I am often asked to consult with entrepreneurs and established business owners on how they can do things better, improve their business model, or better manage their employees. And I am surprised that, quite often, there is nothing overly wrong with their business, there are just a few tweaks needed to get the ship moving in the right direction. A great place for them (and for anyone) to start would be with one of the most elemental: decision-making.
This would seem like a pretty obvious thing, right? After all, we make decisions every day (Do I get up, or stay in bed? What do I have for lunch? Do I want to read a book or watch TV?), and they are things that we do without much conscious thought. But when it comes to decision-making in the business world, the decisions start taking on a much bigger degree of importance.
As a result, a lot of us agonize over the process, or we gather as much information and data as possible, or we ask everyone around us what they think, looking for validation on a decision that is ultimately ours to make. Whichever way we take it, it’s clear what many of us think: Decision-making in business carries a lot of weight.
Decision-making in business is no different than in everyday life. The important thing is to make one.
Our decisions feel bigger in business because they are attached to fears that loom larger: I will fail, I’ll lose this employee, everyone will think my logo stinks or that the business name is stupid, etc. In such an all-or-nothing line of thinking, any risk could spell the end. However, the reality is that you will fail many times and mostly in ways that won’t jeopardize the entire existence of the business.
Not failing means not taking risks; it means being afraid – which means what? Staying stagnant and running the risk of not growing or evolving, which is really why people ask me to consult: because they’re stuck and don’t know which direction to go in next.
Sure, we all make the wrong decision sometimes, in business as in real life (I shouldn’t have gone to that $9.99 all-you-can-eat sushi buffet…). And sure, some of those decisions could be detrimental. But the key word is some. There are so many great things we could be doing if we just made a decision, stuck to it and executed it. The worst that could happen is that it could fail, which only gives you an opportunity to learn. This sounds cliché but it’s true. If you never do something, you’ll never learn from it.
So, remember to have a belief in yourself and what you have set out to do. If you remain true to your authentic self and vision, failure may bruise – but it won’t break.
Dennis Masel is co-founder of Creative Circle. He believes in hiring people better than yourself and investing in them emotionally. He knows the key to success is daring your team to dream.