Stuart R. Crawford (Calgary, AB - Business Development Manager of IT Matters)
Many small business professionals toss and turn in the middle of the night, losing valuable hours of much needed sleep worrying about making a difficult or in reality it may just be a not so difficult decision. We lose thousands of hours of sleep throughout our lifetime, thinking about even deciding to make a decision. More often than not, your loss of quality sleep on making decisions turns out nine times out of ten to be a non-event.
What can the average small business IT professional do to quit hesitating and just make a decision, here are some basic recommendations to assist you in your decision making:
Decide to make a decision - This is easier said than done though. Many of us put off making difficult decisions and have just the thought of making a decision going through our mind distract us from taking care of the business at hand. With this mental tennis match going on in our brains, we struggle to focus on what is really important and instead we have feelings of worry, guilt and indecisiveness. Waking up hours, days, and even months later wondering what happened.
Focus on the big picture – Think big at all costs, this is a success factor. When we think small we are limiting our own strengths and abilities. When we focus and think big picture, the small decisions don’t worry us and big thinkers make small decisions every day without fear or worry. Big thinkers are big, small thinkers generally are small players. Start with the end in mind and keep your focus on the big picture. Make your decisions with the big picture in mind at all times; you will see an immediate improvement in your life.
What’s in it for me – This is not what you think, I am not talking about being self centered. It is important to focus on yourself and your abilities and keep the other person in mind and yes you must keep in mind your own personal objectives and areas of your own personal life; this statement is more focused on your strengths and weaknesses, your own limitations and personal boundaries. Always make decisions with integrity in mind and your own strengths and weaknesses in mind. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others who are stronger and better skilled than you are in some areas.
Nothing is perfect – You will go crazy if perfection is an important criteria on you making a decision. Another great success tip: Nothing in this world is perfect and everything can be improved on. Don’t wait for your plane to be leaving the gate before you decide to get on it. Get on first, and then improve. This relates back to the Ready, Fire, Aim approach to life and business. Make a decision to do something, Commit to it, do it and then adjust. You just need to make a decision and quit being a perfectionist.
Where do you find information – Many of us in the IT business world struggle to make decisions because we simply don’t know where to find good information and the abundance on how do something confuse us. Today there are a high number of blogs and information sites from vendors telling us rather than educating us on what is the right solution and how it fits into what we do; no wonder we can be so confused. How do you find good information out there and then can you trust it?
Trust – You must be able to trust yourself. If you don’t have the trust and confidence in your own abilities or skills, how can you ever make a decision let alone execute on what you have decided to do. If you don’t trust yourself you can never trust anyone else as well, this makes it hard to do your day to day tasks, let alone run a business. Trust is very important in ensuring that you have the ability to make timely and effective decisions in your life. When you can trust yourself to make the right decision whether if it works or not, then you can begin to trust the information that is out there.
What decision are you going to make at the end of this article? What have you been putting off deciding on doing? This is tough for a number of IT professionals, many of us want the stars to line up first, wait for the service pack or the perfect situation before we decide. Is this why you are struggling in business? Is this why you may be falling failing behind your competitors? Is this why you are not satisfied with your business? These are tough questions and they require some tough self examination and thinking.
Do you know what you want? Do trust yourself and make a decision before your competitors do and beat you to the punch.