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All Sunshine and No Rain

By Laura L. Reeves, CCP

Founder & CEO, Common Sense Practice, LLC

All sunshine and no rain only make a desert.  We need the juxtapositions of life in order to appreciate each aspect of them. 

We cannot appreciate the beauty of candlelight without the darkness of night. To enjoy a balmy spring day we must know the gray harshness of winter. Or, in the case of Florida, we must struggle through the enervating blanket of summer humidity to revel in the crispness of a fall morning.

So then, a common sense entrepreneur needs an appreciation of both choices before her when making a decision.  Does this make her a wobbly, namby, pamby business owner?

Nope, it makes her a clear-eyed decision maker. Understanding the implications of each side of a choice allows her to moderate the emotional impact of a decision.  She is able to examine the data, extrapolate the consequences and move forward with confidence.

No matter where we are on the entrepreneurial scale, we will encounter times of indecisiveness, where we waver in our ability to decide and move to the next task.

The capacity to step back and review options objectively is an underrated and invaluable skill.  Long term success dictates that we cultivate this skill with enthusiasm. 

Here are a couple of tips on how to do so:

  • Be someone else.  Do you know someone that you greatly respect that always seems to make the right decision regardless of the circumstances?  Try to put yourself into that person’s mind.  What questions would they ask themselves when making a decision?  Do they set the stage by reducing distractions or by being alone?  Do they consult with trusted advisors?  Take on that person’s decision making character to see if that helps in your own decision dilemmas. Sometimes clarity comes by thinking outside our usual channels.
  • Be comfortable.  Get still and analyze your emotional state. Are you feeling agitated or upset? Do you feel distracted? Where do your thoughts continue to go? Focusing on the area you are thinking of will clue you into what your concerns about this decision actually are. Examine those concerns one at a time by applying the facts of the situation to either confirm or eliminate the concern as a critical issue. Once a concern is validated as legitimate, make a mini-plan to mitigate that concern and move on.  Identify it, analyze it, solve it.

The objective is not to eliminate emotional concerns around a decision, but to temper their ability to take over the process.  Decisions do not occur in a vacuum.  They are fraught with emotion sometimes and are breezily made without thought at others.

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now.” sang Joni Mitchell in the ‘60s.  An apt philosophy when it comes to business in this entrepreneurial age.