Timely, Confident Decisions

As those of you who have read my book know, I really do enjoy sayings that neatly and cleanly summarize a thought or mindset. This month, I’d like to share one of my sayings with you:

“The art of business ownership is the ability to make timely,

confident decisions with incomplete information.”

Why do I share this with you? I share this because I’ve noticed that it’s one of the most difficult things for new business owners to do. Many folks begin their career as an employee. As an employee, you quickly learn that making ‘halfcocked decisions’ spending your employer’s money with incomplete information is a recipe for having to find a new job.

In addition, many professions out there require exactness and precision. Being an engineer requires knowing exactly what’s going to happen before you begin building the bridge. Being a surgeon requires knowing exactly what you’re going to do before you make the first incision. In life, we are often rewarded for making careful, thoughtful decisions and always being right.

Unfortunately, as a business owner, you don’t have that luxury. You’re constantly having to make decisions with incomplete information. When you hire a new employee, do you know if they’re going to work out? Obviously, you don’t. You simply hire the best person you can and hope that you’re able to train, coach, and motivate the rest. In other words, you start with raw material and you try to build a great employee.

The same thing applies to marketing programs. A new marketing approach is presented. Do you know if it’s going to work out? Obviously not. You make a measured investment and you adjust as you go. You track and improve. Over time, you continue to make decisions as to whether it’s something that you should continue to focus on or redirect you time and focus.

The challenge lies mostly in being able to make these decisions in a timely, confident manner. If you’re not able to do this, you’ll spend too much time trying to decide and not nearly enough time moving the business forward.

When I work with people, I let them know that at the end of the process there’ll be a time where making a decision is the right thing to do. If you’re able to recognize that point in time and make a timely, confident decision, it bodes well for your ability to be successful as a business owner. On the other hand, if it comes to that point and you continue to ask more and more questions that are less and less relevant, if you’re unable to sleep at night worried about possibly making the wrong decision, if your primary emotion is worry and fear, don’t do it!

Being a business owner isn’t for everyone. Being comfortable with uncertainty is a prerequisite. The confidence to adjust, correct, and grow is foundational to success. For those of you exploring business ownership, I hope this blog helps you determine whether the path of ownership is suitable for you.

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