I read a blog post by Seth Godin called "The Loneliness Epidemic". Seth is a true marketing genius and if you have not read his books and other works you should. While reading, my thoughts wondered to my latest blog post about decision avoidance and settling for average. I was speaking about small business owners who risked everything to become entrepreneurs, yet consistently engage in decision-avoidance behaviors that would otherwise will improve their business and personal lives.
One of the likely drivers to such behavior is "loneliness". "My family is jealous of my success, my wife works with me and the last thing we want to do is talk shop at home. I worked my butt off for many years and realize I have no one to talk to who is objective and also has my back".
Owners are never short of "advisers", from Uncle Louie and their barber to their attorney. In reality, all advisers have to offer are opinions, most of which are irrelevant except that they give you a false sense of comfort that other people understand you or your business.
We've all heard the cliche about "two heads are better than one". But, what if the other "head" doesn't have a clue?Smart business decisions can only be made by examining data, adding industry experience, intuition and guts.
Decisions are not opinions. Taking risks for the sake of bragging rights is pointless. Taking calculated risks based on a smart decision process will yield results. Deep down inside, business owners know that when a trusted adviser shines a light, both can see better. All it truly takes is admission that you can't do it alone. When that beam shines a path into the unknown darkness ahead, you find that you step forward with confidence while knowing that you're not alone.
So, the next time you find yourself engaging in decision-avoidance take a pulse-check before your run away:
- Is this a decision that will make my business better and different?
- Is this a decision that will improve my customers' experience?
- Do I feel competent and informed to make the right decision?
- If I don't make this decision, will I regret it later?
- Is there someone who is objective and whom I trust and knows my business that should be part of this decision?
Remember that no one in the history of business was able to achieve success on their own. It is humanly impossible. The geniuses of our time were visionaries that surrounded themselves by competent advisers and together created success. The same principal applies to small business owners: You don't have to become a Microsoft or Apple, but within your own niche or industry, you can only achieve greatness by surrounding yourself with a trusted team. Going at it a lone is a bad decision. You should avoid it as much as possible and the results will astound you.