How to make good business decisions

Closed Door Choices

When you have a big decision to make, ask for the input of the person you trust but hesitate to ask.

Don’t ask the one who will reassure, comfort or endorse your opinion without questioning it.

You know who I’m talking about!

The friends who rave about our new dress, but won’t tell us it makes our butt look big because they know we really like it. The besties who assure us our boyfriend is great, not that he brings out our sulky moody angry side because they know we have been single for two years.

You don’t want to ask the ones who reinforce our decisions to make life easier and avoid hurting our feelings.

Most of us seek the counsel of those who will tell us what we want to hear. If it is an important decision, think about the person you trust, but are hesitant to ask for their opinion.

If you trust their judgement and support, consider why you are hesitating to ask their opinion, guidance or suggestions. Is it because:

  1. you know they will tell you why your idea isn’t great,
  2. they will question the basis of your decision or the consequences,
  3. they will suggest alternate paths or ideas,
  4. you’ve made up your mind, even though there are doubts eating away at you, or
  5. it will mean you have to make changes, take more time or delve deeper into why you are making this decision.

Before leaping off the corporate ladder, one of the toughest obstacles I had to overcome as a Compliance Officer and Anti-Money Laundering Manager, was opening the lines of communication. I wanted to help the stockbrokers achieve their commercial goals, while also meeting the regulatory ones.

I encouraged them to come to me with all the information, not just what they thought would get them the answer they were seeking!

“No” and “Yes” are easy, quick and detached responses.

Saying them certainly would have made my job simpler in the short term! These two words please the recipient or ourselves.

“Maybe” takes time, effort and thought.

When you say or hear “Maybe”, you have to test your knowledge, skills and emotional comfort zone. It creates extra work, research and innovation. You could end up with the answer you, or they, don’t like.

Yes, you may reach the conclusion your first idea was great. Except that now, you have reinforced it and you will sleep easier, without the doubts eating away at you.

Yes, you may need to change your idea, however, improving it and working on it now is the smarter way to start on this new path.

Yes, you may discover this idea isn’t the right one, but isn’t it better to discover this now, before investing your time, money and energy?

Working with startups and existing companies on their business strategies enables me to be the informed person that asks the questions they’ve been avoiding. I can dig deeper, bypass the instinctive  knee jerk reaction, the first idea or the emotion driven business decision.

It’s about finding that sweet point where the head and heart meet.

This way we can be confident in our life and business decisions, own our actions and be proud of what we are doing.

When you are afraid of the answer you will receive, this is the biggest indicator that you need to ask the question.

As 2017 quickly approaches, what answers have you been hiding from?


Rebecca Collett, Head Honcho of Snowed Under Solutions & StartUp KickStart



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