I hate making decisions. I once spent 10 minutes choosing the color of my undershirt, even though I wasn’t planning to leave the house. Sometimes it takes me a week to re-make a decision that I have already made. For me, decisions are to be avoided. Business decisions? They are the worst. At best, they result in positive, transformative change; at worst, they cost me money, and I feel like an idiot. I know that I am not the only decision-challenged person out there, so I would like to share two realizations that I have come to recently:
1. Most of my decisions, as tortuous as they have felt at the time, have actually been pretty good. My business has had strong, positive growth every year since we started. I have tested, added, and eliminated many different teaching services. Each was a painful decision. In the end, almost all of the decisions moved us forward. Takeaway: I may suck at the decision-making process, but that doesn’t mean my decisions suck. Look at your results before you are too hard on yourself.
2. Most decisions don’t matter — at least not as much as you think they do. Probably 9 out of 10 of my decisions are like my undershirt choice: They feel important at the time, but in the end, they don’t matter to anyone but me. In business, it is easy to imagine (or expect) consequences that will never, ever materialize. Even if they do, you can usually fix them. Whether you have just launched an unfortunate new logo or just told your beloved customers that your product will be a little less good going forward, bad business decisions can almost always be reversed. Takeaway: Next time you are making a decision, make sure you see it for what it is, not what it might possibly turnout to be 3 years from now when your worst fears possibly come true. They won’t. Just make the decision. You can always reconsider it next week.