Many of the early career entrepreneurs I work with struggle with indecision: it typically manifests itself in an accumulating pile of unmade decisions, and a growing, distracting sense of unease as this pile becomes harder to ignore.”
Entrepreneurs are regularly required to make decisions amid a high level of uncertainty.
From major decisions (e.g. whether to pursue an opportunity with uncertain prospects in the first place) to minor ones (e.g. what’s the best domain name to buy given it’s unclear in which direction the business may ultimately progress).
Some decisions can be postponed until new information is gathered, but many require more immediate, intuitive, “good enough” action. These decisions are difficult: there’s a large chance you make the wrong call. It’s much easier to plough ahead, taking comfort in the progress of more certain work (e.g. building tangible product), subconsciously choosing to ignore them.
As a result, many of the early career entrepreneurs I work with struggle with indecision: it typically manifests itself in an accumulating pile of unmade decisions, and a growing, distracting sense of unease as this pile becomes harder to ignore.
The best strategy is always to face up to the uncertainty:
- For each unmade decision, write out the status quo (knowns, unknowns, the best decision given current information)
- Determine what can be done to gather additional information (what new information may be available and how to access it (market tests; other people; wait)
- Determine a timeline for when this decision needs to be made
- Convert the decision into an action (make the decision now; proactively gather new information; wait until a certain time or event)
In addition to getting clarity on your unmade decisions (with all its attendant business and psychological benefits), this exercise has the added bonus of providing a record of your thought process that you can return to at a later date (e.g. if you later begin to doubt your decision).
Remember, when dealing with the level of uncertainty inherent in most entrepreneurial ventures, not all decisions will be correct post-event. Accepting this and making the correct decisions based on the best information available pre-event is a requirement for entrepreneurial success.
Remember: indecision becomes decision with time.
Q: What decisions are you ignoring?