At its core, running a business is really just making a series of decisions. This can be a lot harder than it sounds, especially given the high stakes for seemingly every call you have to make as an entrepreneur. On top of that, you need to be able to take risks and make big swings, and knowing exactly when to do that is tricky. If you want to get better at entrepreneurship and take your business to the next level, the best thing you can do for yourself is work on your decision-making skills. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips you can use to start making wiser and more thoughtful decisions every day at work.
If you’re going to be making decisions, it probably goes without saying that you should understand exactly what it is you’re thinking over. Even though it’s a little obvious, it’s still worth mentioning as one of the most important things you can do before making any decision. Don’t rely too heavily on other people to do this for you – you should know everything about your business personally. Otherwise, you could end up making choices based on other people’s preconceptions or biases.
Remember, the only one who knows exactly what you want your business to be is you! Trust your advisors, but always do your own research to be safe. Talk to your employees, talk to your customers, check out the competition. Make sure that you’re always reading the industry news in any trade publications. Staying abreast of not only your own company’s doings but also the movements of the market is vital.
This can be one of the hardest things to learn, especially if you’re just getting started with your entrepreneurial career. We all have that little voice in our heads telling us that we’re not good enough, or we’re making bad choices, or that we’re in over our heads. Learning to ignore that voice and have faith in your own decision-making is hard, but it’s a vital part of successfully running a business.
If you want to be really successful and stand out from your competitors, you have to be willing to do things that other people aren’t doing. That means forging your own path, which can be scary. You need to have complete confidence in yourself and your vision. Note that this doesn’t mean you should be arrogant or unwilling to reassess things! That balance can be difficult to find and takes years to master, but it will end up being the core of all your business success in the future.
Think Through the Results
Before making a decision, make sure that you’ve fully thought through every possible result of the call you’re about to make. That doesn’t just mean short-term effects, either. Make sure you’re planning out any long-term ramifications as well.
What could this choice mean for your customers? For the morale of your employees? How does it potentially affect the market as a whole? It might seem overkill, but smart entrepreneurs are always aware of the effects of their decisions, and that helps them see the full field in ways that other people often can’t. However, don’t let this paralyze you! Overthinking things is an easy trap to fall into, and you can end up freezing and taking too long with your decisions. This is just as bad as being impulsive – if not worse! At a certain point, you have to be willing to pull the trigger and make things happen, even if you’re not 100% sure what’s going to happen next.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Here’s a hard truth: no matter how informed and confident you are in your own abilities, you’re still going to make mistakes sometimes. That’s an inevitable part of both life and business, which means it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to react to those mistakes. Take some advice from Nelson Mandela, who once said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” This is a critical part of anyone’s entrepreneurial journey. Every failure, every mistake is a chance for you to learn and grow as a person and as a business owner, so don’t let that opportunity go by! Take a hard look at your error, figure out what you did wrong and how you can avoid making the same mistake again in the future.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
Even though you’re the lead visionary for your business, that doesn’t mean that you have to be making every single decision all by yourself. Having a network of people around you is important for any person, but especially so for would-be entrepreneurs. Friends, family, mentors, or other people in the industry can be great sounding boards for ideas and can give you crucial advice when you’re stuck on a decision.
Remember that everyone has blind spots – even you! You might think that you have all the information you need, but an outside perspective can catch things that you hadn’t even considered. This doesn’t have to be someone you know personally, either. Guest conference speakers are experts in their fields and have more than enough experience to help you out with whatever you’re struggling with. Using every tool available to you is what smart entrepreneurs do, and you should consider people to be part of your toolbox. If you’re struggling with a choice or decision, ask for help!
Relax and De-Stress
Hard work is a necessary part of any success story, but it’s important to know when to stop the work and take a beat. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to be working all the time, but that’s not realistic. The human body isn’t meant to be under stress all day every day! Working too hard can wear you down and make you less effective, which does you and your business a disservice. Take breaks, go for walks, and don’t forget to spend time with your friends and family. Try to remember why you’re working so hard – it’s not just for the sake of working! Life is a gift, so don’t forget to enjoy it.