As an entrepreneur, you’re faced with countless decisions on a regular basis. Of course, you want to carefully consider your options, but in some instances, you don’t have much time to mull them over.
Learning to make smart choices more efficiently can not only give you some much-needed time back in your day, but it can also reduce some of the mental anguish that comes with lengthy deliberation. To help you speed up your decision-making process, we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:
Q. What’s Your Top Tip to Make Good Decisions Faster? What Do You Think Is the Rationale Behind This?
Their best answers are below.
1. Trust Your First Thought
Typically, I have found that my initial gut instinct usually ends up being the correct course of action. Trust yourself and your initial reaction to a decision that needs to be made. Usually, when you make quick decisions, you ultimately make the right one. When you spend too much time thinking and analyzing, that’s when you talk yourself out of the right choice. – Brad Burns, Wayne Contracting
2. Leverage Past Data
Utilize modern technology for insights and predictions. Use past data to predict proper decision-making in the future. Proper data training and learning leads to clear patterns that can help guide your business. – Mark Plaskow, Scientific Clinics
3. Consider Your Experiences and Goals
In any context, decision-making represents a risk. Relying on your own judgment, and accounting for past experiences and what results you want to achieve, is an effective way to make good decisions quickly. This practice is not error-free, but it will help to make a habit of reducing fears about making decisions in an important situation. – Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes, by Leyes Enterprises
4. Clear Your Mental Clutter
Make the easy decisions first. In my experience, it’s hard to make good, thoughtful choices with a lot of mental clutter. Clearing the “inbox,” so to speak, helps create room and time for the more involved decisions. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya
5. Let Go of Your Ego
Most of the time, we are hit with 100 things a day, and all of them are top priority. What is the right decision? How do we calculate our next move? Ask yourself a simple question: Is this deal not working or the answer not there because your “ego” is making the decision? Let that emotion go and see what happens. – David Chen, GTIF Capital
6. Get Your Emotions Under Control
To make calculated decisions on the fly, I have to make sure I am emotionally stable. This means I cannot be stressing about different issues or action items to complete. Having emotional intelligence allows leaders to problem-solve on a deeper level. This is especially true when the decision needs to be made quickly and the consequences could be negative. – Jordan Erskine, Dynamic Blending
7. Decide Quickly, but Implement Slowly
It’s never the right time to make a good decision. Most people are scared of making a decision because they are afraid of failure. Just remember: the more time you take, the more it leads to mental fatigue and loss of motivation. So, my advice is to make the decision quickly and implement it slowly. If required, involve your team members in the process, share opinions, and come to the solution. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
8. Use the Six-Hat Solution
Have a decision-making process. If you don’t have a process, decisions can linger. One of my favorite decision-making processes is the six-hat solution. It has you think through the decision from six different perspectives. It helps you see all angles and feel great about your final decision. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
9. Give Yourself a Time Limit
As a business owner, you don’t have all the time in the world to make important decisions. You need to think quickly on your feet to keep operations moving. So, give yourself a time limit for mulling over the situation and deciding where to go from there. This will give you enough headspace and time to figure out your next move without making rash decisions. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
10. Decide Whether a Decision Can Be Reversed
As leaders, we’ve got to make a lot of decisions. If you agonize over every one, your business won’t ever move forward. Instead, learn how to identify which ones can be reversed and which can’t. If a decision can be reversed, don’t waste time being indecisive. Your time is better spent on the ones that can’t be reversed. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
11. Look at the Big Picture
When you need to make a good decision fast, make sure you look at the situation through the lens of the big picture. It’s easy to get lost in small details when you need to make an impactful decision. Understanding how your choice will impact everyone, including other employees and customers, will help you sharpen your thinking and allow you to make quicker decisions. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
12. Brainstorm Potential Problems
Preparation is the key to making good decisions in a time of urgency. It’s helpful to spend some time thinking about major hurdles that can upset your business. Create a troubleshooting plan so that if an issue arises, you already have a protocol to follow. Planning ahead will save time and help you keep a clear head during challenging events. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
13. Consider the Best and Worst-Case Scenarios
Consider the best and worst-case scenarios. If the worst-case scenario is not that bad, make that decision fast. Don’t rush big decisions. If a big decision needs to be made fast in business, it would likely accompany unusual circumstances or outside pressure. Making decisions in unusual circumstances can really go either way, but if it is outside pressure, do not give in to it. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
14. Reduce the Number of Decisions to Make
Control the number of decisions you make in a given day. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions we make on any given day. The fewer decisions you have to make, the easier it is to channel your energy and focus on quickly and precisely making good decisions on the harder topics of the day. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
15. Just Act
Don’t wait; just act. Sometimes you just need to trust your gut instinct. The pain of regret is often larger than the pleasure of gain. Fear prevails behind every single decision someone makes, but keep in mind that both fear and optimism are unseen. Most people will get absorbed by the former. Being under pressure reveals your true character. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.