[tweetmeme source= “utewking”]
I know that for many businesses, the last couple of years have been full of challenges and surprises, I have certainly had my own measure. Whether you have been coping with new professional demands, a change in your business, a personal crisis, financial loss or gain, you will no doubt have made hundreds of decisions.
Decisions can be driven by the way we think at any particular time- we often make quick decisions based on gut instinct or feeling. When your business is your passion, and you invest emotionally in it, you can find yourself swinging between positive and negative thinking, making it much harder to find the realistic and objective middle ground you need to make the right decisions.
To highlight areas of your business in which you need to make decisions, it’s a good idea to analyse your business plan as well as carry out a SWOT exercise (Click to download our own template).
To help you make specific decisions, try to create written lists of pros and cons, a mindmap or any other process to give you the information you need. A creative approach like the ‘Six thinking hats’ by Edward de Bono, can work well too, as does bouncing different thoughts off people you trust. All these will provide you with a better all round overview of your situation. Without it, decision making can go two ways- you rush into it and risk getting it wrong, or avoid it altogether and procrastinate.
Today I too am making a few decisions. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly proud of a number of successes including the biggest independent International Women’s Day event in the Thames Valley, several successful and profitable collaborations, new clients and contracts that have all come through online and offline networking, and my new website which has been long in the making but been well worth waiting for!
However, there was also the project that failed, the new type of event that I designed and launched at the wrong time, the promising business relationship that didn’t progress, and the time and money I spent on exploring a new business idea that hasn’t come to fruition.
I do believe in the value of learning from getting things wrong, and know this is something Richard Branson understands particularly well. His philosophy is to try new things, branch out, and when you can’t find success with one venture, you move on to the next. He understands that being an entrepreneur means being willing to not only accept failure, but to also be able to recover and start again.
I apply this approach to my existing projects and services. If any of them have not succeeded, I ask myself why that is …truthfully? I try to understand ALL the reasons, as often it’s not just the economy to blame.
Over to you:
- What are YOU currently doing that’s NOT producing the results you want?
- What do you need to avoid, let go of, or move on from?
- What do you need to do better, or do differently?
- Do you need to make any decisions?
Not to forget all your positive achievements:
- Are you clear about what you ARE doing that REALLY IS producing results?
- What do you need to build on in your business, and do more of in the next 12 months?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be looking back on this year as a year of extraordinary success? By taking time to reflect on your results, you can start to make that a reality!
Ute Wieczorek-King is a Business/Career Coach and Trainer who is founder of Success Network and Inner Circle Business Clubs. More of her top tips and articles can be found on this blog and on the article page of the Success Network website.