Okay, so entrepreneurial or business success doesn’t come from just one thing, it comes from many.
Success is a combination of many things all coming together to create momentum.
One of those things is decisiveness.
It’s a tough one.
I see so many people mull and mull and mull some more over small things. I get it. You’ve poured countless hours into your product or service or web page and you want everything to be just right.
The problem is this… indecisiveness kills. It kills great work, it kills great ideas, it kills momentum… it’s a killer.
Because lack of decisiveness leads to inaction which leads to failure to execute.
If you spend 2 years deciding on a color for your Kindle book, how likely are you to ever even submit it? If you wait two weeks to decide to use that new and cheaper vendor, you might find he is now booked. If you wait too long with most things, you miss opportunity.
Missed opportunities leads most folks down a path of issues. Maybe you start to feel like you aren’t good enough, or that you keep missing the opportunities and it must mean you don’t do good work… Missed opportunities can cause you to feel less confident.
But, when we think clearly, and weigh the pros and cons quickly, we can jump on all those opportunities and end up feeling great… and accomplished.
So how can you be more decisive? How can you fight the desire to keep perfecting and call something good enough? How can you choose and know you’ve made the right decision?
Here are few tips that can help you make faster decisions with less regret:
1. Understand what you are up against. That means knowing exactly where the decision lies in the scheme of things. Some issues or choices are more important than others. Not every decision carries the same weight. Step back and put the decision you are facing in its proper place. You can create buckets for this and you can place decisions into various buckets that reflect different types of decisions and different priorities.
For example, you might have a money bucket. This bucket is where you place all of the decisions related to money: charging money, collecting money, creating estimates, paying bills, etc. For me, this is a high-priority bucket. That means decisions need to be made quickly and that those decisions get addressed first.
2. If everything is important… then nothing really is. Not every decision can carry the same weight. There’s no way taking Aunt Frieda to the hospital carries the same weight as the color for the cover of my new ebook. You must understand the weight a decision carries long before Aunt Frieda’s health forces you to.
For me, the money bucket carries the most weight, it is what keeps my business running. But for you, the most important bucket might be your kids. And for me the most important bucket means I make decisions quickly. For you, your most important bucket may mean you make decisions very thoughtfully since it’s your kids and maybe those decisions require extra time for research or discussion. Sitting down to think through all of this in advance will help you know how to spend your time better, and allow you to feel less overwhelmed.
3. Pick something. There are times when we might feel overwhelmed with all the looming decisions and even after you’ve created buckets for them, you still have lots of stuff in one bucket. That where you need to step back, close your eyes, and put your hand in the bucket. Just pick something, don’t think about it. And once you’ve grabbed an item, work it. Don’t worry about the other items in the bucket. Focus on only the one item in front of you. Work it with focused attention until you are done and decided. If you hit a snag, and that can happen, make the task your number one priority when the needed information or resources are available.
Sometimes things have a specific order. You must make one decision before moving onto the next. In those cases your choice of decision is limited so the thing holding you back might just be procrastination. In those times, you’ve simply got to buckle down and attack.
4. Get help. There are people in your network that can help you. Sometimes indecisiveness comes from not having all the information or not knowing how to find it. That’s when you reach out.
I use my first line of defense, my mastermind group. We have a Facebook group that allows us to simply post a question without bugging anyone. Whoever is around, and has time, can lend their help. Sometimes they don’t have the answers. At that point I can move to another group or person, or I can start my own search for answers. I try to reach out first because it saves time and time is critical for me.
5. A shot in the dark. Even after you have all the information you need, you’ve weighed the pros and cons, and you are still stuck… take a shot in the dark. Flip a coin, ask a friend… but simply choose. If you are constantly stuck in the cycle of indecisiveness, then you may need to feel uncomfortable a few times before you realize it’s all going to be okay.
In the end…
The reality is you are going to make a few bad choices; some of your decisions are going to fail. Nothing is risk-free. Success isn’t risk-free. Entrepreneurial success requires that we buck up and understand that there is no linear unaffected path to success.
If you just can’t seem to get through it, hire a coach or consultant. Someone who can ask the right questions, provide scenarios, and help you talk through doubt. An outside resource can really help you get momentum where you might otherwise fail to get traction.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up. Just reach out and get whatever type of help you need to keep moving forward!