Anyway, in one of her blog posts, How to have unwavering faith in your own ideas, Christine mentions something about making quick decisions. I think this is important to expand upon because in my own entrepreneurial life and for those I often work with, it is common to question and over-analyze the decisions we make day-to-day about how we’re going to progress our endeavors (no matter how large or small the effect of the decision may be). I think one reason, entrepreneurs especially, fall into this analysis paralysis is that there is no one right way to be an entrepreneur. Perhaps, it comes down to having too many choices. Choices about the direction you take your business, about the web host you choose to use, about what shade of blue should be the accent color in your company’s logo.
The thing is, every choice is the right choice, depending on what you do or don’t do after making the decision. I’m talking about simply relying on your gut a bit to tip you one way or the other about choosing a route and making it work. I’m definitely not talking about making rash or uneducated decisions, but rather, limiting the amount of time you linger on actually pulling the trigger on making a decision.
Sometimes, you get to a point when taking too long to decide on something can have a negative outcome. You know, like in high school when you finally built up enough courage to ask that special someone you’ve been interested in to the homecoming dance only to find out that they’re already going with someone else. Had you just been comfortable enough with whatever his/her answer would be and been able to move on from there you would have likely found someone else to go with and still had a good time. Instead, the event of asking got built up so much in your mind that when the outcome wasn’t what you wanted, it became more damaging than if you hadn’t built it up so much. Thus, setting you back further than before, and it’s hard to rebuild that confidence after over-analyzed decisions have gone awry.
What I’m realizing is the over-analyzed decision process comes down to this: the unknown. Fear of not knowing what the outcome will be if you choose a particular route over another is usually what forces people to make no decision or potentially destructive decisions. You need to build confidence in yourself enough to realize that you’ve come this far in your life and in your career that clearly if a decision doesn’t pan out the way you had hoped you have enough knowledge and skills to figure out a different way to move forward.
You can build your decision-making confidence by starting with small decisions that come up. Set a time limit for yourself as to when you have to make a decision by, and make it a shorter time limit than you normally would be comfortable with. Then, once you reach the time limit, if you haven’ already made a decision, make one right then and there based on what you know and your gut reaction. Then don’t look back. I guarantee you’ll figure out how to move forward, even if you discover that you might have been better off making a different decision. I like the saying, ‘good now is better than perfect later.’ If you wait for the “perfect” time to make your decision, or the “perfect” situation you’ll likely miss a “great” opportunity now.