One of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship is being the person who is ultimately responsible for making all decisions and dealing with the repercussions of those decisions. Entrepreneurs can get bogged down in details, but the four strategies below can remove those barriers and lead to sound decisions.
Too many decisions and too many choices can lead to what is often called “decision fatigue.” Entrepreneurs should strive to limit the number of decisions they make each day and the choices they have. For the former, they can delegate less important decision making to others. They can also automate certain decisions, such as what to wear and what to eat. For the latter, they can choose just a few variables on which to base a decision.
Decision-making can also be derailed by procrastination. It can be tempting to keep waiting for more information to come in or to see if there is another angle not yet considered, but this can lead to a decision being put off indefinitely. If there is no hard deadline for the decision, entrepreneurs should set one, keeping in mind that the decision-making process will expand to fill the time available. In other words, unless there is a good reason to wait, it is better to make the decision sooner rather than later.
One trick many entrepreneurs may not have considered when it comes to decision-making is creating some distance from the process. This can be done by imagining that it is a colleague’s company that the decision is about. Another way to create distance from the decision is by looking at the long term. Even a wrong decision may be recovered within a year or two. These approaches help make the answer clear by lowering the stakes.
Finally, a decision can be made easier in some cases by focusing strictly on the quantifiable elements of the decision. This can be done by assigning point values to various factors. It may be difficult to remove the emotional factors and other distractions from the process, but doing so can bring clarity that makes the right decision obvious.
In some cases, postponing a decision can be worse than making the wrong one. Decision-making is never easy, but a successful entrepreneur must learn to be decisive.