose between the two options?

Usually, the answer is… there is no reason for such an artificial choice.

Free yourself from the box!

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

Grow Your Business

Grow Your Business

Proven teaching. Inspired approach. Free Course.

Click Here to Subscribe

  • Interesting take on it 🙂 I think it’s either / or type of choice because of the budget concerns and economical approach. Although I do agree in some cases one need to try both in order to test and identify what will be best fit for the business in long run.

    For example: “Hire a new employee, or outsource to the Philippines?”

    While second might be more economical at first, local employee can be a more practical approach in the long run, especially if it is done under “contractor” or freelancer status. 

    Just have to try 🙂

    • If you argue for your limitation, you are allowed to keep it.

      Sent from my iPad

  • Smart, liberating post.The more mental freedom and flexibility we have, the better.

    Good stuff, Ray.

  • Awesome advice, Ray.  I never thought of examining an either-or situation to see if a decision eliminating one of them was necessary, but I see in all your examples how a little bit of thinking outside the box can come up with new options.

    I’m going to be a little more innovative now when making decisions 🙂

  • So true, Ray!  So often, we’re limited to an either/or mentality.  Why not both?  WHY NOT!? 

    I’ve found one of the hardest questions to ask is, “What questions am I not asking?”  One of those questions has probably been “Why not both?”

    Thank you Ray!

    • I appreciate you taking time to comment. Thank you!

  • Katherine Haag

    Amen to both!

    I kind of see a lot of church “rules” as being something like that–“either/or”; when (given the proper circumstances and motivation, however unlikely they might be), the “or” could be the RIGHT thing to do, not the wrong thing.  God did it Himself, on occasion.  

    It would make it seem like He was disobeying His own rules… and the most “religious” would be the ones who most vehemently denied God could have anything to do with it.

    How about the virgin birth of Jesus, for instance?

    Sorry I’m so late to the ball game.  I’ve  been caring for an older lady with terminal illness for a year, and am just now cleaning up my e-mail boxes.