When it comes to mastering the art of entrepreneurship, effective decision making separates the good from the great. Entrepreneurs who choose decisive action over indecision tend to be agile, productive and better placed to tackle the challenges that come their way - attributes that can accelerate business success.
Conversely, giving in to ambivalence can create unnecessary roadblocks on the path to growth, impacting customer relationships as well as your bottom line. Here are five ways to embrace the power of decisiveness and kick inertia to the curb.
Don't be daunted by perfection
It's no secret that entrepreneurs tend to be type-A high achievers driven by the need to attain lofty goals. Unfortunately, this passion can breed a desire for perfectionism that can seriously cripple the decision-making process.
It's often wiser to choose flexibility rather than rigidity and understand that you can't control the outcome of your every move. Ironically, this wisdom can help chase away self-imposed mental blocks and help you make the best of the opportunities that come your way.
Make peace with failure
Some business owners are so terrified by failure that they let procrastination take hold instead. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking ignores the part that failure plays in the road to business success. If you fall into this category, it's worth perceiving failure as a new beginning that can help you learn, evolve and improve. This strategy can reduce the gravity of individual decisions and keep your business on the move.
Put pen to paper
If you find it difficult to be decisive, it always helps to write things down. Try listing the pros and cons of the choices you are making to understand how your decision stacks up. Committing your business problem to words will also spark much-needed clarity as well as the confidence to make the right call. In many ways, quantifying your decision-making process can foster credibility and trust.
Set yourself deadlines
It's hard to find a more powerful motivator than setting yourself a time restriction for getting things done. This is equally true for business tasks that are daunting as it is for instances that call for decisive action. In many cases, you can spend hours or weeks debating the pros and cons of a situation without mustering the courage to make the right choice. Eliminate the costs to your business by embracing sharp, precise decision making - you'll likely be surprised at the outcome.
Trust your instincts
Your instincts are often the best guide when it comes to being decisive, in business as in life. That's why it's worth training yourself to listen to your gut feelings about business scenarios, problems and situations - they help you distinguish the choices that may compromise your business from those that are right. Ultimately, unwillingness to make a decision stems from the fear that the path ahead isn't the one for you. Addressing this fear and listening to your instincts can help you determine what you should and shouldn't do.
Embracing active decision making is a skill that grows more powerful with time. Your ability to practise it on a regular basis can determine whether your business sinks or swims. What measures do you take to be more decisive?
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This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Neha Kale is a freelance writer and editor with over six years’ experience in the media and finance industries. She has held senior editorial positions at various business and technology publications and specialises in online strategy, innovation, creativity and management best practices.