8 Ways Entrepreneurs Tackle Decision Paralysis

8 Ways Entrepreneurs Tackle Decision Paralysis - A signpost with order and chaos written on it. Chaos is tatty and the paint is cracking and it has a red line through it. Chaos is clear and immaculate looking

Decision paralysis or option paralysis is to entrepreneurs what writers block is to authors or “corpsing” is to actors. Einstein defined it as “Indecision in the face of too many choices”. It comes with the territory in other words. For entrepreneurs or wantrepreneurs the symptoms are a mind bursting with ideas which they seldom act upon.

As soon as you start working on an idea seriously, along comes another one to nudge it out of the way. In the digital world we live in now entrepreneurs face a bewildering wealth of opportunity. This can be so overwhelming that some never even get started – “Failure to launch”.

This wellspring of ideas is actually key to entrepreneurial success but can also lead to periods of complete inactivity. When most of us find ourselves in that place we don’t even know it’s a thing. We just think we’ve hit a brick wall and better just go and get a job.

It was helpful for me to discover that decision paralysis definitely is a thing – a common thing.  In fact it has other names too: Analysis paralysis, imposter syndrome and option paralysis are a few of them.  Whether you call it decision paralysis or any of the other names above, identifying that you have it is the first stage in getting past it.  So that’s number one on my list. The other 7 are below.

8 Ways To Beat Decision Paralysis

1. Identify that you have it. As I mentioned above, diagnosis is the first step to recovery.

2. Focus on one idea (the biggest one)  – write the rest down and file them away in a later folder

3. Limit your choices. We can all multi task to some extent but tests prove that spreading yourself too thin has an adverse affect on every task you are working on.  Narrow things down to just one or two choices.

4. Cut down on small decisions. Einstein wore the same jacket and trousers every day for example. Steve Jobs copied the idea. This gave them one less small decision to worry about right at the start of the day.

5. Get some green around you: The colour green is known to create calmness, hence the green room that guests are put in before TV and radio appearances.  Maybe you don’t want to paint your office green (I have but I use it for chroma key videos) go for a walk in a forest or other green space. You’ll be amazed at how this can focus the mind.

6. Mastermind with others who have been there: There’s no substitute for experience and often insights from people who have been where you are can be tremendously helpful.

7. Get rid of distractions – email subscriptions, social media …. All of these can lead to overwhelm and loss of focus.

8. Use visual reminders of your main goals. Visualisation is very powerful. If you have images around you that represent your goals they can help to stay focussed on them and influence your decision making around them.

The Power Of Community

Escaping from option paralysis is not easy but these 8 steps put into action can really help. So too can surrounding yourself with the right people. When I started my journey as a solo entrepreneur, doing so as part of a community led by great mentors was key. I still experience periods of being stuck but I always have people I trust to turn to for help, inspiration – a kick up the arse! – whatever it takes.

Introducing others to that community is actually a big part of my business. In fact when I met them, I was primarily looking for an online business. Having made a few false starts previously, I was also looking for guidance, support and up to date training. The fact that they also provided a ‘business in a box” was what sold it to me.

As a business it’s been very rewarding financially but even more so as a source of ongoing personal development. Aside from decision paralysis there other challenges facing the entrepreneur. Overwhelm, mastering technology, business strategies and communication all take their toll. Again, being part of a business community comprised of people all working through these challenges is priceless.

The community I’m part of is called Six Figure Mentors. You can find out more about them and what they do by subscribing for their introductory video series below.

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