Every single day, in many aspects of our lives we are faced with decision making. Muesli or Weetbix? Flatties or boots? Umbrella or not? It is no different in our business lives. For a soloist, it takes on an added complexity as we often don’t have anyone immediate to discuss the decision with.
I am by nature a hopeless decision maker. Combined with not being a risk taker, it makes for a long and laborious decision-making process at times! Given these two facts, it is a wonder that my business ever got off the ground. Today I want to share with you the three things I learnt about my decision-making process in the hope that it will help the doubter in you.
1. It’s OK to take time making a decision – but not too long
With every decision that needed to be made came a long and drawn out process of weighing up the pros and cons, researching all the possibilities, reading reviews and taking copious notes. What I realised is that my lack of ability to come to a reasonably quick conclusion was stalling my progress. I was not achieving anything in a timely manner.
Now, when I am faced with a major decision, I accept that I may take longer than the average person to come to a conclusion. However, to ensure that I actually make progress I put a timeframe on when the decision needs to be made. That way I can still satisfy my risk-averse nature, but accomplish decisions and tasks within a reasonable time.
2. Your first instinct in usually right
When I started taking note of my lack of decision making prowess I found that the solution to my problem was usually the first one that I came across. All the additional research and doubt generally lead me in a large confusing circle … right back to where I started. Using your ‘gut instinct’ in business is a proven scientific fact. Don’t be scared to tune into it, and use it.
3. Wrong decisions don’t mean the end of the world
I was so caught up in not making the wrong decision, that I couldn’t see the right solution staring me in the face. When I did make the wrong decision it was compounded by the fact that I wasted so much time on arriving at it.
I needed to accept that a wrong decision doesn’t mean failure or that the world was going to end. I needed to understand that a wrong decision is an opportunity to do better in the future. The past has gone and there is nothing we can do about it. I recently read a quote that said “Failure is just a bruise, not a tattoo”. I now realise that failure isn’t permanent.
Whether we’ve made a good decision or a bad decision, as long as we accept the outcome we can move on. Every road leads us on a new exciting journey.