Have to Make a Really Tough Decision? Here’s What to Do

I was speaking to a client earlier this week.  Her business has been growing rapidly, but she is out of cash to finance its growth.  She has been working on raising capital for about a year and of the $3MM she is looking for, has been able to raise about $450K.

Good, but not enough.  She just moved into a new space where expenses are higher and almost missed payroll last week.

Imagine 15 employees’ paychecks bouncing!

She is at a crossroads, as she feels she is “close” to raising the capital, yet the bottom line is the checks have not arrived.

What should she do?

That is the question many, many entrepreneurs face every day.  The consequences may not be as dire as hers but none-the-less one of the biggest issues we face is making big decisions.  The stress increases exponentially when you are alone in making them.

Here is what to do when you’ve got a big one to deal with:

1. Remove the emotions. Separate yourself from the situation.  It is NOT about you or who you are as a person.  It never is and it is easy to forget that when you are in the thick of it.

2. Clear your head. Go for a walk.  Play with your cat, child, pet goldfish, or whatever.  Remember what life is really about.

3. Come up with 3 solid options. Think through each scenario carefully.  Do a cost-benefit analysis to get a read on each one.

4. Bounce it off 2-3 of your mentors. People that are not emotionally attached to the outcome of your situation.  They must have experience and your well-being in mind, first and foremost.  A senior business coach is perfect for this if you have one.

5. NEVER decide immediately. Instead, think about it, come up with a couple of scenarios, then sleep on it.  Nine out of 10 times you’ll be glad you didn’t react quickly.

6. Take action immediately. Once you’ve slept on it, act and act quickly and decisively.  Don’t go down the rat hole of procrastination or analysis paralysis.  Again, your mentor(s) or coach can make sure you do this well.

7. Debrief the experience. Within a week of taking action, sit down away from distractions and really think through what you got out of this.  What is good about it?  What will you avoid doing in the future?  And what will you make sure you do going forward.

Together, my client and I went through these seven steps.  Yesterday she called me to say, “Wow that worked fast!  I already got the breathing room I need!”

She was able to get her vendors to do what we discussed who are now helping her finance the next three months of operations as she completes this round of financing.

How sure is she that she’ll get the financing in 3 months?  “No way in he[ck] I won’t!!”

Action Steps for the Week:

Take a look at that one thing you’ve been procrastinating on.  You know which one it is.  The one you keep shoving to the back of your mind.  And/or the one thing you MUST deal with and not sure where to get started.

Go through these seven steps listed above.  Make sure you give yourself the permission to be human, and like all of us be scared and uncertain.

And then do it.

Get clear on it and don’t question your decision once it’s made.  If things change and/or evolve along the way, manage it and make sure your mentor(s)/coach is involved with helping you work through it.