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Business Decisions: How To Make Them Quickly, Correctly, And Stress Free...

Aug 17, 2007
How often do you have tough business decisions to make? If you're anything like me you probably end up flip flopping back and forth all day, trying to get some more information, and generally being really stressed out. Finally, your brain just gives up and creatively comes up with a way to distract you, by filling your day with little tasks...check your email, read some articles, make some calls, etc.

I call this "creative avoidance" (I don't think I came up with this, but I can't remember where I saw it first). The stress of making important business decisions is painful, and since our minds are designed to avoid pain, they will "invent" small easy tasks to fill our time.

The problem with tough business decisions and creative avoidance is that they can be huge time wasters. The business decisions causing you all that stress are typically the most important tasks you need to get done that day, but it's also the only thing you aren't making progress on!

About a year ago I was starting a new company. I had made lots of business decisions already by incorporating, developing the product, deciding on a name, and plenty of other things, but I just couldn't decide on a logo. I had hired someone to make some sketches, but none of them came back great. Then I designed a few on my own, but none of them looked quite right. Finally, I had some of my graphic artist friends put together some sketches, and still nothing was jumping out at me as being perfect!

As I sat there with all these sketches in front of me (actually they were thumbnails on my computer), I knew I had a tough business decision to make. I narrowed it down to about 5 designs, and asked the opinion of some friends. Their comments varied so much that there wasn't a clear winner. This was starting to really stress me out, and my creative avoidance kicked in! I tried working on other things like the website, press releases, and the final revisions to the product, but everywhere I turned the logo was holding me back. I couldn't launch the website without a logo, I couldn't send out a press release without a logo, and I couldn't engrave the product with my logo!

I realized one day that of all the business decisions I'd made, this logo was holding back my entire progress and I'd probably spent far too much time on it already. I resolved to decide that day, no matter what, and just went with my gut instinct. I really wasn't sure I'd made the right choice at the time, but it allowed me to make progress and freed up my mind to focus on more important things.

This story illustrates an important point: as entrepreneurs we must become comfortable with indecision.

Part of the job description is that there will be tough business decisions to make and it's our job to make them! In fact, whenever a tough decision comes up, take a moment to say to yourself "great, this is why I'm so successful, I take tough business decisions and make the right choice, I'm about to make some big progress".

Don't allow yourself to be paralyzed by business decisions. I'm sure you've been to meetings before where everyone talks and talk but nothing is decided! It's very frustrating, but the reality is that everyone is too scared of making a mistake down the road, so they don't act and nothing gets done.

Some great research has been done on the topic of decision making by Bryan Tracy, one of my favorite authors. As it turns out, eighty percent of decisions should be made right now, even if you only have partial information.

Of course there are those few business decisions that have such far reaching implications, it's worthwhile to get some more info. The way you remove the stress from these big decisions is by deciding a date to make the decision, no matter what.

Even if you still don't have all the information by that day, you must decide. If everyone involved knows there is a deadline to make the business decision, they can plan around it and minimize their worry.

I think you will find that your fears about making the wrong decision are almost always overestimated. We as human beings tend to vastly exaggerate the consequences in our mind, when in reality, just making a decision now, any decision, is better than waiting.

General George S. Patton had a few choice words that I believe are very relevant to making business decisions. He said:

"I would rather have a good plan today than a perfect plan two weeks from now."

Thank you George! Don't let important business decisions hold back your progress. Always remember to (1) not let "creative avoidance" fill your time, (2) become comfortable with indecision and realize it is your biggest opportunity for progress, and (3) set a deadline when the decision will be made "no matter what".

By following these simple steps, your business decisions will quickly become efficient, correct, and stress free.
About the Author
Brian Armstrong makes it easy to learn the secrets of todays top business owners. To discover the "7 Essential Steps to Starting a Business" in his Free Online Course, visit this site now: Business Decisions
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