Take the Leap

Regret Minimization
December 12, 2011
Rest, Reflect, Rebrand
December 26, 2011

Take the LeapDuring this busy holiday season it is easy to start feeling stressed and tired. We are running around here and there shopping, going to parties, wrapping presents and sending out cards to our friends and family. Although it is a joyous season, it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are just so many things to do and places to go. Inspite of the hustle and bustle though, I don’t actually find the activity to be the thing that wears me out the most. Instead it is all the decision making that goes into the preparation for the season that really feels taxing. If someone just handed me a pre-made list of everything I need to buy and do before Christmas I could go on autopilot and get it done, but that’s not how things work.

If you want to have a satisfying experience, you need to put some thought into what you are doing. You need to think about the people you are shopping for, what they would like and what you can afford. You need to plan the outfits for the parties you will attend. Will they be formal and require a gown or will they be hip, casual affairs where you can wear a sparkly tank top? And what about the big Christmas feast? What should you serve? Do you go with a traditional turkey or try something new? Should you serve trifle or pie for dessert? It’s enough to drive a girl crazy all this decision making. The longer you sit with these questions, the heavier the load feels. The only antidote is to simply make some decisions. Once you do, you immediately start to feel lighter. The question is how do you decide?

So far I have only been talking about Christmas, but what about all the other, more important decisions you need to make in business and in life? Perhaps you are trying to decide on the right niche for your business or which new logo to put on your letterhead. Or maybe you are trying to figure out the best way to spend your marketing budget. You may go around and around in your head about the right thing to do and still end up not making a decision. Or worse, you may jump and just make a decision to get rid of the discomfort or anxiety that is welling up inside not knowing which way to go.

Here are some tips to help you with those decisions big and small:

Tip the scales. You need to weigh the pro’s and con’s of you decision. Take a out of piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Put all the positive benefits of your decision on one side and all the possible negative results on the other. Then look at your paper and see which list is longer and you’ll probably have your answer. One caveat to this approach, however, is that one pro or con may have a much bigger significance that will effect your decision. If, for example, you are trying to decide whether or not to wear a funky little outfit to the office holiday party, you may have lots of things in your pro column like, “It’ll be more fun than a cocktail dress. I’ll feel more comfortable than in high heels.” However, a con might be “It may effect my professional image” which obviously carries more weight.

Look into the future, the lesson of 3’s. Another great way of decision making is imagining how you will feel about your decision in the future. Take a look at the choice you are trying to make and imagine how you will feel about that decision in 3 days, 3 months or 3 years. Maybe you are trying to decide whether or not to accept a speaking engagement that conflicts with a commitment you made to volunteer at you child’s school. Ask yourself, “How will I feel about that decision in 3 days, 3 months or 3 years?” What will have the bigger positive or negative impact on how you feel at those 3 time increments?  Perhaps you will feel badly about missing the volunteering for a few days, but 3 months or 3 years from now it may seem insignificant compared to the benefit of following through with the speaking gig. Or, conversely, you may wish 3 years from now that you had kept your commitment to volunteer because of how it made you feel about yourself as a parent.  Trying those times on for size can sometimes help bring those fuzzy emotions into greater clarity.

Who done it? Look to a role model. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone just told us what to do? Well, sometimes that’s the case. There are people who have already gone where you want to go and have done what you want to do. What choices did they make? Ask them! People love to share advice, it makes them feel good to help other people. And it can save you tons of time and money by following their lead. Are you struggling with how to handle a difficult client? Ask someone who’s been in business a while how they do it? Are you unsure about the best time to hire an assistant? Ask someone who has an assistant. You can learn from other people’s successes and mistakes.

LEAP! Or as Nike says, just do it. We’d all like have a crystal ball and know ahead of time just how things will turn out, but that’s not possible. You can list all the pro’s and con’s, you can do the 3, 3, 3 exercise, you can ask for advice, but you cannot control every variable that effects the result of a  decision. Still, at some point you need to just dive in and decide. You can do your market research, but there are no guarantees. Instead of moving forward with a probable successful choice, you can end up wasting a lot of time and possible income by not really making a clear decision. Often times if you commit to a decision you can make adjustments along the way even if it was not a perfect match to start with. However, you must leap for results!

Of course, we’d all like to avoid mistakes, but if you do your due diligence your mistakes will mostly likely not be catastrophic. I heard a speaker recently referring to mistakes as “falling up.” The idea is that your mistakes are gifts that teach you on your upward spiral. You learn from them and actually accelerate your success instead of being slowed down by indecision.

With the New Year just around the corner one of the best decisions I’ve made is to learn more and get the help and support I need to take my own business to the next level. I’ve made the decision and I am committed to doing it. Now I feel light, focused, energized and excited about the future. If you’d like to feel that way too, I can help. Why not make the decision to get the support you need to grow your business in the New Year? Together we can identify what makes you most profitable, identify your ideal niche and create crystal clear and compelling marketing messages. To schedule a FREE Brand Discovery Call to explore what’s best for you, call me, Heather at (781) 369-5063 or email at heather@clearvoicebranding.comYou can have another year of indecision, or a year of fast growth and learning. The choice is up to you!

To learn more about Clear Voice Branding and some of my branding services, please visit the website at http://www.clearvoicebranding.com/business-services.html. You can also get lots of branding and business tips by connecting with me on Facebookwww.facebook.com/ClearVoiceBranding or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherPoduska.