had business partner who EVERY time we had a massive decision to make he would avoid coming to work for a few days. Making decisions CRIPPLED him.
“You never have more than eighty-percent certainty”
You can only make decisions on the facts you have at the time. Sometimes it doesn’t work out! You will rarely have every piece you need.
Here is what I ask myself when I’m making such an important decision.
Do I Have a Deadline?
I have caught myself before making decisions too fast. If I have seven days to make a decision, I might make it in fifteen minutes when I don’t need to.
I’ll write the decision down in my notepad and let it percolate in my brain. Maybe I’ll work on it a little each day.
What’s At Stake?
What is the risk associated with making a particular decision? What does it matter? Sometimes it’s the future of your company at stake.
One time there was a company that started taking pieces of our name, put a location on our street, and even started taking pieces of our phone number as theirs! At that point I had to make a decision to defend our company.
Do I Need More Information For a Good Decision?
What information do I already have and what more do I need?
Do I Need a Better Understanding?
I have information but I maybe need to better understand the downside better, or the players involved. This is where I might get another person’s opinion like my lawyer or accountant or business person.
What Are ALL of My Options?
There is no perfect outcome but I want to know all the available options. Some will present different amounts of downside. I like to write them all down and review them.
Make the Decision Work Until It Doesn’t
I will give new startups and investments timeframes for success. Then I write down the criteria that makes it a success for me in terms of market share or return, etc. That takes emotion out of it. I can come back 180 days later and make a decision on it.