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Flight Path to Success: How Fearless Entrepreneurs Tackle Indecision

November 19, 20233 min read

In business, there are few clear-cut right answers. Some strategies and decisions are better than others, but right is relative. 

The real danger is this. Not moving forward toward your goals. Not implementing your new marketing strategy. Not testing new products in the marketplace. 

There is a reason analysis paralysis is so prevalent in companies. Leadership teams get bogged down by unlimited choices. They fail to understand a key component of strategic thinking. No decision or strategy a company ever executes will remain unchanged from the moment of decision.

The smartest entrepreneurs know that their initial strategic decisions get the company moving in the right direction, but they are not worried that it is the perfect decision because they put in place a process to make adjustments along the way. 

Think of it like a pilot flying cross country. They have a takeoff point and a landing point. They plan a general flight path, but along the route, the pilot must adjust the trajectory of the plane. The flight path is within a window. During its journey, the plane experiences crosswinds, unexpected weather, other planes, and many other random factors that change the exact route the plane takes to reach its destination. A skilled pilot calmly reacts to each factor and adjusts the route to keep it on course to the destination. There is an argument that no two planes ever flew the exact same path. 

The best way to address your own indecision is to acknowledge that it is a natural reaction to the fear of the unknown. Fear that your strategy will fail. Fear of the future.

When I feel myself falling into the trap of indecision, I answer three questions and let the answers guide my decision:

1. What are the alternatives? 

I list out the alternatives along with their tradeoffs, plusses, and minuses. 

2. Does this strategy more likely than not have the ability to accomplish my goal in a timely manner?

If the strategy will take too long and is not highly likely to accomplish my goal, I pass it by. Again, there are many ways to accomplish goals in business, but time matters more than money.

3. What is the worst that could happen?

I think deeply about the absolute worst-case scenario. If everything went wrong and the strategy failed miserably, as strategies sometimes will, can I live with the downside? I never take on a strategy that, if it failed, would put me out of business. I never overspend on a marketing campaign, betting that it will scale my business to the next level. There is a giant graveyard filled with bankrupt companies that bet everything on a strategy that failed.

If one of my choices stands out because it will more likely than not accomplish my goal, and there is no significant downside, I move forward immediately, even if I am still fearful.

Movement is more important than feelings of comfort. You cannot optimize every decision and should not attempt to do so because it will kill the momentum of your company.

Until next week!

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entrepreneur decision making
Back to Blog
blog image

Flight Path to Success: How Fearless Entrepreneurs Tackle Indecision

November 19, 20233 min read

In business, there are few clear-cut right answers. Some strategies and decisions are better than others, but right is relative. 

The real danger is this. Not moving forward toward your goals. Not implementing your new marketing strategy. Not testing new products in the marketplace. 

There is a reason analysis paralysis is so prevalent in companies. Leadership teams get bogged down by unlimited choices. They fail to understand a key component of strategic thinking. No decision or strategy a company ever executes will remain unchanged from the moment of decision.

The smartest entrepreneurs know that their initial strategic decisions get the company moving in the right direction, but they are not worried that it is the perfect decision because they put in place a process to make adjustments along the way. 

Think of it like a pilot flying cross country. They have a takeoff point and a landing point. They plan a general flight path, but along the route, the pilot must adjust the trajectory of the plane. The flight path is within a window. During its journey, the plane experiences crosswinds, unexpected weather, other planes, and many other random factors that change the exact route the plane takes to reach its destination. A skilled pilot calmly reacts to each factor and adjusts the route to keep it on course to the destination. There is an argument that no two planes ever flew the exact same path. 

The best way to address your own indecision is to acknowledge that it is a natural reaction to the fear of the unknown. Fear that your strategy will fail. Fear of the future.

When I feel myself falling into the trap of indecision, I answer three questions and let the answers guide my decision:

1. What are the alternatives? 

I list out the alternatives along with their tradeoffs, plusses, and minuses. 

2. Does this strategy more likely than not have the ability to accomplish my goal in a timely manner?

If the strategy will take too long and is not highly likely to accomplish my goal, I pass it by. Again, there are many ways to accomplish goals in business, but time matters more than money.

3. What is the worst that could happen?

I think deeply about the absolute worst-case scenario. If everything went wrong and the strategy failed miserably, as strategies sometimes will, can I live with the downside? I never take on a strategy that, if it failed, would put me out of business. I never overspend on a marketing campaign, betting that it will scale my business to the next level. There is a giant graveyard filled with bankrupt companies that bet everything on a strategy that failed.

If one of my choices stands out because it will more likely than not accomplish my goal, and there is no significant downside, I move forward immediately, even if I am still fearful.

Movement is more important than feelings of comfort. You cannot optimize every decision and should not attempt to do so because it will kill the momentum of your company.

Until next week!

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entrepreneur decision making
Back to Blog