As an employee, it’s pretty darn clear what you have to do to receive a paycheck…
You have to show up on time, complete the tasks given to you by your boss, and not exceed the allotted thirty-minute to one-hour lunch break. Then you get to leave when the 5pm bell rings.
This is all well and good, but nowhere in there do you have to make a decision that exceeds, Should I fill up my coffee mug now or wait until I can’t hold my eyes open any longer? OR Should I pack my lunch or eat out today? Everything else from the hours of 9am to 5pm is pretty much mapped out for you by someone else.
Spending most of our lives being employees means that our decision-making abilities have been severely underutilized. You’ve had no choice but to follow the herd without having a say in the destination. Unfortunately, this cattle-like environment has not trained you to become a natural leader and decision-maker, which are critical skills you need to succeed as a small business owner.
If you’re constantly changing your mind or delaying important business decisions, you’re going to have a difficult journey reaching your long-term goals.
It would be like stopping at a stop sign in your car and making the decision to turn right to get to where you’re going. Then after driving a few miles, you second-guess yourself and decide you should have turned left. After you go back through the intersection, you wonder if your destination was actually straight-ahead in the first place, so you turn around again. How long do you think it’s going to take to arrive anywhere?
You guessed it—F-O-R-E-V-E-R.
To become a savvy small business owner, you have to sharpen your decision-making sword. Since you no longer have to run your ideas up the ladder to get approval, the approval process now rest entirely on your shoulders. Therefore, you have to become exceptional at making thoughtful, non-emotionally charged decisions on a moment’s notice, AND following through with them.
Here are a few helpful ways to sharpen your decision-making abilities:
- Don’t delay on making decisions. No one likes it when the person in front of them at Starbucks can’t make a freakin’ decision on what drink to order. Same in your business. Don’t rush decisions, but be timely about them. Take action and keep moving forward.
- Go with your gut instinct. Typically, your initial gut feeling about what choice to make is correct, so go with that. Overanalyzing every little detail will cause you to second-guess yourself and stall your forward momentum.
- Trust yourself. Use the information you have at hand to make the best decision you can. That’s all anyone can do.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. People delay on making decisions because they’re afraid they’ll make the wrong decision. But you’ll never know if it’s the right or wrong decision if you don’t take action in the first place. No one has all the answers. If you mess up, just learn the lessons and keep on plugging.
- Practice making decisions in other areas of your life besides business. Become that person who is known for being confident and decisive…whether it’s choosing a restaurant, picking out the right outfit, or deciding where to take vacation…by practicing it. Don’t automatically let the decisions fall on other people. Practice makes perfect when it comes to sharpening decision-making skills.
Keep in mind, making a decision in and of itself doesn’t do much. Once you make a decision, follow thru and back it up with action. That’s the real secret to becoming a highly successful business owners.
Want another great tip? Check out this article: Simple & Powerful Tip That Will Take Your Business to New Heights