Do you have a hard time making tough decisions? Maybe you are an over-thinker, constantly worrying about making the wrong choice. Maybe you worry so much about what your team or your clients will think that you get all wrapped up and almost forget this is your business.

As a business owner, you wear many hats — and those hats can change countless times in the course of just one day. One minute everything is fine and the next your washer is leaking all over the floor. Or one minute you’re taking care of a guest and next thing you know, your team member calls in sick last-minute even though she has a full book of clients for the day. 

This is around when many of us go into full-blown panic mode. You are trying to take care of so much at one time, run your business, take care of your guests, and you are faced with making quick decisions for your business? 

Now, some decisions carry so much more weight than others right. Think: washer leak versus team members calling out last minute (and let’s just say this isn’t the first time she has done this to you…). But in each of these instances, there are ways to keep making decisions from feeling so painful. 

When it comes to making tough decisions either with a team member, or about your finances, or whether you want to expand your business, I want to give you some tips that have helped me along my journey and some tips that I have also learned along the way. But, first, I wanna get this out of the way: If you learn anything from reading today, listen to your gut

When it comes to making tough decisions for your business, nine times out of 10, our gut is right — we just don’t listen to it. Why not?

Because in most cases, we don’t trust ourselves. We like to run things through our minds over and over until it feels right. But I have found that the longer I think about something, the more conflicted I become. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good “Let me sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning.” But if you spend weeks thinking and over-thinking, it can actually make it harder for you. Now, back to those tips. 

Tip #1: Write things out. 

When making big decisions, I love a pros and cons list. It really helps me to lay it all out on paper first. Once you start to make your list and see one side grow longer and longer, it starts to make your decision a little clearer. Once you feel like you’ve come to a conclusion, then I say sleep on it. See how you feel about it in the morning. If you still feel the same way, move forward. 

Tip #2: Be sure to explore your options. 

Don’t get fixated on one outcome. Take a look at the big picture, and one-by-one, assess all of your options. I have found that when you start to think about one option, you either get a good feeling and an hmmmm… feeling. Remember what I said before: Listen to your gut. I believe it’s a good idea to write out at least two or three options. Think of how each option will affect your business long-term and go with what one you feel fits best. 

Tip #3: Ask other people in business for their input.

“If you were in my shoes, what would you do?” “If you had to make this choice which way would you lean?” I have found that talking with other business owners helps a ton. It makes you feel like you are not alone. It also helps to get an outsider’s perspective. When you’re so close to your business, sometimes you can’t see what’s right in front of your face. Be sure to share the options you’re considering with your business friend when you ask them what they would do.   

Tip #4: Think long-term. 

When you are faced with a tough decision, think about how this will affect you and your business down the road. If I were to go with choice A, how will this affect me next year or in a few years? If I were to pick choice B, will it create more stress overall or less? Will this choice help me grow my business or could it hurt it?  Always take it back to the core values of your business and brand. When you make a decision based on that, you can’t go wrong. 

Tip #5 – When in doubt, ask yourself this list of questions. 

If all else fails, try running through the four questions I like to ask myself when it comes to making tough decisions in my own business:

  1. How does this affect me long term?
  2. Does it align with my core values and brand?
  3. What result am I seeking?
  4. Will this help me grow my business? 

These questions have saved me so much time. Feel free to use them to help you make tough decisions that might be coming up.