One of the main things that separates the entrepreneur from the 9-5er is the ability/need to make decisions.
While working in an office you get a task to do. You then do it. You could care less if this is exactly what needs to be done, you were simply told to do it. Many times I have had things to do that I find out were later tossed out after my boss thought about it more or went a different direction. All that wasted time was on my boss not me so I didn’t lose sleep over it.
As an entrepreneur all of those decisions and more come down on you. Everyone looks to you for every answer and every move. Not everyone is cut out for this. I’ll tell you first hand its not easy! It’s actually a pain in the ass a lot of the time. Sometimes I wish I could wake up and be told some things to do that would advance my business. But I know that won’t happen and instead I have to come up with those things.
In the end you have to make the decisions so lets try to make the right ones!
1. Don’t rush into things
Brainstorm every morning. Then revise those ideas that night. Then revise those ideas 2 days later. Just because you are dying to quit your 9-5 doesn’t mean its time to jump on every thought. Good things come in time.
2. Make huge lists
Cover all angles. All possible solutions to the problem your trying to solve. Don’t jump on the first idea. In the end it may be the best one but realize other options.
3. Ask your crowd
Ask the people in your crowd! Let them know whats on your mind and see what their thoughts our. As entrepreneurs many of us have crowds of entrepreneurs around us who have been through similar situations.
4. Ask outside your crowd
Ask your parents or family or anyone who won’t buy your stuff. Having an outside party look at what your going through is a great way to get an honest opinion. Whatever your decision is about the solution should make sense to anyone..not just people in your crowd. As great as your followers may be their thoughts can be blinded by being in similar situations.
5. Ask the hard questions
Why won’t this work? Who won’t like this? Is this unique? Will anyone care? Is there something better out there? Is this the easy way out?
6. Niche test
Everything is niche these days. That’s how you will be successful. Twitter started amongst a group of friends in silicon valley, no big dreams. Test small markets. Maybe a club at a school or head to one event with your target. Don’t produce 1000 t-shirts. See if you can sell 1 first.
Take a step back from your situation and just listen to the noise around you. Listen to your audience and listen to others audiences. Listen to people who have been there before and people just starting out. Hearing other people’s thoughts and situations will help you think about yours more logically.
8. Ask your gut
Does it feel right? Are you excited for what your about to do? If you have bad feelings about where your headed then it probably isn’t the best choice.
9. Step back from it all
Leave the problem on the table. Go play some golf or workout. Maybe even go away for the weekend. Clear your head and make a conscious effort to NOT think about the situation. Forget everything you were sorting through and come back with a clean slate.
10. Just do it
The worst decision you can make is not making a decision at all. Take the leap and jump off the cliff a few times. In the end there is never a guarantee of success. You will look back one day and say that was the best decision of your life…the other 30 decisions you messed up will fade away.
Author Jared O’Toole is the Co-Founder of Under30CEO, inspiring people to live the dream by getting passionate about something. A graduate of Ithaca College he realized corporate finance was not for him sometime around the interview process. Instead of continuing his job hunt he decided to hunt down his own entrepreneurial ambitions. Jared has since immersed himself fully in the social media world, focused on a way to get young people passionate about what they “do”.