In a recent episode of ‘Shark Tank’ – where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a wealthy panel of judges in the hope of investment – a pair of American-dream hopefuls were faced with a decision.
Three of the judges had said no to their pitch. The last two each put an offer on the table; one offered $250k for 15% ownership but wanted to license the product, the other $250k for 20% ownership with the aim to grow the business and release new products.
Both were potentially good deals. Both came with exciting new possibilities. The entrepreneurs clearly had a gut feeling about which one to choose, but they didn’t act on it. They deliberated, they stood there um-ing and ah-ring, and finally the two investors pulled their offers off the table, one of them saying – ‘If you can’t make decisions, we can’t have a partnership’.
It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to run a business, choose what to study or pick a new hobby, the game of life requires decisions to be made at every turn. Many prefer to procrastinate, to pull an Ostrich maneuver and wedge their heads firmly in the sand until they’re forced to come up for air. But you can spare yourself all the agonising and hiding from reality by learning how to be decisive.
Here’s three steps to make this easier:
- Narrow down your options, then pick one. It doesn’t have to be perfect, (nothing is), it doesn’t have to come with a sign from God attached, it just has to be a course of action.
- Once you’ve chosen, stick with it and back yourself 100%. Don’t berate yourself if it doesn’t work out how you planned, don’t tell yourself you’re stupid and could have done so much better. You already did better, because you were brave enough to give something a go.
- Learn from it. Whatever decision we make will come with consequences. They could be perceived as good or bad, but really, they’re neither – they’re just learnings. Take whatever you learnt, and apply that knowledge to your next decision.
This process will get easier and easier the more you do it, and more in tune with yourself and your values you become.
While others are floundering in a sea of options, you’ll be moving forward with purpose.
And this is powerful.
Trust your gut.