Running a business as a whole, complicated human can be tricky. Our heads and hearts both want to be the boss and make decisions for us. Deciding ‘who’ gets the driver’s seat can be challenging.
That’s why it’s crucial to proactively decide where data, emotion, and intuition belong in your business.
If you leave every decision up to chance and how you feel on any given day, your business will become a revenue rollercoaster. Yet, if you rely on data and data alone to make your decisions, you might miss out on expansive and innovative opportunities that don’t necessarily make sense on paper.
Put another way; there’s no one way to make the best decisions in your business. There’s just the best way to make each decision in your business.
When it comes to decision-making, having as much data as possible to inform your options is key. As an OBM I help my clients analyze, define, develop, and track their metrics in a meaningful way. This allows them to access precise data when they need it most.
I like to think of data as a super spy that reports back to me what’s really going on in my business. Data is just facts and requires logical thinking. For instance, emotion might tell you to give up on your Instagram reels when you have your first three videos totally flop. If you have stats or data from other Instagram influencers, you might know this is normal when you first start. It could take thirty reels before you see significant results (this number is totally made up, btw).
When you have data, you can set aside your emotions about a flop and keep going. Using data in your decision-making process will give you more power and control over your results. Data keeps you curious and asking, “What could be better here?” instead of wallowing in what isn’t working.
Data can give you a pretty good idea of what might happen next and what needs to be fixed, but it can’t cast an inspiring vision for you, it can’t capture the nuances of hiring a perfect-fit team member, and it can’t perfectly predict what’s possible for you. Sometimes your gut feeling or intuition will override your data, and that’s okay. Most of your decisions, processes, systems, and operations should have a solid data foundation, but data doesn’t have to rule every decision you make.
Emotions do have their place, though. If you notice a pattern in how you feel about working with certain clients, feel like you’re outgrowing a program you offer or are running into the same communication issues with a team member again and again, it might be time to listen to your emotions.
Emotions should flavor your decisions, not fuel them.
Emotionally fueled decisions are usually the ones that get you in trouble in life and business. When I ran my business on emotion, I made slow progress and spun my wheels way longer than necessary. I was always burning projects to the ground before they’d had time to gain traction and then beating myself up for ‘failing’ again.
When relying on emotion to make your decisions, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and decide to take an uninformed leap or give up because of a momentary inspiration or frustration. If you’re outraged, exhausted, overwhelmed, or even overly excited — you’ll want to wait to make a decision.
Intuition is a little different than emotion. Intuition is that instant hit you get that something is a bad investment, that a team member isn’t going to be a good match, or that a client isn’t the best fit for your business. On the flip side, intuition can guide you toward profitable partnerships, great connections, or off-the-beaten-path opportunities. Often decisions like this don’t have a lot of data to back them up in the first place, so relying on your intuition makes sense!
The best tool you can have in your decision-making toolbox is discernment. With discernment, you can balance data, emotion, and intuition in your business to create your most profitable outcomes. Here’s a little cheat sheet to use so you can discern what a decision needs:
Do you have data available related to this decision?
Are you feeling emotional about this decision?
Are you getting an intuitive hit about this decision?
Need a data and decision pro on your team so you can focus on leading your business? Download my service guide to find out more about how I can support you and get your ops, systems, and biz back-end in tip-top shape!
November 22, 2022