We make hundreds of them each day, many subconsciously, without even realizing. But when it comes to our dreams and aspirations as entrepreneurs, we tend to put a great deal of thought into making the right ones.
And then we second-guess ourselves.
And we stew.
And we worry, rethinking our sense of direction and wondering if we're on the right path or have just screwed up the whole thing.
Self-doubt can really skewer your confidence and even impair your ability to make the decisions that will drive you forward as an entrepreneur. So let's cut out the destructive behaviors, shall we?
Here are 7 clues you made the right decision and are on the path to success:
1. You're Confident You Were Asking the Right Question
Decision analysis is a discipline guided by the principle that the outcome of your decision doesn't really matter -; it's how you make the decision that counts. Co-founder and emeritus Harvard professor Howard Raiffa advocates that people first ensure the question they are trying to resolve is framed correctly.
Simply put, you can't make the best decision if you're looking to answer the wrong question.
Framing your decision correctly enables you to then express your preferences, assess all available information and make the right choice.
2. You're Uncomfortable/Worried
Making big decisions isn't supposed to be easy and starting a new business might just be one of the riskiest things you ever do. It's totally normal to feel apprehensive about it.
In fact, if you're 100% confident in your decision, it's highly likely that you haven't considered all of the risks involved. Because that's the thing: in startups, there are always risks. You're going to make mistakes -; we all do. Feeling uncomfortable and second-guessing yourself often means you're vigilant and aware of the risks.
It means you're doing something different and getting outside of your comfort zone. This is where the big wins come from.
3. You Understand Why You Made the Decision You Did
If you can say with confidence that your decision was based on sound logic rather than a gut feeling, you're more likely on the path to success.
In a recent study, Bowling Green State University researchers found that people with a rational decision-making style were confident in their decision making and were more likely to be seen as making quality decisions by their peers, compared to those who based decisions off of intuition or instinct.
That age old advice to "go with your gut" might serve you well as confirmation that your logic is good, but don't rely on instinct alone.
4. You'll Be Satisfied with the Best Outcome
Consider your best case scenario coming true -; are you happy with your decision?
Somewhat counter-intuitively, we often make decisions where even the best possible outcome isn't the ideal solution. In a startup, for example, this might mean focusing on a big decision that, even if all goes well, won't mean growth but will simply hold you steady.
When that happens, you know you weren't framing the problem correctly or you didn't consider all of your options.
5. But You'll Be Morally and Ethically Okay with Alternate Outcomes, Too
This is huge in the world of startups and entrepreneurship. Sure, you'll be happy if the best case scenario is the result of your decision.
But what if a less ideal outcome will put you in a morally or ethically questionable place? Of course, morals and ethics vary widely from person to person, so there's no one-size-fits-all standard here.
If you're already sweating what you might be forced or feel compelled to do if the deal doesn't go quite right, you need to consider more alternatives.
It's okay to second-guess and doubt yourself -; you're not superhuman! Just don't let your worries and fears undermine your entrepreneurial efforts. Rethink your decision-making process to make sure you're on the path to success!