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THE ART OF MAKING PROFITABLE DECISIONS!

10 steps to turn procrastination into action, and action into results.

“If you want something you've never had You must be willing to do something you've never done.” ― Thomas Jefferson

So many people ask me for help with decision making. Decisions seem to be a scary thing for us as human beings.

Especially for us, women who want to accommodate everyone and everything, think about everyone’s feelings, aim to create harmony, and generally put everyone and everything before our own needs, and then the usual worry on top of it all…what will people think of my decision? What if I make the wrong decision?

I spent some time analysing my 13 years in the business world and reflecting on my own journey to nailing decision making. Here is my short guide for you. 

This is the pure essence of years of learning, experimenting, studying, reflecting and practicing!

You can use it or throw it away, the decision of course is yours.

When I first became a Business Manager I was scared (terrified even) of making decisions, in case I made the wrong one, in case I failed, in case people would think that I’m stupid, in case I made a mistake, in case my decision would be different to what majority of people would do if they were deciding…the list goes on.

I created more reasons not to make decisions than I had decisions to make!

I wanted to feel more confident so I set out on a quest to find the perfect way of decision making.

I read lots of books, I watched lots of videos, studied decision making models and went on a business course.

With every model I thought – is this THE ONE???

Will the 6 Thinking Hats be my saviour?

Will the Decision Making Tree by my perfect solution?

Will the Rational model save me from any potential embarrassment?

Needless to say that, although they can all be useful at times, none of them were the perfect solution for me.

None of them offered to be my soulmate, the one who will look out for me and give me a helping hand when I need it

None of them gave me the reassurance I was after, and none of them…I have ever seen used in business decision making. Or any decision making really.

So if none of the tried & tested academic solutions worked……..’What does work Mrs Clever Cloggs’ I hear you say….well, let me tell you…

Yes, you guessed it, there isn’t one perfect, safe, tried and tested solution that will work for you every time.

How am I meant to feel more confident about decision making then? I hear you say, so here are my tips for you:

  1. Treat everything as an experiment. The truth is that most decisions won’t impact you for the rest of your life (unless you are planning to jump out of a plane without a parachute #pleasedon’t)

  2. Remember that there are no failures!!! Everything is a lesson, and every lesson you learn is not only making you wiser, but it’s also getting you closer to where you need to be on your path!

  3. Use your intuition, what does your gut tell you? If it doesn’t feel right…it probably isn’t!

  4. Use your team or friends to observe you when you are talking about your options. What do you seem more excited about? What’s your tone of voice and body language saying about each option? If you are not excited about something you won’t put your heart in it, so even if it’s a sensible decision it won’t bring you amazing results!

  5. Ask yourself: What fears or inner drives are influencing your response? How could you remove those things from the equation so you can make a better decision?

  6. Imagine there are NO negative consequences, everything goes swimmingly, everyone supports and is happy for you, no-one is upset or hurt, in short – all is well. What would you decide now?

  7. What do people around you/your team members think? What would happen if you decided as a team? One of the strengths of team decision-making is that you’ll hear different perspectives from people with different personalities, positions & opinions. Then, once you have your answers – review them. How does that inform your decision making?

  8. If you have some time to think about it, make one decision in your head and try to live with it for a few weeks or months. If during this period you feel that it was the right decision – maybe you should consider making it now for real? But if it feels uncomfortable and makes you miserable – you know to do the opposite for real.

  9. Imagine that you are 45, 55, 75 years old. What would you decide at each age-point? Even if the decision isn’t relevant to you at 75 year old – imagine what wisdom or recommendation you WOULD make at that age.

  10. And lastly – what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What to be aware of:

  1. If you are making a business decision and hear….’we did it before and it didn’t work’….Before you discredit it – investigate: when, who and how it was done. Maybe whoever tried it wasn’t the right person? Maybe they didn’t have the right skills? Maybe it wasn’t done properly? Maybe the timing wasn’t right for the business at the time? Only after your investigation make your own conclusion if it’s worth experimenting with it again or not.
  2. Decisions are often made based on previous experience, historical decisions and ‘what you have always done,’ but this approach isn’t always the best. I’m not suggesting to not use tried and tested methods, but remember that if you keep doing the same things, you will always get the same results!!! If your current results are fantastic then keep doing what you are doing! But if there are things that are not working amazingly, maybe it’s time for a different approach?
  3. Basing your decision only on other people’s opinions – remember that it won’t be them who will be dealing with the end result or consequences so make sure you come to your own conclusion and decide whatever is best for you!

I’m still not convinced I hear you say…what harm can being indecisive do?

I believe being indecisive will end up harming you more than making a decision that isn’t perfect.

Decisions allow you to experiment, experiments keep you moving and learning new ways, learning new ways keeps you progressing…your progress keeps you ahead of everyone who is too afraid to try anything new!

Even if something doesn’t work, so what? At least you eliminated one way that doesn’t work and as a result you are one step closer to finding the perfect solution!

What do you do when you have many options, but really don’t know what you want?

Try anything, pick one thing out of a hat if you like – whatever it will be – you will learn if you like it or not. If the answer is not – you can try something else, but you will still be moving.

If you don’t go for anything….you will still be in the same position in 3, 5, 10 years time and wishing that you started years ago.

Indecisiveness keeps you where you are…so unless you love comfort and don’t fancy progressing anywhere….JFDI 😉

Now…are there decisions you have been putting off making?? If the answer is yes…now it’s time to stop procrastinating and decide!

Let’s act now:

What decision do you need to make?

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What will you achieve if you make a successful decision?

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How will making a successful decision make you feel?

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What will you learn from making this decision if it doesn’t give you the results you are hoping for?

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What’s your decision?

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And if you are still undecided….give me a call 😉 

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