I can hear it already. Some are going to get mad at this and tell me why I’m wrong. That’s fine. I’m going to stick to my story. I’m going to tell you to hurry up and choose. Make a decision. Make a firm one. A strong yes or a strong no.
I really used to think that a flaw of mine was moving too quickly. I used to feel really bad about it and after a while I became hesitant to make decisions because I was told I wasn’t listening or I was not being careful. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my share of boneheaded, rash decisions. But, hear me out on this…rash and hasty are not the same thing. There isn’t a time frame that indicates you made a great decision, simply because you passed the time frame. As a matter of fact, there is never a guarantee on anything. Just because you made a fast decision doesn’t indicate that it was not considered carefully.
Most super-achievers will ultimately tell you that they followed their gut and they did it fast. They didn’t think for weeks. They made a decision, a strong one and then they sold out to it. Yes, there are thinkers and people who have been known as great philosophers. But thinking and making a decision are not the same thing. One considers concepts and processes while the other simply considers an action or inaction.
The trap that many people fall into is a faulty one called careful consideration…..at least that’s what they think it is. The truth is that the longer we sit and ponder most decisions, the more reasons we come up with as to why it won’t work. We give our limiting beliefs space to work and they ultimately convince us to play it safe.
So, how do you determine the difference between a rash decision and a quick decision? Here’s the simple answer. A rash decision is one made with limited or no input while a quick decision is one made quickly with solid input. Does that mean all rash decisions fail? No. Some are just more dangerous than others. A rash decision is deciding to run out into the street without looking. A quick decision is simply deciding that you will run immediately. You may look quickly to see what’s coming and ask a few quick questions, but you don’t stay on the side of the road deciding if you will run or not.
The point here is that getting in the practice of making decisions quickly can give you improved results in life and business. The fact is that time and possibly opportunity continues to move whether you want them to or not. The truth is that most of us have a sense of what we want to do very early on but are simply afraid to pull the trigger. So, how do you make decisions quickly without crashing and burning every time?
1. If you are unable to decide immediately, give yourself a timeline (a short one, no more than 24 hours if possible).
2. State a decision from the beginning that you will go with if your timeline expires.
3. Commit to quickly getting as much info as possible (Ask questions, do your research).
4. Commit to the result more than the risk.
5. Envision a successful result but be prepared to pick yourself up and go again.
How do you make successful decisions? Give me your thoughts in the comments area.
Join the discussion 5 Comments
Fabulous post, Robert! I mainly agree, and have heard similar opinions from others, about making quick decisions. However, I do think there is also value in sharing a potentially risky idea with someone who has the tendency to overthink things (for me it’s my husband), someone who can slow us down a bit if we are too hasty in making a big decision that will have a big impact on others (like family members). I tend to have an idea, think through it rather quickly, and want to jump in, knowing I can find out the details later. But when I run it by my hubby, he quickly points out the possible flaws or places where I might get tripped up, or how it might impact the rest of the family – all of which totally irk me, to be honest, to have to take all that into consideration, but he often has good points to make. In the end, though, I generally still forge ahead with my idea, but with more of the potential hurdles considered ahead of time, allowing me to pursue the idea with more confidence, ultimately, and more power behind it.
When I began considering doing voice-over for work, I had another business I was working in. But I really knew I wanted to switch over to voice-over! I had a gut feeling about it, and I knew I would pursue it. I thought it through, researched it like crazy over a few days, and just knew it was for me. I had essentially made my decision. And at first, I kept the idea to myself. When I let on about it to my husband, he brought up all sorts of potential issues, like how much of an investment would it be, and how would I do it in addition to my other work, and taking care of the kids, etc. I knew I could find ways to do what I needed to do to make it happen, but he was right in bringing those things up, too. It did slow me down a bit in the process – I took classes over a longer period of time, and only spent money as I could, over time, to invest in the new business. But now, years later, I have a new business that is going strong, and growing every week, and it’s exciting to me to be able to do what I love to do for work! I have almost completely let go of my previous business, and found ways to shift it into a more online one, while I move forward recording narrations for eLearning courses and voice-over for commercials and web videos, etc. I knew I could make this vision of a new business work, and I did. It did come from a quick decision, with quick research, and my gut feeling. But it also came from having the balance of thoroughly checking things out and moving forward with caution.
Thanks for all you do! I’m going to share this post today with a friend who needs to hear your message. 🙂
We are definitely on the same page here Jill. I believe in FIRM decisions and then action to follow. But, I am not advocating just jumping into the Antarctic without a plan. What you have done still falls in line with what I am saying. You had a choice, you ran it by hubby and make a decision quickly. Then you put in place a strategy to reach your goal over time. That works! What I want people to hear from this is that they they should not waffle and overanalyze for days, weeks or months without making a CLEAR decision about how to proceed. Sometimes even if you are not sure how it will turn out, the decision that you make is still just to GO! Awesome response. Thank you!
Indeed, Robert! It’s exactly the message I’ve been trying to get across to a friend recently. So glad you posted. 🙂
Well put Robert! I go with my instinct for the most important decisions. Data, Analytics, Excels is all fine, but finally your “gut” knows best. And I agree that the most successful people make quick decisions
I wonder if we are not blurring the distinction between thinking and considerin all available information. I agree that whether fast or slow the decision must be firm. That is what really matters.