How To Make Difficult Decisions

What do you do when you’re faced with a difficult decision? Keep working (or work harder) on the business…or shut it down? Stick with this problem employee…or let them go? Sell the 30-year-old family business…or refinance?

These are just a few of the questions business owners and leaders face every day, and they’re tough! And if this is your first time in the entrepreneurial pool…then can be even tougher.

On today’s installment of 7 Minutes in the Morning, Thom will wrap up the week and talk about how to make difficult decisions!

I Envision A Time When…

Why do you work? Can you clearly articulate the end-state you are striving to achieve?

It’s a simple enough question but one that will probably stump you. I’ve asked this question to hundreds, maybe thousands of people and the most common answers they have given fall into one of two categories: 1) to pay bills, or 2) um, because I’m supposed to.

It is exactly this lack of goals, absence of vision, that lead over 70% of employees to be mentally and emotionally disengaged AT WORK! They just don’t care.

Among business owners it’s slightly better…but not much. In a recent Reddit thread the question was posed, “Why did you start your business?” and the majority of answers centered around what the job allowed them to escape, not what it was providing for them.

So whether you are an employee or a business owner, it’s really easy to get trapped in the “it’s what I’m supposed to do” way of thinking. That’s not intentional thinking and will NOT produce the results you’re looking for!

The reality is, if you don’t have a clear vision of what YOU call success, you will just wander around, doing whatever looks interesting and never really reaching your full potential!

So instead, why not give this thought experiment a try. Grab a piece of paper and finish this sentence, “I envision a time when…” What are the criteria you will use to decide if your journey has been successful?

Not only will this make answering the WHY question easier, but it also gives you a great decision-making tool! Use it when you face a choice and ask yourself which option moves me closer to my vision of success…then choose that one! Over time, you just might get there!

Unleash Your Potential

Are you living at your full potential? Is your business, your work, and your life as good as it could be? Even if the answer is “almost” then you still have work to do! Read on…

When energy is stored (like in a spring or a battery) and not used it is called POTENTIAL energy…potential because it is not being realized. You have the potential within you and it is stored in the form of a big, hairy, audacious goal…a BHAG…a dream that is so big and crazy that, until today, you have resisted even telling anyone else about it!

Well, today is the day you are going to share your big dream with the world. Here’s why…

Potential does nothing for anyone until it is released…but it can degrade. Over time an unused battery will lose its charge. A spring will be sprung (yep, that’s really what it’s called!) If you don’t begin releasing your potential TODAY you will begin losing it TODAY!

If you’ve been tracking with us all week, you know that Monday I challenged you to refine your BGAG into a clear concise sentence…Well, today is the day to share it with the world and what better place to start than right here!

Within the Thom Rigsby community you have people just like you, similarly situated to you, ready and willing to support YOU! Everybody here has a crazy, non-conformist dream, I just want you to be an UNASHAMED non-conformist!

So go ahead, drop that powerful sentence in the comments and let the rest of the community know what you will pursue and make a reality!

Why Cash Is NOT King!

You’ve probably heard the old saying that Cash Is King…right? What if it’s not?

As business owners and leaders, the odds can feel like they’re stacked against us. With more than 90% of new businesses not making it through the first five years, and their demise often attributed to inadequate funding (wrong, but that’s for another day) it’s easy to understand why so many businesses chase the money. But there’s another currency you should be chasing instead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AKmcH4fADo

Harold Geneen once said, “In business, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.”

Chasing the cash turns every customer interaction into a transaction. The truth is, this is very transparent to the customer, and many times they are fine with that. But there it also prevents the development of a relationship and any semblance of customer loyalty.

Now, I’m not saying you should do the work for free, but do consider what you are gaining from every interaction. There is something you can learn…and that might be worth much more than cash!

So You’re Too Busy?

So, how have you been? How’s the business?

I find myself asking this question a lot at networking or other meetings where I’m running into people I know. It’s a pretty common greeting. Do you know what answer I get frequently? “Well, I’ve been pretty busy!” (or some variant of that)

While we’re taking a little break from the daily grind this week at the beach, I wanted to remind you that busy does not equal effective. In fact, it is a terrible measure of how things are going. The hamster is busy, and not moving an inch.

In my live workshop Making Time for Success, one of the key concepts addresses the mistaken idea that time management is about efficiency. The efficient use of time is to get more done is the same amount of time. This is wrong.

What you really want is the more effective use of your time…getting the right things done in the allotted time. This requires some hard decisions!

Right now, how many items are on your to-do list? I want you to take an honest inventory and identify everything on that list that, if you NEVER did them, nothing adverse would happen. You are probably like a lot of people that use a lengthy to-do list as a crutch to help you feel better about not getting anything done…but you’re busy!

I want you to go through your list and pick the five most important things on your list. The items you pick should all take less than a day to complete (if they are bigger than one day, break them down into day-sized chunks).

Now, armed with your next five moves…pick the one item that will have the greatest impact on your life if you do it today. That item is now your priority. Get that done first, then knock out the other four. Then tomorrow…rinse and repeat.

This is the P+4F method at work. You can find a video explaining it in more detail on my website (link in bio). Use it and it will change your life. Keep doing what you’ve been doing…and you’ll keep getting what you already have!

It’s Okay to Have Some Fun

Do you have fun while you’re working?

Building a business or expanding your career is hard work…and serious business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while you’re doing it! In fact, you SHOULD have fun…it will make it a lot more enjoyable while you’re doing the hard stuff!

Now I’m not saying that if you don’t have a ping-pong table or foosball table you’re doing it wrong. You can have fun without all the toys or games…in fact, it may even be better that way. When you lean on the games to bring the fun, then you’re not really putting in the effort to find the fun in the business.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr5goKcfG2Q

I really love this quote from Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” It really emphasizes that it’s the process we should focus on and not rely on making it to the “finish line” before we get to enjoy ourself.

If you’re not having fun with the work you’re doing, take a quick time out and think about ways you can make it more fun and enjoyable. Can you make a game out of the work, maybe even pull your whole team into the brainstorming process!

How are you making your work fun? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Is It Time to Take A Stand

Are you the best at what you do? Are you willing to say so?

I will frequently talk with business owners and leaders and have fantastic products or services but downplay their own effectiveness or impact! Heck, I’m even guilty of this (and my grandmother would be proud!).

The problem is that if you don’t express the confidence you have in your product or service…who will? Exactly nobody!

We think that we’re being humble or avoiding speaking ill of others…but the reality is that people, including your customers, want to know that you are confident in your capabilities! Would you rather want the brain surgeon who was “pretty sure he could do it” or the one that “knows what to do”?

Take a few minutes right now and think about the leader in your market. Do THEY say they’re the best? Then you DEFINITELY should!

When Limits Win

How do you know when it’s time to cut bait?

Yesterday we talked about boundaries… and I’m also a fan of pushing your limits. So how do you reconcile those? It’s really not as hard as it sounds When you start with personal responsibility!

As an individual, you are only responsible for your decisions and outcomes, then there are modifiers. Parents take on responsibility for their kids, entrepreneurs take on some of the burdens for their employees and customers…but there’s a limit.

About 18 months ago, my adult son died from the effects of alcoholism. In spite of our best efforts, he still made the choices that led to his demise.

You only have responsibility for others to the point of their freewill choice. You can’t make the decision for them, that is where you have to let them beat the weight of their own burden.

Focus on what you can control, make the decisions that are within your purvue, and do everything you can to let the rest go.

Good Fences Make For Good Neighbors

It’s easy to talk about your neighbor violating boundaries, but what about you? Today let’s talk about how boundaries help YOU stay focused and in your lane!

Especially as a business owner or leader, it’s super easy to drift…to “expand” the business into new areas where there seems to be a need. But what happens when you do that too early or with faulty research. Suddenly you find yourself in unfamiliar territory and, perhaps worst of all, the original business can fall on hard times due to your lack of attention.

Having and abiding by boundaries lets you focus your time, energy, and attention to create a result!

Establish boundaries early on. Create mechanisms to check yourself when you begin to drift and exercise the discipline to stay inside the lines!

Two Keys to Control: Know and No

How often do you say no to requests that don’t lead to your success or help you meet your goals?

Saying no is easier for some than others, but if you have any hope of living the life you crave, you must become a master of culling the invaluable. And THAT begins with knowing what you want.

So how do you KNOW what you want? Is it possible to be sure? To have no doubts?

I’m just going to go ahead and say it, you WILL have doubts along the way! It’s a long road full of hard work. Of course, you’re going to questions your choices. And that’s not the point! Questioning doesn’t derail you…quitting derails you. When you have doubts, that’s the most important time to say NO!

Saying no to others is always easier than saying no to yourself! Why? Well basically because you can rationalize anything to yourself…it is not until you have to say it out loud…to someone else, that you get slapped in the face with how weak it really sounds.

This is one of the three key values to working with a coach to achieve your results. You are uniquely gifted and talented and so was Michael Jordan…and he needed Phil Jackson to help him win!

If you have been considering working with a coach, or maybe you just have a difficult time getting the results you’ve been longing for, send me a DM. I will be happy to have a no-cost, no-obligation chat with you to help you find the best path forward!

Remember, your path to success will be a winding one. No one gets to walk a direct route. So stay the course, keep your eyes on the prize, and ask for help when you need it. THESE are the keys to taking back control and living the life you crave!