The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. I think the average entrepreneur may make twice that number! OK, 70,000 decisions a day might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly feels like it. That’s because every decision entrepreneurs make has a rippling effect that usually impacts personnel, operations, customers, and the entire business. By Alesia Visconti
The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. I think the average entrepreneur may make twice that number! OK, 70,000 decisions a day might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly feels like it. That’s because every decision entrepreneurs make has a rippling effect that usually impacts personnel, operations, customers, and the entire business. So maybe the decisions aren’t twice as many… they just feel twice as impactful!
So how do most entrepreneurs go about making decisions? How do they not second-guess the decisions that they make?
One way is to let your core values guide you. If you stay loyal to your organization’s core values, you will stay true to making decisions that support your company’s mission statement, your company’s culture, and the values that your team respects.
Indecision seems to be a block for some entrepreneurs. The fear of regret, of being “wrong” in their decision, or of letting down their team can make some analyze until they feel paralyzed, resulting in no decision being their decision. That line of thinking is frustrating for the team, which looks to its leader for marching orders.
I asked two very successful decision makers to shed some light on their experiences and methods.
Jerry Egner, president of Closets By Design Franchising, sees the ability to make decisions as what defines an entrepreneur. He said, “Leaders understand decision making is a responsibility, not a choice. A thousand bad decisions is better than no decision at all, but the real challenge is to maintain discipline to stay true to your core values and your objectives.” Egner also shared his thoughts on following one’s instincts: “My experience has been that the more I educate myself and take the time to think a situation through while keeping everyone’s best interests in mind, the more my instincts are better. Funny how that works.”
Getting input from others who think differently also leads to making decisions. Having a team with diverse thinking helps decision makers see points of view they might not have considered otherwise.
Cameron Wears, senior manager of franchise development at WOW 1 Day Painting, explained it this way: “When it comes to decision making, my natural tendency is to trust my gut first. Knowing this about myself, I’ve learned to slow down and seek advice from all stakeholders before moving forward with a decision. I’m fortunate to work with talented and smart people who have different perspectives and experiences. I encourage healthy debate and love it when the status quo is challenged. That’s where innovation occurs.”
Decision making can be an agonizing situation for many. Here’s a little tip I often shared with my clients when I was a life coach. We’ve all heard about the coin toss and letting the fate of heads or tails preside. While that is not a good strategy for entrepreneurs making critical decisions, there is use for a coin flip, albeit different than what you might think.
Let’s say you’re torn between a choice of going international or just staying domestic. Although you have an opportunity, and you have done your research and due diligence, you’re still not sure which path to take. How do you make that decision? Here’s where a coin toss can come into play: Heads means you stay domestic, and tails means you take the opportunity and go international. You flip the coin and it comes up heads. How does your gut immediately feel? Relieved or disappointed? Your immediate reaction will give you insight into the decision that really calls to you. How you handle it from that point out is up to you, but at least you know what your inner voice is saying to you.
– Alesia Visconti
Alesia Visconti, CFC, is the CEO/Publisher of Franchise Dictionary Magazine and the CEO of FranServe Inc., the world’s largest franchise consulting and expansion organization. She has 20 years of experience as a C-level executive, driving organizational development and taking companies to the next level. An author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur, her motto in life is “Work hard, play hard, help others, repeat.” A self-proclaimed nerd, Alesia loves all things “superhero.”