Now just like I mentioned in the first article about how people will have input into your decision, you need to be prepared for advice. Even when it comes from the best place and with love etc. advise can be confusing. There are a few tricks on how to deal with advice, and obviously I realize that this is merely just my advice. Today I want to give you a few guidelines on how to deal with advice and how to find resources.
- Just because you have heard advise doesn’t mean you need to take it! Someone I respect very much once said to me while I was dealing with a tricky situation, “I will give you my two cents, but you need to promise that you won’t feel obliged to take it”. That statement was probably the best advise that person ever gave me. Many times, in your new venture you will ask the advice of someone you respect, look up to or even just bump into at the shops, and because it is in many of our nature to help, you will be given advise. I can tell you from personal experience that over the years, I have received advise from what to do in all sorts of situations and even though some of it was great, I have not regretted not taking someone’s advice. The simple truth is that no – one, no matter how close or involved they are, will know exactly how you are experiencing any event or decision. You could be thinking something over logically or emotionally, and no matter what you decide you will have to follow through. Best the decision be coming from a place you and probably only you will understand. This brings me to the next point.
- A decision will have to be made – period. As with most things in life you cannot avoid a decision. That’s why it is there in the first place right? When it comes to your business, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to make lucky choices, and look forward to the day you make your first genius move. I am sure I will discuss this at some point but when it comes to decisions, every one of us will at some point make a decision that is so great and well thought out you will actually be surprised. The gist here is that even the decision to run away from a bear is a decision you have to follow through. Now not all decisions are big and as significant as the previous one, but all decisions will mean you have chosen between two or more things and you will have to follow through. I have often been so anxious about a decision I have been physically nauseas and ill. And even after all that, the only thing I can remember with absolute certainty is that whatever I decided has become part of my history.
- Where are the most reliable resources to help me make my decision? In today’s day and age the answer is simply, everywhere. I am such a fanatic “googler” that I often find I don’t think about answers anymore. A scary reality was me driving with my child the other day and she asked why we called the road we were on the “Highway”. Instead of discussing this with her I gave her my phone and told her to search online for the answer. Three seconds in, about the time Google took to come up with 3 000 000 answers, I felt guilty and discussed with her the Wiki answer she was reading. Now using your search engine for silly answers to everyday things is fine, but when it comes to your business you are much better off vetting your information properly first. I am in no way discouraging using online tools, but I am encouraging you to research your research as it were. Finding trustworthy sources of information is sometimes tricky and in most cases the best way to check these out would be to engage others. Websites with forums or group chats are a great way to check the information by reading actual peoples comments. I had a boss that would research everything about the topic of a meeting before the meeting. He did this to basically be the smartest man in the room at all times. In his case I don’t know if it helped him more than hurt him because it discouraged anybody from having an open and honest conversation with him from the start, but I do believe that strategy could help here. I find the best is to list your decisions that you have to make in a separate book or a page in your notebook. When you have some time and are drinking a coffee and want to take a break from your current project or work, it could be a great idea to research one of your upcoming decisions. By coming in at it from a neutral place, you gain the advantage of actually standing the chance of having an objective opinion. I always like to go between printed and online media, even if this means taking a long look at a book in the book store without buying it and then using my phone to correlate info once I walk outside. At the end of the day, taking the time to research as much as possible will help you eliminate bad sources of information on your own. Now on to that list of decisions…
- I am sure a wise man once said that lists are great, and everyone should be using them. Before you get upset I am really not that naïve, I know lists are not for all of us. I am not sure if this is one of those right brained vs left brained people things, but never the less I am sure we all make lists somehow. Be it a nagging decision in the back of your mind or a page in your notebook marked, decisions to make, the same is true – The most important thing about a decision is knowing what you must decide on. You see, where else are you going to put all that useful advice and online research to use if you are not focused on the right thing. I once found myself battling with a taxation decision and new work vehicle purchase at the same time. If I had confused the two I would have bought the vehicle that had the best tax benefits and not the vehicle which could in this case carry a larger crew and more tooling that the old one. In that week I was also facing a decision on whether to move closer to the office, so I was also contemplating the financial ramifications of distance travelled, which came in handy when actually comparing two vehicles I had narrowed the decision down to. Many of the decisions will have much to do to with one another and some will have nothing to do with each other. The only way to ensure you have the right answer is to be sure of which question you are asking. I promise not to judge anyone for not using lists as long as you apply your mind to the right question at the right time.
- Changing your mind from time to time can be a good thing, right? In short the answer is yes. Many entrepreneurs, including me have failed at one time or another. Heck some of us will and have failed more times than we wish to count. The difference is that innate need in us to carry on and never give up as well as the fact that we get smarter every time. What I am saying is that even when you are at your lowest having failed at something you have gained experience. It is ok to change your mind next time you have to make some of those same decisions. A business is constantly evolving and changing much like we are, it needs to adapt to new surroundings, different climates and many more factors daily. One of the best ways to enable this business to adapt is to adapt with it and that means changing your mind from time to time. We don’t only learn from the negative but from the positive as well. If a transporter took a chance on upgrading his fleet to handle a different type of load, say going from containers to livestock, and in that decision realized a much larger profit and introduced him to a different array of clients like farmers and food merchants, he would much easier make a decision down the road to change or buy a new fleet of trucks to transport cars to forecourts for example. In much the same way he could use that same information to rather increase the size of his fleet to transport more livestock, or move back to containers. You can see in this rather rudimentary example that either way the future decisions he makes do adjust based on experience all the time. One of my greatest flaws was this unwillingness to change and adapt as quickly as the business had.
- What if all this talk of decisions has scared me out of it? Now many of you reading this would be coming from an environment where you are working for someone else. And due to this you have built a resistance to decisions as you have had them all made for you up to now. PLEASE DON’T LET THIS SCARE YOU, just like your ability to make these decisions has to constantly evolve, so will your ability to make the talents evolve. I for one and very passionate about helping you, help you. I believe that within all of us there is the ability and need to want to be independent. In fact I would even go so far as to say that the more the decisions scare you the better. I have already mentioned in my first article that Stress is your friend and very importantly so. With no one giving you targets and guidelines and such you will need to do this yourself.
It took me a very long time to get into a space where I could take a chance again. You see I faced in my mind one of the ultimate decisions, I had taken a risk and lost it all. I lost my business, my house, cars, ability to care for my family, self-respect and my mind. My biggest decision was to wake up the next day and try again. Luckily I did and I tried again, with no capital and no start I tried again. I failed again and luckily landed a stable job with a fixed salary. So there I sat without the need to try again. Much time has passed and here I am trying again. I am not a super human, I am not the most optimistic person in the world anymore. I am not any different to anyone else, I just wrote down a decision I had to make. How are you going to be happy again and work for yourself? I wish it was a nice easy one like which vehicle to buy or which tax benefit to use. You see my business is this, talking to you. I am following my dream of working for myself and building a resource and guide for all entrepreneurs to use. A decision I could not have made without my God, a patient wife, loving and supportive family and a bargain of a deal with a web hosting company J
I wish you all the best and trust that you will come back tomorrow!
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