And in business, especially in the early days, simple things can easily go wrong and escalate quickly. We buy software that doesn’t do what we thought it would and end up with a complicated mash-up of zaps and systems that clearly don’t want to work together. We outsource work that ends up being below our standards and we lose, at best our time or, even worse, paying clients. Or we bring people into our businesses in good faith, only to discover, their marketing machine has done an incredible job but they’re not actually able to live up to their promise and you’ve now added an HR headache to the list of jobs that needed doing yesterday.
You also won’t have to look very far to find a business owner with a tale of the Knee-Jerk Aftermath, and they’ll tell you all about the pain of living with the consequences of making decisions in the heat of the moment.
I recently coached a business owner who succumbed to the overly pushy demands of a salesperson who was under pressure to close the sale. “You have 24 hours, or the deal is off the table”. Now I don’t know about you, but I get Bogart film flashbacks when I hear this kind of talk and as the man himself would say, there are “Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains!” this kind of tactic is just too old hat!
So if you’re feeling pressure to buy in the moment, suffering from buyer’s remorse, or hiding from the conversations that you feel you have no control over, here are my 5 tips to making more empowering decisions in your business.
- Their priorities are not your priorities
Whether it’s a pushy salesman, a deal that closes this weekend, or a low-stock-buy-quick moment, remember that it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to lose out by sleeping on it – after all, what kind of a business thrives by turning customers away? There will always be another offer! Now, if you know what you want, have done your due diligence and feel confident in your decision, then great, go for it. But if you’ve not covered these bases then it’s time to remind yourself that it will take much more energy, time, and money to undo the uninformed decisions you make. So, wait until you have all of the information you need to be able to make a decision that you are enduringly happy with.
- Trust your Instincts
That feeling in your gut when something’s not right can often be confused with excitement and get overlooked. In fact, when you get that feeling, and it usually ends in a good outcome, you’ll find it pretty hard to tell the difference. So, protect yourself by taking a moment to stop, breathe, look up to the sky and reconnect with the purpose that is driving your decision. Now ask yourself a question, does this feel aligned with that purpose, or is it another shiny distraction?
- Understand the needs that drive you
We are all driven by underlying needs that influence the decisions we make. Spend some time finding out what need is being fulfilled in the decisions you are making, are all the needs of the business being met, or just some of them and if just some, then are there enough?
- Ask a friend
What’s the point of being connected to other business owners if you don’t leverage that network? Contrary to what some people believe, asking for help is very empowering. On the one hand, that due diligence I mentioned earlier will happen faster and easier and on the other, you get to make someone feel good and have some of their needs met too. And if you’ve invested time in creating a diverse and motivated network, then bringing a group together to troubleshoot your decision will likely be as rewarding for them as it is for you.
- Know your numbers
If you enter a negotiation with no idea of how much things cost or a sense of the value of the product or service you are buying or selling, then you’re going to get stuck panic-thinking your way to a decision. Take the time to know all the relevant numbers relating to the decision, know your limits and be certain that when you are under pressure, you can hold steadfast. Do not let the ease of dropping a zero or pulling out the business credit card be the determining factor in the outcome you want.
Making empowered decisions in your business is something that you will have to do well and often if your business is to succeed. Having strategies to overcome the fear that often goes hand in hand with making change happen can mean not only will your business thrive, but you will also feel more confident with subsequent decisions. And then what happens is it will begin to feel like everything is slowing down to a pace that you can handle and your ability to make decisions is increased.