Making good decision are important
What is the genius behind simplicity when you are solving problems? We’ve all heard the saying “keep it simple, stupid”. The ability to break things down into their simplest form is much harder than it seems. Building your business is no different. First, we get our training and business license. Then start into an industry ready to work hard. Along the way we discover that there seems to be a lot more work to do. Making decisions takes more energy than what we thought. In fact, it seems that not much of what we learned in school will make us any money! What if there was a simple explanation for this? What if there was a step-by-step list or process, we could follow to achieve our goals? Think of the stress that would reduce!
Well the good news is there is a series of steps that any business owner needs to take to make solid decisions. In fact, these steps can be applied to any area of your life, and they will work. Let me explain more with a personal story of mine.
Research gives you knowledge
I remember a time many years ago. I was thinking of building a solar panel. I am quite interested in solar energy and solar heating. I am intrigued by the self-sufficiency that this brings. I studied many books, resources and building ideas. I wanted to know as I could about solar energy. I learned about the theories of light diffusion. How energy is converted from light. Then what the best storage mediums are. I studied many examples of failed projects. Most of these projects received funds by government dollars and headed by brilliant engineers. I read magazines that highlighted projects from average people and what their experience was. After all this research I was feeling overwhelmed and decided that the best way to overcome this massive complex arrangement of formulas and charts was to conduct a series of simple experiments to see what worked.
Keeping it simple makes the problem understandable
I created a simple 1 ft sq. box for the sake of making future calculations easier to understand. I Put it in the sun and placed a number of different materials in the container. The first thing I discovered I had not found any information on until many weeks after I had finished my experiments. Much to my surprise, the small test solar panel could really heat up. In fact it became so hot that it melted the black paint that covered the materials I placed in it. This experience I later discovered is called ‘out gassing.’ Out Gassing is when the paint gets so hot that it breaks down and a petroleum gas is emitted. The bad part to this is it clouds up the inside of the panel with an opaque film. I had discovered my first lesson.
5 tips on how to make solid decisions when problem solving
Tip # 1 – Finding all the information you need to make great decision is difficult.
Some problems will get confusing when you do extensive research. It becomes difficult to distill what information is really important.
In my experiment I proceeded to try all kinds of different materials. I tried the most recommended and some of the ones that were at the top of the list. Much to my surprise, the most recommended metal performed the worst! I found that one of the best materials was something that very few people even mentioned!
Tip # 2 – Regardless of your education, your will need to test the practical application. Without testing, a theory is nothing more than a fantasy.
This is where experience trumps the science or theories. Why? At times, the math or concepts miss the real important factors. You will research many online sources to help with making a tough decision. Each would like to give you information about your problem. Some will tell you the basic information. Others will tell you the same things you’ve already read. Some will have common ideas as everyone is talking about. What you need is the uncommon sense that will make things clear for you.
Often, we get people who call us because they’ve watched one of our YouTube videos. The reason they call is that they heard the one idea that made everything clear for them. They say that they wished they knew that idea long ago, so they could have prevented all this confusion and problem.
While working on my solar panel project there was one special moment. It’s the one separates all good ideas from fantastic feats. I call it the acid test of reality. It’s when ideas that look good on paper get put to the test. Then, I determined that the best place to put my solar panel was on the front wall of our bungalow. I ripped off the siding on half of the front wall and began to build. My wife, my neighbor’s and everyone who drove by thought I was crazy.
Tip # 3 – Be prepared to stand-alone if you’re not following the common beliefs
Those people who supported you when your idea was nothing more than a “good idea” will think you’re crazy once you start. That’s OK as long as it works for you. The greatest innovations were usually simple solutions to common problems that needed a new thought process.
Soon, construction of my solar panel was under construction. I then noticed that my neighbor Harvey, a retired farmer, would come over. We would talk for hours about what I was building. He asked about each step, and it wasn’t long before he had some ideas to share. Not only had Harvey become one of my supporters, but he had also become one of my mentors. I’m sure most of my family and the neighbor’s thought I was crazy. Each time we talked about what I was doing they had a different tone in their voices. I guessed that said they didn’t believe in what I was doing. And really, from most standards ripping all the siding off of the front of your house in the winter was at best way out there, so I could understand their skepticism.
Tip # 4 – The job gets done faster and more efficiently with a mentor.
Good decision-making is best done with a bunch of different mentors giving feedback. Many of the top businesspeople in the world have a group of people they present their ideas and problems to. It helps them make better decisions. They include people with similar thoughts and those who have opposing ideas. Having both gives creates a health perspective.
Finally, I did finish the solar panel. I had to make some adjustments along the way and overcome a few minor challenges. However, in the end, IT WORKED! It worked so well that the heat it created had doubled my expected out-put. What I had learned was that having good information gets you started. However, having experiential knowledge finishes the job. My neighbor Harvey had been there through the whole process. He helped me think through each step and gave advice when needed. It was great to have another creative mind with a different background there to bounce ideas off of.
Tip #5 – You will encounter obstacles along the path. They are there to fine-tune your ideas and build your character.
Every great feat will require many good decisions to overcome obstacles and problems. The obstacles are there in a way to see if we have the character to rise to a new level of success. We call this personal leadership. Similar to a test in school, obstacles test you to see if you are ready for new ideas and success. If you fail, you need to relearn the lesson. That’s why at times in the past you may felt like some problems are there repeatedly.
How does this apply to building a business, a leadership challenge, or making a tough decision in your personal life? Simple; every good decision will require:
- that you educate yourself,
- put in lots of effort to test your theories,
- you will need to break away from the ordinary thinking that doesn’t work,
- then find several mentors or an expert to make your learning faster and easier,
- and expect obstacles to show up that will build your character.
As a performance business and leadership coach, I can say that reaching your goals goes from impossible, to probable, to done. Success is much more do-able with the help of a professional who’s helped many others accomplish what it is your wanting to do. There are, after all, two paths to become successful, one is a long winding road with many painful obstacles, and the other is the short fast express route where you learn from other people’s mistakes.