Business is a lot like life. It's filled with decisions, and they're not always easy. In fact, sometimes they feel downright impossible! It can be easy to get caught up in dissecting the pros & cons and "what ifs" of the decision at hand to the point that we feel paralyzed in making a decision at all for fear of the wrong one. As an entrepreneur, it's important to learn to make decisions confidently and in a timely manner to ensure that your business continues to grow and prosper.
But no matter what kind of business you have or how many decisions are on the table, there are ways to make them easier AND you have everything you need to start doing it right now.
If you're feeling stuck in your decision-making process right now, here are some tips that will help:
Understand Your Goals and Values
In my experience, the first step in making good decisions in business comes from having absolute clarity around your values and goals for the business.
Company values are the very first scorecard that I suggest running any decision through. For instance, if a new opportunity feels out of alignment with my value of Empowerment, it becomes obvious that it isn’t an opportunity that I should pursue. Decision made.
If your values scorecard checks out, move on to connecting it with the goals that you're committed to focusing on.
If you haven't set any long-term goals, spend some time determining what they are before making any decisions. This will help you to prioritize what needs to get done first and provide you with confidence in your decision-making.
Ask yourself "Does this decision get me closer to reaching my goals or does it move me further away?" If you can't directly connect it to one of your goals, consider passing on it altogether! This will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by all of the options at hand which may lead you down paths that ultimately hinder your progress toward achieving your long-term goals.
Be Clear About Your Budget
Another key factor in making decisions is understanding the dollar and cents involved.
If money is tight, then certain options may be out of reach, so it’s important to understand where your limits are. Make sure you have an accurate understanding of how much money you have available so that any decisions you make are financially responsible ones.
Consider - will another area of the business be impacted by using your financial resources in this way? If so, take the time to consider the tradeoffs - it will help you decide if the investment is strategic to the bigger business picture.
Become Best Friends with Your Intuition
"Intuition is the ability to sense things without being able to explain them."
Intuition can be a powerful tool for making decisions. It allows you to access information that isn't available through your five senses and helps you make better choices. How do you use intuition? First by recognizing that there are two types of thought: rational thinking, the kind we use when we're solving math puzzles or figuring out how much money to invest in something; and intuitive thinking, which works in tandem with our emotions and unconscious mind.
We often feel this type of thinking as gut instinct or a hunch—something that just feels right or wrong about a situation even though we aren't sure why it does. Once you've identified what's going on inside yourself (your thoughts), then let those thoughts guide your actions accordingly (what you do).
Seek Advice from Others
Once you've gone through your own review, you can begin to make a decision. But there's an important step in between those two things: asking for help from people who know more than you do.
It's easy to think that we know everything there is to know about our own businesses, but the truth is that no one knows everything on their own. That's why it's so important to seek advice and counsel from others who have been through similar situations before—people who will be able to give thoughtful insights into how they might have handled things differently or what could go wrong if certain decisions are made incorrectly.
Seeking advice from trusted sources can help provide perspective and new ideas when faced with tough choices. Fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches, and advisors can help provide valuable insight into potential solutions or strategies for approaching a problem.
You should also consider seeking advice from people who have different perspectives than yours, because it may be helpful to get all sides of an issue before making a final decision. Be sure not only to look at technical issues (e.g., cost) but also non-technical ones (e.g., customer satisfaction).
So, when you’re faced with a decision in business, don’t stress. Take a step back, take a breath and ask yourself these questions:
What do I want my business to stand for and how can I demonstrate that through the decision?
Where do I want to take my business? How can this decision help them achieve these goals?
What are the potential costs of making this decision? Can they be mitigated or avoided altogether? What would be more effective than spending money on this project right now?
What is my gut telling me?
Who do I know that could provide me with their wisdom on the situation at hand?
Taking the time upfront to prepare yourself for decision-making will pay off in the long run and assist you in navigating the myriad of decisions that entrepreneurs face with confidence!
Keep Being Awesome!