Making Tough Decisions As An Entrepreneur 0 339

Making tough decisions isn’t an enjoyable experience.

Life circumstances often put us at a crossroad and most of us weigh the pros and cons of each road while others listen to their instinct. Everyone has their own way of deciding things. To cut it short, life is filled with decisions and choices; it’s an important aspect of our careers, our relationships, and in our overall happiness.

Today, we’re taking a look at making tough decisions because it’s the one thing every entrepreneur faces.

Let’s get started …

Why is decision-making so hard?

We make hundreds if not thousands of decisions every single day. These decisions are often small and insignificant like choosing what to eat, deciding what to wear, where to go, when should I exercise, and so on and so on.  We make these decisions in a fraction of a second because it’s easy and there isn’t much at stake. It doesn’t change our lives in any meaningful way.

Decision making becomes hard when there is something at stake. You’ll have to decide an appropriate attire for that interview and it’s going to put some pressure on you because your future job is on the line. You need to chill and stop agonizing on whether you did was right or wrong. You just need to stop worrying.

We don’t recommend that you make important decisions in a fraction of a second, but we also don’t recommend that you stand idle either. Not doing anything is still a choice.

Remember that overthinking things is not always a good thing, sometimes you need to trust your gut feelings and your intuitions. You need to make decisions quickly by setting a time limit on them. You should accept that you can’t have it all and that you need to compromise a little. And if you made the wrong call, then learn from your mistakes.

How Can I Improve My Decision Making Skills?

If you’re reading this article then you’re already on the first step of improving your decision-making skills.  The first step is to identify that you have a problem and that you’re willing to make progress to solve that problem.  You’re already doing that by reading this article.

Some of the other steps in making better decisions are by:

  • Following the 10/10/10 Rule

The 10/10/10 was invented by Suzy Welch. Suzy Welch is a business writer who has published a lot of respected publications over the years.

The 10/10/10 rule states that we think about our decisions in 3 different time frames. The first one is, “How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes?” The second one is, “How about 10 months from now?” And the last one would be, “How about 10 years from now?”

The rule basically offers us a new perspective and it ensures that we don’t regret the decision that we’re about to make. If you can see yourself happy in 10 years from now, then it just might be the right call.

  • Face Your Fears and Move On

Most of us freeze when it’s time to make big important decisions. We freeze because we are afraid, we are afraid of the outcome and try to stall for time by overthinking things.

The solution to this problem is by naming your fears and then facing them head-on. One simple way of doing this is by writing all of your fears down, and by writing about all the bad things that can possibly happen. Will this decision lead to an argument with my spouse? Will it lead to divorce?

The next step is to see if you can cope with the worst case scenario. Can you cope with being single? How will your children handle it? Will I still be happy? Think about it and replay the scenario in your mind over and over again. Then you should find ways to cope with the worst case scenario. You will eventually get used to it and you will feel less fearful of the outcome.

  • Find the Pros and Cons, Then Write Them Down

A simple way to improve your decision-making skills is by writing the pros and cons down, so says TED Talk Speaker Ruth Chang.

By listing down all the pros and cons of each decision you will eventually see that one decision is more favorable than the other. It’s a simple technique that a lot of people tend to dismiss.

  • Do Not Mistake What You Like With What You Actually Want

We often confuse what we like with what we want. People make wrong decisions all the time because of this misconception. As human beings and as people, we are often influenced by our feeling and by our emotions.

However, our feelings don’t really make good decisions and we often misunderstand where they are coming from. And because of this we often make the wrong calls.

Sometimes we need to take a long look at ourselves and understand where these feelings are coming from.  We may want to travel to an exotic beach but on the way, we pass by a beautiful set of hills.  We become distracted and we eventually go to the hills.

A solution for this is to stick to your original plan or by putting it in you’re to do list. Go to the beach first then decide later if you want to go the hills next.

  • Don’t Get Caught in the Paradox of Choice

It was easy to make a decision back in the days. If you wanted to buy a shirt, then you would simply have to choose from a few brands, the color, and the design. Now we have hundreds of companies selling different types of shirts.  There are even weird new colors and designs that most of us couldn’t even identify. If you’re going to buy a shirt today, then you’re going to have to choose the type, the fit, the fabric, the pattern, the size, the micro-size, the stitch, and so on.

Barry Schwartz of TED Talks eloquently states that we end up thinking that A, B, C, D or X, Y, Z is a better choice than E, F, G. This overabundance in choices have led us in a choosing dilemma.

The best solution for this problem would be to keep it simple. You can narrow down the choices to the bare essentials and then choose from them. So instead of choosing from 10 different alternatives, you can choose from maybe 2 or 4 alternatives instead.  Keep it simple, and don’t overthink things.

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How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity 0 284

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity

Companies idealize hard work and some even promise that you get compensated well without sacrificing your sanity.  But let’s be honest here, ok.  In the modern world, we know better. Most of us know that a lot of things are fake and that it’s hard to keep it real. In short, it’s hard to be authentic.

We eat more than we need. We buy overpriced coffee because of the brand. We buy cool looking t-shirts that we hardly ever use, and we waste our time watching mindless movies. Society dictates that we must keep a certain image.

Yes, you might be following the trends, but deep inside you feel empty. Deep inside, you feel you are a fraud.

The “more is more” lifestyle

You may be familiar with the “more is more” lifestyle. The more we have the better we are.  We often apply this lifestyle to our work as well. We clock in at the earliest possible time, then we work ourselves to death until we go crazy! In fact, people who sacrifice their lives are often branded as star employees!

I’m not telling you that this lifestyle is bad. In fact, if you keep working like this, you’ll eventually earn more money than your coworkers. However, your coworkers would probably be happier and healthier than you. Is that a good tradeoff?

Well if you don’t like to live like this, then I have good news for you. You can still be a hard worker and keep your sanity. You can work hard all day and do overtime without losing sight of who you are. You can even be successful and still be a nice guy (but that’s for another article).

So what’s your point?

What I’m trying to say here is that you can enjoy work even if you’re constantly on overtime. You don’t have to be fake, you can be who you are.

Of course, you still have to do your job well and impress your boss. Here are some tips and tricks to help maintain your sanity.

  1. Learn when to say “No”

Don’t be a Yes man/ Yes woman. Your friend might ask for help on their project. You really want to help them but you’re also burdened by projects as well. Some people would sacrifice their own time and work to help a friend out. Sure, you’ll be a good friend when you help them out but you’ll probably be reprimanded for not doing your job.

If you sacrifice yourself, then you’re going to miss deadlines and produce shoddy work. You may even lose your job for it!

Don’t be a martyr. Prioritize yourself before helping others. Remember that you can’t really help people out if you can’t even help yourself.

  1. Learn when to say “Yes”

After learning when to say “No”, you have to learn when to say “Yes”. To be more precise, you should know when you should help people out.

When you lend a helping hand, you are providing value to your colleagues. People will rely on you more, and your boss might see potential in you.  If you help people regularly, then you will most likely be put in a leadership role.

That means you’ll be spending more time managing people and less time doing menial labor.

  1. Take small breaks from time to time

Yes, this might seem pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised to see that most people don’t even take breaks when they’re stressed out. This is a recipe for disaster.

If you think that you’ve had enough, then STOP. Don’t think about the consequences, don’t think about your schedule, and don’t think about getting fired. Just STOP. Let go and take a break.

Once you’ve calmed down, then get back to work. You’ll find out that you’re more productive and more likely to get the job done.

  1. Focus

One of the reasons why you’re taking too long would be because you aren’t focused enough. I often waste my time replying to useless email and surfing on the internet. I know that it’s a bad habit but sometimes it helps me think that I’m being productive.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was only using it as an excuse to slack off and not do my job.

If you want to stay as sane as possible, then you have to do your job as quickly as possible.

  1. Be active during meetings

You miss a lot when you’re not paying attention. If you fail to ask questions or be passive during meetings, then things really won’t go your way.

You can express your concerns, your opinions, and even your feelings during meetings. You might not get what you want all the time but there’s a slight chance that you might have your way.

Get out there and be active.

  1. Keep contact with your boss from time to time

Most workers fear their employer. In fact, some employees do whatever they can to avoid talking to their boss.  And when they do meet their boss, they usually nod in affirmation and agree with everything that their boss says. If you’re doing this, then let me tell you one thing. You’re making a huge mistake.

Sure, you’ll feel less awkward and less pressured but you’re also sacrificing your productivity as well. You need to meet regularly with your boss and contact them from time to time. This is very important because you’ll be more informed to get the job done.

You will finish your work faster if you ask for your boss’s opinion and advice. And you will have good relations with your boss as well. Don’t let the fear of interacting with your boss get in the way of your productivity.


Well, those are some tips and tricks to help keep your sanity during work. Going crazy is a big no-no. Sure, it may be hard to keep your sanity if you’re missing tons of deadlines but if you know how to deal with it, then you can minimize the damage.

Remember that these are just tips and tricks. The best way to keep your sanity while working is to prioritize your well-being first. Eat healthily, sleep as much as you can, and exercise regularly.

21 Helpful Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace 0 325

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Honesty is the best policy is an old but well-known proverb. It certainly is and a lot of people believe it. People will always appreciate the honesty of another.

However, the truth is uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in an office set up. Business relationships are always built in a way where you need to put on a false persona. You need to save face and most of the time you have to hide who you really are.

Many professionals have to put up with this because authenticity in the workplace is something that can’t be easily achieved. No matter what your background is, the cold and honest (ironic huh?) truth remains that you have to hide your real persona.

Being authentic at work might trigger other people. You will be the target of envy, of scorn, and you will be an outcast.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

What now?

So what does freedom in work actually mean? Does it mean having a pantry filled with things that you can eat at your own leisure? Does it mean having a dress code that allows you to come into the office while your favorite hoodie and sweatpants?

This is true for some people but to many others, it means being able to bring out who they truly are without having to fear to be an outcast. It means that’s they can simply be themselves. The question now presents itself, how do we achieve this for everyone?

We are all made up of layers

In this age, if you don’t act like other people or do what other people do, then you are already a target for scorn. Your unique perspective and actions aren’t really accepted by corporations and businesses.

People who come from the LGBTQ+ community or married individuals who choose not to have children may find that even the simplest of questions could open up a hazardous path leading to awkward office conversations. These people may be forced to answer a question that they don’t want to answer.

Questions like “when do you plan on having kids?” or “are you really gay?” are inquiries that people who fall under the spectrum of being ‘different’ have to deal with every day.  And honestly, it can get very tiring after a while.

Even if you aren’t technically hiding your sexual orientation, people will always still want you to magically conform to the norms of society. They may be thinking that asking questions like this might magically make you change your mind on whatever you’ve already set your heart on. To be honest, this never works.

The Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Twilio, LaFawn Davis says that “We are all intersectional, meaning all have layers with which we identify. There can also be negative and long-term impact on intersectional technologists from expending the energy to determine whether or not all their layers will be welcomed or excluded”

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

The Pressure to Cover

In day to day office conversations, a non-conforming person may find themselves straining their minds. They are always burdened because they are always trying to think of ways to communicate with other co-workers without offending any of them.

An example of this would be, someone who does not have any interest in the importance of marriage or relationships in general. This person would have to find a way to explain that they are not interested in other people without offending the inquirer. In some cases, the non-conformist will have to evade the question altogether.

In tow with evading a conversation, individuals who find themselves in this type of situation commonly resort to talking about another co-worker. Not from ill intent, but from the perspective that this would be the only way to change the topic.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For the non-conformist, it would be hardly able to shake off the innate feeling of wanting to be different. One could not simply toss aside the feeling of being authentic. But, to talk about taboo things in the office would only lead to more complications.

Research shows that the act of ‘covering’, or the act of someone downplaying their differences from the norm actually affects the workforce badly. 3000 employees in over 20 large US firms had a turnout of 61% of employees that had faced implicit pressure to cover up their true selves in some way. While 50% of employees said that the pressure had disappeared because of their commitment to the company.

However, this practice still has a negative effect on people. This practice hinders the performance of the workers, and it could drain the individual in the process. Covering is also seen as a leading cause of attrition, with over 1000 casualties in companies.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Lead with Empathy

The best solution to this persistent problem is to develop safer and friendlier environments for people who fall under the spectrum of ‘non-conforming’. Leading with empathy includes implementing inclusive values, such as respecting an individual’s preferred pronouns.

To an employee, the people with the most influence are their supervisors. Once their team managers make them feel like their needs are acknowledged and that they’ve established that they are in a safe zone, then these individuals will feel less of an outcast and less likely to leave the company. Authentic concern for employees always produces good results, whether or not they are classified into the minority.

Supervisors must also strive to lead by example. Once someone from a higher position starts setting a new norm, their subordinates will start picking up on the habit. If everyone in the company starts being their true to themselves without having to hide behind a mask, then the company can slowly become a safe and conducive environment.

Being ‘authentic’ in this world is a hard feat to accomplish, but staying open and humble in a conversation helps in trying to make authenticity become the new norm. There is no single answer to the existing problem but if leaders lead with bravery and trust, they are sure to herd the industry into the right path.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration.

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