We make decisions in every second of our life
Running your own business is no easy feat. We face difficult decisions daily! From picking the beads for your new necklace design to deciding whether to ship USPS First Class, Priority, Parcel Post, Media Mail…? Should I sell on Etsy, my own website, or both?
We simple have too many choices!
For me, I take a very long time to make a decision. Occasionally I get to a crossroad and I don't know which path to take. If you've ever felt that way, here are some of my tricks on making it easy!
Method 1: Weigh the cost vs benefit
One logical way to think through a tough problem is in weighing the cost and the benefit. Assuming you've brainstormed some possible solutions, the next step is to look at each one and predict what you might gain and lose from that.
For example, I was recently invited to be part of CreativeLive's in-studio student for their upcoming workshop. It's free to attend for the entire three days but I would need to pay for air fare and a hotel, car and food.
Incidentally, one of my favorite craft shows (Craft'za) to do is the very next day after the workshop.
I love to learn new things so I really wanted to go to the workshop. I didn't even think I'd be picked! But I was worried I wouldn't be prepared for my craft show (and worse yet, I may not even make it back on time!)
Here's how I made my decision.
Cost of going to the workshop:
- $600 approx. total cost
- Lost time that I need for preparing for the craft show
- Possible loss of $1,000+ in sales if I don't make it back in time for the craft show
Benefits of going to the workshop:
One-on-one coaching(crossed out because I don't need the coaching. The workshop topic is PR and publicity which I have no problems doing on my own) I get to put my brand in front of thousands of people watching the workshop(crossed out because people won't actually look at my website since they're there to learn, not shop) Learn something new(crossed out because I can still attend the workshop from the comfort of my home)
My decision: it's clear to see that there are NO solid benefits to going to the workshop. As much as my heart wanted to get on that plane to San Francisco for the workshop, there wasn't any good reason!
Method 2: Is this in line with my goals?
Here's an easier method that has always helped unveil the obvious solutions to some of your difficult problems. First, you need to be clear on your goals. What do you want to achieve in your business? How do you want your business to make you feel? One of my goals is to make $100,000 in revenue in a year.
Going back to my problem.
Cost of doing the workshop: $600 – $1600+
Benefits of doing the workshop: Impossible to put a concrete figure on this
Does paying $600 to (possibly) $1600+ to attend a workshop help me get closer to my goal of making $100,000 revenue? Not at all.
Decision: Don't go to the workshop!
So for all you indecisive designers and self employed entrepreneurs out there, remember these two methods whenever you're stuck in a rut. It'll help you to at least get closer to making a hard decision.