Posted by Sarah Brown on 22 Oct '20
Making the decisions to secure your future
At the moment, many of us feel overwhelmed by all the uncertainty and what to do. Even the simplest of decisions can floor us.
I couldn't decide which garden centre to go to get compost and grit to plant my spring bulbs! So I didn't go to any. The bulbs will survive until I get another sunny day to plant them, but many decisions can't be put off.
Some years ago, I read an excellent book on decision making Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. It prompted me to create a tool the Decision Improver© which we use with clients. I should have used it for my bulbs!
The decision-making process which it takes you through has the following stages:
1 Widen your options
Ask if you can do this plus that rather than having to decide on one thing only. Consider multiple possibilities at one time and get ideas from: your competition; best practice; things that have worked for you in the past; ideas that are working for others in the Pandemic at the moment including other sectors; what is working now for you.
2 Reality test your assumptions
Particularly with new services and products, the acid test is 'will someone pay for it?' - market research is not the same. It is easy to test a new service or product on-line to see if it attracts people. Another way to test ideas is to make them part of a crowdfunding bid; if someone is willing to pay for them as a reward, they are attractive enough to sell. Actively look for people who disagree and be open to their ideas. Ego is a danger in decision making - there are scary statistics about takeovers in the book.
3 Attain distance
When we are too close to things we get emotional, and often we have short term emotion - will it matter in 10 years or even ten days? What are your core values? - make sure your decisions fit with them
4 Prepare to be wrong
Decisions often don't have to be irrevocable, put in some checkpoints along the way when you can change direction. Prepare for fantastic success or failure and think about ranges of results. When I talk to clients about revenue targets, I encourage a realistic goal, a bottom end target and high-end target to get a feeling of scale. And in these days of uncertainty, I focus on identified prospects using our Sales Multiplier©tool to split them into the short term - the next 90 days or longer term.
Just using these simple ideas has improved my decision making, made me think and made me less scared about making the wrong decision except when choosing garden centres. Not making a decision is a decision and generally does not make you feel better. So take decisions about what you CAN control in this uncertain situation, even if the decisions are quite small such as to plant some spring bulbs so you have something to look forward to in February and March.
Other blogs you may find useful when thinking about how to respond to the current environment