Over the years I've made many mistakes in business. I don't beat myself up about them, in fact I'm grateful to have made them because they've generally made me a better person, in business, in life, in everything. But I do believe that as a business owner, we develop our own sixth sense, which is hugely valuable for helping us to make better decisions about everything we do in business.
Call it intuition, call it gut instinct, it doesn't really matter. We've all experienced it in some way. My intuition has saved my life three times. And if I had listened to it more, it would have saved me a lot of grief and money over the years.
In business it manifests with people, deals, projects, opportunities, customers - so many ways. We get a feel for what is going on with no real information, just a sense of what is going on and what we need to do about it. But for many people, the ability to hear and feel their intuition is a lost skill.
The problem is we've become too busy to hear what our intuition is trying to say. We intellectualize because we are so bombarded with information that we simply can't hear our intuition in midst of the clutter. But we can relearn the skill of hearing it and a great deal can change in our lives when we do.
For the past few years I've been working with an Intuition Coach (yes, an Intuition Coach). He's a great guy, and he is truly extraordinary in so many ways. His role is to help me learn to reconnect with my intuition in all parts of my life - my health, my relationships, my business, my wealth, everything. And what a few years it is proving to be.
I'm remembering what it feels like to really be connected with my intuition and the impact it's having on my life is quite extraordinary. So, to help others who would like to reconnect with their intuition, and perhaps better hear and feel their business owners sixth sense, here are 7 ideas that I use that work really well.
1. IN ANY ENCOUNTER, LEARN TO STOP, TAKE A STEP BACK AND SEE HOW YOU FEEL NOT HOW YOU THINK.
When you first encounter someone, take a moment during the conversation to see how you feel, not how you think about that person. The business owners sixth sense doesn't come from the head it comes from the heart and we have to remember what it feels like when we get a message from our heart and translate that feeling into information we can use.
2. DON'T LOOK FOR GOOD OR BAD THINGS, JUST TRY TO RECONNECT WITH HOW YOU FEEL.
Remember, we are not looking for bad things, we are looking for the reality of a situation. There are many times my instinct has told me not to do something in business but my brain has rationalized the situation and over ridden my intuition, to my detriment. We need to reconnect with how we feel at a deeper, less intellectual and more emotional level.
3. TAKE QUALITY MOMENTS DURING THE DAY TO PONDER WHAT NEEDS TO BE PONDERED.
Learn to take quiet moments during the day to do nothing but sit and consider the things you are wondering about or struggling to make a decision. Find somewhere peaceful, disconnected and free of distractions and think long and hard about whatever you need to be thinking about and try to reconnect with your gut instinct and see what message it's trying to send.
4. LEARN FROM WHEN YOU GO IT WRONG IN THE PAST.
Reflect back on situations from the past that haven't worked out as well as you wish they did. I've had some really bad business partnerships that I wish I could undo. But when I take the time to stop and reflect on them, I knew before I even entered them that they weren't going to work out. Now maybe I willed them not to work, but I doubt it. The grief and money they cost me are not things I intended to have to deal with.
5. LEARN FROM WHEN YOU GOT IT RIGHT IN THE PAST.
Think back about the situations or opportunities that worked out really well. Try to reconnect with how you intuitively felt as they developing. They are generally clear, clean, positive and light (sorry, that's the best word I can use to describe these. That's the intuitive feeling we want to look for to give us the green light.
6. BE DETACHED FROM ALL OUTCOMES SO YOU CAN HEAR YOUR INTUITION MORE CLEARLY.
Be detached from the outcome. When we are less attached to the outcome we tend to think and feel more clearly. If we are hoping to win a giant contract, and all this means in terms of money and perhaps status, it's very easy for our intellect to take over and overshadow our intuition which is screaming to say that this contract is not all it's cut out to be and we might very well regret it if we win it.
7. HAVE A SMARTER CHECKLIST FOR MAKING DECISIONS
I've always used a check list to help me decide if I wanted to do a specific project. It had things on it like: have I got the time, does it interest me, is it profitable enough, do I have the skill set etc. This really helped but something was missing. About 10 years ago I added an item at the bottom of the list - "What does my intuition say about the project?". This has changed everything. Today if I get all ticks on my list, but a cross on the question about intuition, I won't do the project - no matter what. Basically any project that doesn't get a tick on the intuition question is a project that I won't be taking on.
We all have this extraordinary skill - intuition, instinct, six sense, whatever you want to call. The more we listen to it, the easier it is to hear and the better the decisions we will make, in every part of our life. The more we push it away, the harder it is to hear and from my experience, the quality of our decisions reflects this.