How to make the right decisions for your business
It is a fact that most people who experience failure, attribute lack of decision as the main cause…the word “procrastination” should be erased from your dictionary!
There are two ways of making and administering decisions…one right, one wrong:
- Make them swiftly and change them slowly (if at all) – Right
- Make them slowly and change them often – Wrong
When something “crosses your path” be it a business idea or opportunity…take action if it makes sense to you. Don’t be swayed by gossip, the media or well-meaning friends. Use your own judgement (and that of your close group) and act on it quickly.
I am impulsive in my decision making to say the least.
When I saw the ad for the fore-mentioned Enduro Africa trip, I didn’t even register the amount of money needed to participate. I just jumped out of my chair, onto my computer and applied to take part…the finer details could be sorted later. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made as that trip changed my life on so many levels.
Another time I was so fed up with my finance job and life in general (always thinking “there has to be more than this”) that as soon as a friend called to say there was a job going in the Canary Islands (which had a drop zone…I was skydiving at the time), I needed no persuasion. I “fired my boss” that morning, made plans to leave and within a month I was on a plane with nothing more than a suitcase, stereo and parachute.
Again, one of my better decisions as Gran Canaria was where I met my wife and mother to my two wonderful children and that is where my life – part two – started!
I have made similar decisions throughout my working and business career and some have been the wrong choice but most have been right. How can you ever move forward unless you take “chances” and make mistakes now and again.
People throughout history, the pioneers, have all made countless mistakes and wrong decisions prior to making that big leap forward or that huge discovery that changed their lives but they have all had the guts to take that chance and the backbone to take the failures.
If I am lucky enough to reach 90 years old with my mind still intact, I am certain I will sit there (on a beach somewhere in the Bahamas) and say to myself, “yep, that was pretty cool”!
What I know what I won’t be saying is “Why didn’t I just do this or that? After all, I am still here”!
Only you can know for sure if something feels right…use your gut instinct.
I read somewhere this year that gut instinct is more significant than we realise and that we actually have a second “brain” within our stomach consisting of around 100 billion “brain” nerve cells…more than our spine.
Read This: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18779997
Related Book: The Second Brain
So there may be some truth to this and I for one am a believer.
I have experienced these gut feelings many times and 3 times in particular that really stand out to me. Whilst these are fairly “heavy”, non business related and serious, these feelings can also apply to business deals or proposals you may come across…listen to your instinct.
- When I was at my “local” skydiving drop zone in Kent on the 22nd March 1998, I had a sudden, strong urge NOT to jump and refused to add my name to the manifest (list of jumpers). After hours of friends persuading me I finally decided to give in and jump (and even had it videoed).
The jump went fine and I messed about with the cameraman until it came to pulling the handle.
Now I don’t know whether this was due to the cut away handle being so close to the pull handle or the fact that I had subconsciously “talked myself into” the fact that something would happen, but I pulled the wrong handle and cutaway the main parachute before it had even opened.
Luckily, I found the reserve at about 4 seconds from impact and had “one or two” beers that night to celebrate (you buy a case of beer for everybody for any major event or achievement when skydiving).
Excuse the quality of this short clip, this is the only copy of the malfunction I have from when I filmed the TV screen once…original was stolen when we got robbed in Spain. Also, I had only just qualified too hence the “pants” exit etc : )
One could argue that my gut instinct was telling me I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to jump that day.
- A similar sickly feeling came over me a few weeks later in mid May, but this time much stronger. So strong that I refused to jump at all before my next birthday on June 3rd. I still went to the drop zone but wouldn’t jump.
Then, at the end of May, one of my instructors (and pilot of the jump planes as well as the host of many a good drop zone party) had a double malfunction (over the spot where I had mine in March) and died…a few days before my birthday.
It may well be a coincidence but I still listened to my gut instincts and a couple of days later on May 31st, I jumped again.
Note: These events also played a huge role in my decision to leave the UK in August that year.
- The next time I had this feeling was in Spain during my first job there. The sickening gut feeling came on so strong and so quickly whilst we were playing cards one Friday that I told the people playing to listen to me and write down what I said as proof, I wanted to make the feeling “public” this time.
Because I had these “gut” feelings before, I told them that something very bad was going to happen soon and that I wouldn’t being going to a party that had been organised for the Saturday night.
They asked if I thought someone would be fired from work or what and I said no, something much worse…just gut instinct.
It just so happens that one of our friends and colleagues who went to that party, on the way home drove his car into a ditch, drunk, and then went home where he committed suicide. Not sure if my feelings were related to that or not and I guess I will never know…
However, it’s not all doom and gloom because more often than not I get a good feeling, excited almost, and one time I felt this way in my early 20’s, my grandmother announced she had some bonds maturing for us that she had set up when we were young children (not a huge amount but enough to clear some debts at the time).
I guess the moral of this chapter it to listen to your gut instinct or any feelings you get with regards to decision making both in business and in life (I call them my guardian angels).
Weigh up the worst case scenario, deal with it or plan for it before it happens so you know you have covered all the bases, and if it still feels right…do it, if it doesn’t feel right…don’t!
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