When you have input coming in from everywhere, it’s easy to get what’s called decision constipation. You can’t quite make up your mind and you often get overwhelmed in direct proportion to the amount of input. The bottom line is it is your name on the door. You have to be the decision maker. You do not rest from your work, you work from your rest. You create during periods of rest. I don’t know any great invention, any a-ha moment, that came in the middle of massive input, in the middle of constant barrage of noise. You take in input and then you’ve got to put a couple days of space to make a quality decision. The rationale is you do not want to make major life decisions or company decisions on an emotional high or an emotional low. Avoid decision constipation when you’re trying to make some great new resolutions.
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How To Avoid Decision Constipation
This is the podcast where myself and my wife, Kerri, once in a while sit down at least once a week and remind ourselves what were some things we went through this week growing our business that others might be able to glean something from. We take the stance that we are a 25-year old company. We’ve had seven to eight different faces or fronts. We’ve moved multiple different products, but we grow every year as a company and we are a four-time Inc. 5,000 company, 100 plus employees, eight figures in revenue, and we use that as the platform to teach from. Episode 304, I’m titling Constipation. I’m doing it this way because at the end of the year, a company of our size typically will bring on consultants, advisers, and do an end of the year wrap up of where the business is at, where it might head next year, some good and bad, and things like this.
Most companies do this. Even the one-man shop, the one-woman shop, but a company of 100 employees, a lot of moving parts, a lot of software, a lot of input in which I often get overwhelmed at this time of the year because I have input coming in from everywhere. I’ve got our 100-person team giving input. I’ve got mentors giving input. I’ve got paid advisers and consultants giving input. I have clients giving input. I’ve got my wife giving input. I have input coming in from everywhere and it’s easy for me to get what’s called decision constipation. I can’t quite make up my mind. I often get overwhelmed in direct proportion to the amount of input, so I have to shut down. I have to physically turn out the lights. I’ve got to veg out a little bit and let air go in and out my lungs.
The bottom line is it is my name on the door. It’s my wife’s name on the door. We have to be the decision makers. The point of this episode, the reason this episode is called Constipation is because we live in a world of noise. We’ve got text, Skype, email, phone calls, instant message, GoToMeeting, you name it. A couple of years ago, we did an audit of an average day and it was at 198 inbound texts and emails. That didn’t count Skype, GoToMeeting, phone calls. It was obnoxious and I had to respond to 198 inbound requests a day.
We made some changes in that. We do not rest on the weekends from our Monday through Friday work. You might think you do, but I’m here to tell you otherwise, you do not rest from your work, if you gave me enough time and hear some of the back episodes, you’ll see where I get this from, but I can prove to you that you work from your rest. You create during period of rest. I don’t know any great invention, any a-ha moment that came in the middle of massive input, in the middle of constant barrage of noise.
You take in input and then you’ve got to put a couple days of space to make a quality decision. The rationale is this, psychologically you want to be very careful to never make a major decision on an emotional high or an emotional low. If you make a major decision during input, you’re often persuaded or dissuaded by the personality or enthusiasm. I want to take you back when Kerri and I flew to Pennsylvania. We’ve got some of our management there, some consultants and some advisers and there was a lot of emotion and some very large personalities in that room. It would have been very easy for me or Kerri to make decisions right there on the spot, but that would not have been proper. It wouldn’t have been just for everybody that would have been the result of those decisions. We needed to put some space. We’re still mulling over some of these conversations so that we can make a quality decision.
You make your decision on your time. You avoid decision constipation by making your decision on your time. What do I mean by that? Let’s say you’re a one-person shop. Let’s say you’re in lawn maintenance. You mow lawns, you trim lawns, you trim hedges, you’re going to conferences, you’re reading books, and you’re learning and then all of a sudden, you stumble on somebody that says, “That’s pretty much a summer, spring and fall business. During the winter, you should get into snowplowing so you could have something to do during the winter.” That sounds great, that’s logical. I got twelve weeks off because it’s snowing, you can’t do much.
On the surface while you’re receiving the input, it makes logical sense, but if you step back and ask yourself, “If I do a digital footprint and I look at the biggest lawn maintenance company in the world, and then I look at the biggest snow plow companies in the world, do they do both lawn maintenance and snow plowing?” The answer is, “No, they don’t.”
The biggest landscape companies in the world, especially the ones in the Midwest, in the twelve weeks during winter, believe it or not, they find a way to do some landscaping. They rebuild their equipment, they buy new equipment, they rebuild their company during those twelve weeks. Even the snowplow companies, they got nine months off in Chicago. Those people typically go do something else for the nine months, but they don’t go do and start owning a landscape company that could absorb 100% of their time. They do something part time, like paint houses, things like that.
What is the point of this? The point is, when you’re overwhelmed, when your brain is out of ATP, that’s the energy that runs your brain. You know when you’re getting too much input to where you know you cannot make a decision. You know when your body is saying, “I think it’s time to take one or two days off.” There’s a very famous book called Think and Grow Rich. It’s not Thinking and Grow Rich, it’s Think and Grow Rich because the creative impetus of a company comes during periods of thinking. It doesn’t come during periods of activity. When you’re trying to make some great new resolutions, take some time, even if it’s only ten minutes with a blank piece of paper, think and grow rich. I hope this helps. Take care.