Steps that Help You Make a Decision

Every day we are faced with multiple opportunities to make decisions.  Some decisions are made without even thinking twice, but others are trickier.  When it comes to business development, we sometimes struggle with making decisions.  Insecurities get in our way…  what will work, how will I be perceived, how often should I reach out to someone… the list goes on. This is common, but don’t let this paralyze you!  The best thing to do in this scenario?  Try the following few steps to get you jump-started:

  • Define the objective– What is it you want to achieve through your business development initiatives?  In your mind’s eye, picture the final results of your efforts.  By thinking through your objectives like this, you will gain perspective that will ultimately shape the decisions you must make to get started.
  • Collect relevant information–  Now that you have an objective, think about the pieces of information you need to create actionable steps to reaching your goals.
  • Identify your options–  It is rare that a decision has a very defined answer at first blush.  Think through your objectives and understand the options that will lead you to the end results.  For example, if you want to build relationships with people who could refer business, there are a few approaches you could take. One option is to identify specific individuals and invite them out to lunch, communicate with them via phone call or email, or reconnect with them via social media. Alternatively, you can opt to join a committee where you may contribute to a team, building new relationships along the way.  Either way, collect your relevant data on all of the options and weigh them against your resources.
  • Make a decision–  Once you have clearly defined your options, select one. Don’t stress over it!  Compare the methods, pair up your resources (such as time, money and desire) and pick one path.  When the option has been chosen, write it down with the appropriate actionable items.
  • Implement and evaluate–  Get to work!  With a defined decision in front of you, now you can start working towards achieving your objective.  Take it in small steps and commit to a specific timeframe for your implementation (for example, 3-6 months).  When that timeframe has passed, evaluate your progress.  By looking at your efforts and checking in on your successes and failures, you will confirm if the decision you made was the right one.  If it is the right one, keep going by updating your actionable items.  If it seems to need adjusting, repeat this process and try again.

Making decisions does not have to be torture.  Ask someone to talk you through the decisions if it helps.  When it comes down to it, if you make the wrong decision… so be it.  Do the best you can to re-evaluate and start again.  If you’ve made a solid choice, congratulations!  Continue on your path and branch off into new directions when the time feels right!