Tag Archives: Business Decisions

Good judgement comes from experience; Experience comes from bad judgement

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Hmmm. Yet another quote that uses circular logic which is the only type of logic that I enjoy. I guess the only reason the elderly have good judgment is that they have been burned so many times that they learned. Sure you can teach children right from wrong, but until they have a few really bad experience and suffer some really real consequences that they feel, they might never learn.

I remember the old days when I wanted to make money fast. I worked hard on my paper route and lawn mowing business. I saved up money and purchased a penny stock. It went out of business a few years later and I lost everything. It was after that experience I decided to be a lot more cautious about investing. Now, I have a very stable portfolio of stocks that are mostly the same that Warren Buffet owns. Sure, none of them are fast growth stocks, but they are stable, and I made a little money from them too.

In my business, I have learned a lot too. When I started many years ago, I thought that you just set up certain functions and they maintain themselves. I put a bunch of people on a directory and thought that I had a directory. I didn’t realize that I would have to continue giving 3000 free listings every year for the rest of my life which is very time consuming. What I did was to add 4000 all at once, and then do nothing for two years until the total head count on the directory got really low. Now, I have a monthly system of putting new people on the directory in the beginning of each month. My behavior now demonstrates my realistic and good judgement which arose from being an idiot in the past and learning from my mistakes.

But, what about your business? Do you learn from your mistakes or are you oblivious and keep making the same mistakes over and over without realizing? Try to learn from your bad judgment and refine your decision making skills as that is what defines a good business person. If you have made twenty wrong turns in the past, and now know the right place to turn, you are a business person. If your correct turn changes over time and you adapt swiftly to the change, then you are a real business person who understands that change is constant.

Just remember — the difference between a successful business person and a very successful business person is that the very successful one compares a much larger number of options and says “no” a higher percentage of the time!

Bathe and meditate before making business decisions

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Do you make business decisions at the office? Sure, most of us go to an office to work everyday, but offices are actually not the best place to work, or to make decisions. Hmm! Offices are good places to have meetings and to watch less experienced workers. If we all knew what we were doing and were trustworthy, we could all work at home, couldn’t we! So, when and where do we make our big decisions?

What are meetings good for?
Meetings are good for exchanging ideas, brainstorming, and meeting new people. The ideas bounce between different people and can develop as they go around the table. Some experts say that you shouldn’t have more than seven people at a meeting otherwise it undermines the efficiency of the meeting. Other experts say that meetings are usually an inefficient use of time and should be kept to a minimum. I can’t advise on that, but there are many blog articles on the topic! Meetings are good for what they are good for. After you have attained the benefit of the meeting, adjourn it and go back to work!

Sleep on it
But, for the actual decision, sometimes it is good to sleep on it. For complicated decisions, we need to be in a more spiritually pure frame of mind. Taking a bath and meditating before attempting to tackle a hard decision is a good idea. Late at night when it is hopefully quiet and there are few if any distractions might be the time to make that decision.

Thinking while walking & talking?
But, there’s more! I have made the best decisions of my life while talking on the phone during my daily walk. The best artists, musicians and philosophers often are reclusive people who take long walks — at least historically this is a true fact. I often talk to my psychic while I’m walking. He can sometimes give great answers to my questions. But, sometimes, I answer my own questions just by talking to him. Perhaps I’m subconsciously absorbing his thinking abilities, or perhaps, by talking about the issues even to my cat, the answer would come to me because I’m stimulating my own mind!

A final thought!
This might sound bizarre, and it is. I was in line for some pasta in my neighborhood. There is a place that has been in business since 1963 believe it or not. They are very inexpensive and often have a very long line for their pasta, vegetables, chicken, shrimp, and other specialties. I was upset that I was going to waste so much time in line. But, then I whipped out my i-phone and started writing notes in the notes section. I came up with thirteen really interesting blog ideas in only twenty minutes. Maybe I should have pasta more often!

Long Range Effects of Business Decisions – a Mistake That Got Turned Around

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A mistake that got turned around
I made a business decision a few months ago which was to reduce my involvement in certain processes of my business. I removed the weakest 20% of listings from one of my directories. We did not lose traffic as a result, but we lost growth. I didn’t know what the long range effect of my decision would be other than I would have less responsibilities. Luckily for me, I track my decisions and the results thereof. I quickly learn when I have made a bad decision and turn it around. But, sometimes it is not so easy.

Gaining and losing personnel
If you hire a new person, there are positive and negative attributes that they bring on board. Someone with a bad attitude can really interrupt the flow of your company. On the other hand, someone who is occasionally difficult might bring a lot to the table that your business might suffer from if lost. I just read an article on Harvard Business Review where a manager lost one of their key team members. A few months after the fact the manager stated how they didn’t realize how critical that member was to the team. It is very important to be able to assess in business. You need to know how important each of your team members is — because one day you might have to live without them, or you might have to decide whether to fire them or not.

Techniques for elastic expansion
Expansion is another popular topic for business owners. Most companies want to grow, but many don’t know how, or how fast. Trying to grow too fast can cause a lot of confusion, especially if you have to change your business model. But, what about changing the way you do business in a way that facilitates flexibility in the size of your company? What if you have seven people at your company, and you create a new team structure that allows you to be able to add or subtract team members without dramatically altering your personal workload. If you change your business model to incorporate more middle level managers, or reliable outsourced help, then they can handle whatever growth there is for you, and you can work as much or little as you like. On the other hand, those who try to grow too fast without a business structure that can accommodate it can fall on their face and suffer huge losses in the long run!

The long range effects of business decisions are fascinating to think about and read about. Make it a habit to think about the karmic effects of your actions. Think before you jump!

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Do you over-analyze or trust your instincts?

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Remember Star Wars?
Trust your instincts Luke! Use the force!

Managers often rely on crunching too many numbers and looking at too many points of view before making a decision. Sometimes it is hard to decide upon anything if you have analysis paralysis. Is it good to crunch numbers or rely on your instincts? Or both?

In my experience, analysis is a good idea, but is not a substitute for trying things out to see how they work in real life. Tuning into your instincts is also very important in business. If you see the right signs, maybe it is time to move forward.

The real question is, which business decisions to you leave to intuition, and which do you leave to endless analysis? Last minute quick decisions need to be made fast. They are time sensitive. You don’t have time in your day to ponder, and regurgitate analytical thoughts. On the other hand, long term strategy can be slowly molded and assessed, reassessed, and philosophized about.

Sometimes it is good to stay up late at night and think deeply about business. Instead of getting caught up in work, take an hour or two and really go over your main strategical issues for the quarter or the year. Too much work and not enough deep thought is bad. Too much thinking and not enough getting things done is even worse!

To sum it up. I would say that you need a very comprehensive algorithm to tell you which decisions you need to make by instinct and which you need to do the “analysis paralysis thing.”

(1) It’s hard to decide on anything if u have analysis paralysis. Is it good to crunch numbers or rely on your instincts?
(2) Should you over-analyze or trust your instincts? Use the force Luke!

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