This is Entrepreneurs of Faith, a Sunday episode of Monetization Nation. I’m Nathan Gwilliam, your host. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss four ways to make better decisions.
Henry Eyring gave a sermon in which he discusses the choices we are faced with in life. He said, “Such choices are not always easy to see clearly. You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness. Some of the most important choices are about what you set your heart upon.”
“There are so many things you may consider desirable,” Eyring continued, “For instance, all of us want, to some degree, the approval of other people. All of us feel a need for friends. All of us are searching for some evidence that we are persons of worth. We make choices based on those desires. Some might lead us away from the light God offers us as a guide. Some may brighten that light by which we can find our way.”
We have been given a guide for how we can make choices. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (KJV James 1:17)
Deciding To Sell
For Kim Walsh Phillips, founder of Powerful Professionals, it was hard to decide whether or not to sell her business. “For years I had an inkling that I was meant to do more,” Phillips said. “Some might call it the universe’s energy pulling me in a different direction. I call it God’s whisper that I was meant to do more and serve more.”
She knew she could do the work, but she didn’t want to let go of the revenue.”When I finally got the courage to let go of my marketing agency and pursue my true passion for teaching and coaching, I got three offers for my firm within 30 days. Not only was I able to exit with a nice payday, but the staff I didn’t take to my new company were all retained by my buyer.” Since selling, Phillips’ revenue has tripled Source: Forbes).
4 Ways to Make Better Business Decisions
Good choices are from above. We can use our morals and values to help us with our decision-making. However, these aren’t the only tools we’ve been given. As entrepreneurs, we have to make decisions that will impact our business every day.
“Every action in a business has some type of consequence. When making a decision, consider wisely what will produce the best results, not only for the short term but for the long term, as well. It can often take just as much effort to produce a negative result as it does to produce a positive result. Direct your energies, therefore, into those areas that have the potential to produce the most positive business results.” (Source: forbes.com)
Here are a few ways we can make better choices in our business.
1. Take It One Step at a Time
It can be overwhelming, especially at the start of a business, when we are forced to make decisions. We shouldn’t try to make all the decisions at once.
Being overwhelmed can paralyze us and stop us from making important decisions. “When you have too much on your mind, it becomes difficult to think clearly or to make good decisions. . . . Taking small bites is a good strategy for any decision that seems to overwhelm you. If you are faced with 12 choices, narrow it down to 3. If you want to buy 10 investment properties, decide to buy your first one. If you want to save $100,000, decide to save $10,000. Chunking decisions into smaller, bite-sized pieces allows you to process them and move forward.” (Source: coachcarson.com)
When things are overwhelming, taking a break can do a lot of good. “When things get hectic stop what you’re doing and take a 10-minute break. Take a few deep breaths and try to do something that will make you feel more relaxed such as taking a 10-minute walk, listening to the radio, or doing some stretching exercises to help de-stress. You will feel better and gain a fresh perspective on your current situation, whether it is dealing with your employees, giving a presentation, or improving your company’s marketing plan.” (Source: entrepreneur.com)
Breaking decisions down into one piece and taking breaks will help us be able to think clearly about our decisions, and therefore, make better decisions. I find that focusing on one decision at a time when I’m overwhelmed helps me to process the options much more effectively. The decision-making is much easier for me this way. Thomas Monson, another church leader, said, “Life by the yard is hard; by the inch, it’s a cinch.”
2. Consult Others
Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we may feel like all the decisions rest on our shoulders. While we often have to make the final decision on some things, we can leverage the people around us who we trust for support and guidance. Our partners, employees, family, and friends can often help us with our decisions, even if all they do is listen to us talk through our options.
I love exploring my options with trusted sources. Often, when I go through this exercise, the right decision appears much more clearly and the decision is much easier to make.
Chad Carson, entrepreneur and real estate investor said, “I have a rule in my real estate business never to make a large acquisition without at least letting 2-3 people I trust evaluate it with me. No matter how much I know, I am sure to have blind spots. Wise counsel from others gives me confidence and avoids large problems.”
Carson gave a list of all the people he consults: his business partner, wife, CPA, father (also an experienced investor), mentor, lenders, contractor, real estate agent, and attorney. “You may have different people on your list depending upon your business or situation,” he said. “But the important thing is to actually have the list, and then call upon them when you’re facing an important decision.” (Source: coachcarson.com)
3. Learn the Facts
In order to make any decision, we need to know as much information as possible, not only about our options, but also about ourselves, our company, and what’s best for us.
“There is no darkness but ignorance.”
– William Shakespeare
We must gather all the relevant facts and information we can that impact our business. “This is important because you do not want to miss critical information that could make a difference in how you run your business. Also, by being part of the information-gathering process, you can eliminate biases or opinions others may have.” (Source: entrepreneur.com)
We should understand how our competition is doing business and know how satisfied our customers are and find ways to improve. We can talk to our employees, clients, or customers “to get the necessary information regarding certain business operations. It is also important to read all of [our] important business reports and keep abreast on the media coverage of [our] business.” (Source: entrepreneur.com)
Through the internet, we also have mountains of information at our fingertips. The answer to most questions is just a few clicks and some research away. If there is something we don’t know about an aspect of our business, we can easily search for answers online.
“Of course, this does not replace real expertise born by experience. [We] won’t be able to install [a] tile floor immediately just because [we] read a checklist. But more information does allow [us] to ask better questions. More information makes the right and wrong decisions become more obvious. And more information removes some of the natural fear that comes from ignorance of any topic.” (Source: coachcarson.com)
4. Have a Goal
Without having a clear goal for our business, we will wander aimlessly in different directions and our decision-making will be a lot harder and less effective. “If you’re an entrepreneur or micro business, you don’t NEED a strategy, but having one will get you where you want to go faster. . . . Strategy is like a map. You don’t need a map to go somewhere new, the map will help you get there faster and on the best route (i.e. saving you time and money). The decisions you make on where you invest your time and money will be dictated by the vision for your business and your desired future.” (Source: smestrategy.net)
A goal, vision, or strategy will give us direction and unification. If everyone in our business knows what our goal is, we can all work toward that together. For example, one of Monetization Nation’s main goals right now is to publish one episode every day for a year. We’ve emphasized this to all of our team members, so everyone knows how important it is to make sure our episodes are ready to be published when the time comes. We’ve had some close calls. For example, one episode was published less than 10 minutes before midnight, but we hit the goal. Without a goal, there is no way we would have published every day so far. Everyone knows exactly what they need to do to help us reach that goal. Because of this, we haven’t missed a day so far, and we hope to continue that streak.
Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. Our values can help guide us to make good decisions.
2. Break decisions and steps down into smaller pieces to avoid being overwhelmed and simplify the decision-making.
3. Take breaks when necessary. They can help us think more clearly and give our minds time to process the options.
4. Ask others for their thoughts and talk out our options with them.
5. We should learn as much as we can about the situation and our options.
6. Having a goal will help us make decisions that bring us closer to that goal.
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