As a founder, the state of indecision can be crippling, especially when all of your options seem like equally viable paths for your business to take. If you have a method in place for what to do when you reach a crossroad, however, it'll be easier to reach a decision -- and be happy your choice -- in the long run.
Ten entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share their secrets for overcoming indecision in their business.
1. Acknowledge the outcome of indecision.
The best way to overcome indecision with respect to a business decision is to acknowledge what the lack of decision will yield as an outcome at the time of your deadline. In essence, the importance of your decision is then weighed against the outcome you're sure to have if you do nothing. If this outcome is unacceptable, you'll have a natural incentive to reach a conclusion and move forward deliberately.--Punit Shah, My Trio Rings
2. Flip a coin.
It sounds overly simplistic, but if you can't make a decision then it's likely your intuition telling you that it's either not that important or neither option is superior to the other. So, flip a coin and move on! I flipped a coin a decade ago to break a tie between a job offer in New York and one in L.A. It served me well then (heads: NYC!), and has worked hundreds of times since.--Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
3. Use the 40-70 rule.
Retired four-star general Colin Powell has a rule of thumb that I find helpful for making decisions: Every time you face a decision you should have no less than 40 percent -- and no more than 70 percent -- of the information you need to make the decision. Any less, and you're shooting from the hip. Any more, and the opportunity has likely passed and someone else has beaten you to the punch.--Mattan Griffel, One Month
4. Write 750 words.
In "The Artist's Way," Julia Cameron advocates for the concept of daily pages, whereby you write 750 words in stream-of-consciousness format. This is meant to clear the mind and clear all the clutter out, helping you to become highly attuned to the wisdom underneath the chatter. By using this methodology, you can tap into your intuition and gain greater clarity when making decisions.--Marcela DeVivo, Homeselfe
5. Decide twice.
Make a decision based on whatever you have available, whether that's others' input or data in your work environment. Write down why you made that decision. Wait 24 hours, and then in a different environment (grocery store, gym, etc.) ask the same question and make a decision again. Can you challenge the decision made 24 hours ago?--Tolga Tanriseven, GirlsAskGuys
6. Establish deadlines.
To move past indecision, I give myself a realistic deadline. My timeframe includes the ability to conduct and evaluate analyses that impact my decision making. If I need to gather input from others, I factor that into my deadlines as well. If I need to make a quick decision, I go with my gut and business instinct.--Tamara Nall, The Leading Niche
7. Phone a friend.
I tend to be a very decisive person, but of course there are times when I'm not. I tend to ask someone when I'm unsure and get his or her opinion on the matter. I like to conduct mini-surveys around the office and ask for the team's input.--Jayna Cooke, EVENTup
Take an hour to exercise to remove your mind from the situation. It's important to activate the "diffuse" mode of your brain to allow yourself to effectively absorb and take a deeper look at the situation at hand. I find that when I exercise, I'm able to analyze decisions or difficult situations from a different angle and determine the best solution.--Clayton Dean, Circa Interactive
9. Trust your first instinct.
As a leader, indecision not only slows your team down, it can portray weakness (or at the very least, a lack of confidence). I trust my first instinct -- this leads to a quick decision, enables our team to move fast, and I am never a bottleneck for getting work done.--Jeff Epstein, Ambassador
10. Limit the decisions you make.
A popular concept is the notion of "decision fatigue": we have a limited number of decisions we can make in a given day. As such, I've set on the track of eliminating as many non-critical decisions as possible, down to the basics (e.g. when to wake up, what to eat for breakfast, what to wear, etc.). The more you standardize, the more bandwidth you have for import decision making.--Ross Beyeler, Growth Spark