I was asked recently, “How can I be confident in making the best decision for my business?” They went on to explain how they tend to have hesitancy when making big decisions. This is something I’ve dealt with firsthand. It’s not easy making confident decisions for your business, especially with outside forces changing so rapidly. No need to panic, though. Hopefully these tips I’ll share with you from my experience will help you better navigate your own decision-making process.
So, look, you can only make decisions based on the information you have. After you make the decision, sometimes new information comes into your purview. It’s okay if that new information means you need to change your mind. Changing your mind is totally allowed and appropriate most of the time.
It’s Okay to Not Be Perfect
For me personally, I know that in the moments I lacked confidence in making decisions, that was happening because I thought others would think I look like an idiot if I made the wrong decision.
People don’t need to agree with you, and it shouldn’t matter to you if others expect you to be perfect. You don’t really want people like that in your life. I mean, you don’t have control over how they look at you, and it’s also really exhausting if you’re trying to please someone who’s expecting you to be perfect.
Also, for me, I realized I’m just not that important. I mean, my perception is they’re going to think I look like an idiot. In reality they’re not thinking about me at all. I’m not that important in their life.
So, I had a lot of stuff that I worked through. Shout out to Kelly Ruta. She’s a business psychologist that I’ve worked with for years and was really great at helping me uncover some incidences in my past that led to that type of mindset where, I didn’t want to look like an idiot. I wanted to people please. I wanted them to all think and look at me as like, oh, look at John. Not a healthy way to live life.
Live your own life. Make mistakes. That’s totally okay. The ones you want in your life are going to extend you grace in the moments of your mistakes. And that advice includes you. Extend grace to yourself. You need to give yourself permission to be wrong. Especially if you’re making decisions for your business. Guess what? Other people didn’t even choose to create a business. Who cares what they think about the decisions that maybe you are having a hesitancy to make.
Now for a simple analysis that will help you see the decision you’re faced with from a different perspective. Answering the next two questions significantly increases your ability in making confident decisions.
What Does Success Look Like?
When you are making a big decision, determine ahead of time what success is going to look like after you make the decision. Usually, we make a decision to improve something to get us to a place where we’re not currently at. What is that place? What does it look like? How does it feel? Have that defined ahead of time so you know when you get there. When you compare it to where you started, that’s when you’re like, wow, look at this progress.
What Does Worst Case Scenario Look Like?
When making a big decision, it’s also good to know what worst case scenario looks like? Is worst case scenario going to put you out of business? Interacting with our clients and consulting with them for over a decade I can tell you very rarely will these big decisions that owners hesitate over end up bankrupting their business. So again, what does worst case scenario look like? Define it so you’re likely to see it coming.
Give Yourself a Cutoff Date
Regarding worst case scenario, you also want to know how long of a time period you can give your business to get past it before you cut it off.
As an example, more than a year ago, I sold a gym that I had owned for three years. I am not a good gym owner. I’ll tell you that much. My passion is with accounting and tax services and helping gyms understand business. But, yeah, I was not a great gym owner and the business failed because we just weren’t really good at getting in new clients. Amazing staff, great products, but we just needed more. Me and my business partner in that gym, we had reached a point where we’re like, okay, at what point do we say we’re done? Because we were in worst case scenario, which was putting money into the business every month, effectively subsidizing other people’s memberships because we had too big of a space and not enough members.
We had a lease coming due and decided to have that be our cutoff date. I don’t remember the exact dates, but let’s say the lease was ending July. We’d give ourselves until March to turn things around and at least break even. That way, if we were not at least breaking even by March, it gave us three months to find a buyer or sell the assets before we have to be out of the space. We gave ourselves a cutoff to reverse the decision of running the gym.
Same with you. If you’re hesitating with making decisions and you’re fearful that you have to make the best decision before you move forward, give yourself some permission. Think about worst case scenario, what does it look like? And then give yourself that cutoff date. That cutoff date acts as a protection for you and minimizes a lot of the risks.
Look at both ends of the spectrum. If you make the decision, on one end you have the awesome scenario that makes you feel successful and looks like this, then on the totally opposite end you have the absolute worst scenario that looks like this. A lot of times the worst-case analysis helps you realize, there’s not as much risk as you feared. By making that certain decision, you can move forward.
The Best Advice I Can Give You
Ultimately, stop assuming you have to make the best decision for your business when you make a decision. Make a decision and move forward. Then change things as you get more information as to whether it’s working or not working. This advice applies to decision making in general. Making confident decisions will just be a part of who you are.
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