Good decisions

This post is adapted from Chapter D of my new book “The Busy Fool’s A to Z of Loving Work

Decision-makingDecisions are much easier to make when you have clarity about what you are really trying to achieve.

It’s often said, in the success literature, that wealthy people tend to make decisions quickly, and change their minds rarely, while unsuccessful people hesitate for ages before making a decision, and then dither about actually putting it into practice.  That’s true to an extent; and there’s more to it than simply making decisions quickly.  A lot of unsuccessful people also make decisions quickly – they’re just the wrong ones!

So how do successful people get to make the right decisions, and make them quickly?  By doing their homework; there’s no quick-fix, no silver bullet answer.  They do the hard work to understand their market, their clients, their business, themselves – in fact everything that could make a decision a good one or a bad one.  And here’s their trick – they only do it once.  They focus, so everything they learn can be re-used for their next decision.

And each decision is backed up with all their previous research, plus whatever they’ve learned since.  They don’t have to start their information-gathering from scratch every time.  They do the work of figuring out the right work or business to be in, once.  After that, it’s just maintenance.  So they have the information they need to make a confident decision quickly, without having to think about it too hard.

Where unsuccessful people go wrong is they skim the surface and then make bad decisions they later doubt, and feel they have to keep checking over and over.

When every decision you make comes with a doubt attached, you’ll find yourself always expecting to be ‘found out’.  Whenever I hear people saying they feel like they are a bit of a fraud, that sometime soon people are going to realise they’ve been making it up as they go along, I know they haven’t put it the work required .

I once took a job I was hopelessly under-qualified for.  Even my staff had a better idea how to do the job than I did – and it wasn’t the usual unfounded complaint of “I could do better than my boss”, they really could!  It was one of the worst years of my working life, because I really didn’t know what I was doing.  Eventually, what I’d spent the previous year dreading happened, and the directors realised we’d all made a horrible mistake.  And I’ve never been so relieved to lose a job!

To be confident in your decisions, you need to put in the work to know what you’re talking about.  Once you’ve done that, the work will start to feel easy, and to feel like it’s not work at all.  And you can’t know enough about everything, so you will first need to put in the work to know what it is that you really want to do.

There’s no quick fix – all those successful people who seem able to make the right decision at the drop of a hat, they’ve worked bloody hard to get to that point.

 

About Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw
About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw