We’ve all got a decision to make. We’re the business owner; the top dog; king of the hill. The buck stops here. However, we want to describe it, ultimately, we decide how we’re going to run our business. And while there’s no denying that we’re influenced by outside forces, we’re still the ones that must decide how far we go.
There are many different directions in which we could take our inspection business. We could go our whole career running a one-person show, content in the simplicity of limited responsibility and satisfied with a certain level of income. We could decide to expand into other inspection fields, specializing in services that others don’t, and enjoying the money that comes with offering a product that can’t be easily obtained elsewhere. We could choose to expand our reach, hiring employees to garner a bigger share of our market, and simultaneously increasing our gross revenue and our headaches.
The company is ours; the responsibility is ours, and therefore the decision is ours.
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.Peter F. Drucker
So, how do we decide? Is there a guidebook? Is there a map? What about an app? Is there something there to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong? How are we supposed to know what we’re supposed to do?
Ultimately, it’s on us.
Yes, there are resources out there that can help us make a better-informed decision. There are books, websites, and podcasts from people who’ve already been there; people who have found themselves in our shoes and somehow made a decision. We certainly can (and should) learn from the lessons of others. (We’d be a poor business owner if we didn’t).
But we must be cognizant of what it is we’re learning about: their decisions. Every one of these people made a choice, based on the information they had at hand. They made the decision they thought would be best for them and their company. And, most likely, it worked out great for them (or we wouldn’t be reading their stuff or listening to their podcast)!
So it comes back again to how do we make these choices? How do we know if, one day, we’ll be the ones that are so successful that people will clamor to listen to the story of our career?
How do we know that we’re making the right decision?
That’s really what it boils down to, isn’t it? How do we get some certainty about our path. Is there some way that we can know what it is we should be doing? Can someone please tell us which outcome, in the long run, will be the best one for us and our company?
Damn it! Can’t anyone around here see into the future? Where’s my crystal ball?
When it comes down to it, when push comes to shove, when it’s crunch time, the truth is that it really is all on us. We can do our research. We can consult with our mentors. We can chart all our options. We can run cost/benefit analyses until we’re blue in the face, but ultimately, we’ve got to choose.
And that’s the most important part: making a decision. Most of us simply don’t decide. We keep doing the same thing over and over, staying the course while mulling over our choices. Essentially, we decide that we’re not cut out for change, and a choice is made for us by our inaction.
We’re so afraid of making the wrong choice that we do nothing at all.
We tell people that we’re comfortable where we are. We’re going to stay the course. We’ve already got everything we need. We’re happy with our position.
But, deep down inside, we still wonder.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.-attributed to Henry Ford
If we stop and think about it, there really are no right or wrong decisions. There’s no one standing behind us with a buzzer, ready to call us out and escort us off the stage.
Bzzzttt! Sorry, that’s incorrect. Thanks for playing. We’ve got some nice parting gifts for you on your way out. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass…
The reality is that we will never really know. We can do all the research possible. We can weight our options, make our choice, find success, and still never know. We’ll never know exactly what would’ve happened if we had chosen to do something different.
What if we had stayed a one-person operation instead of hiring people? What if we had finished that course and specialized in stucco inspections? What if we had taken that leap, and moved to a different, bigger city with more yearly real estate transactions?
Unless someone figures out time travel, the truth is we’ll never know the answer to “what if?”
The best we can do is to worry about the things that are within our control. When it comes down to it, we can’t influence to past, and we haven’t yet reached the future. All we can do is to make our decisions, adapt to the changes that result, and keep moving forward.
Ultimately, whether we choose to go left or right, we’re still going to be heading down a path. The only thing we can really control is what we do while we’re there. If we’re enjoying the road we’re on, we keep going. If we don’t, we can choose to take a different route.
How far we go is all up to us.
We get to choose whether we’re right or wrong. We’re the ones who get to decide whether we’re happy with our choices.
When we stop to think about it, that’s the real choice. Whether or not we’re happy. Whether we’re content with the decisions we’ve made.
And that one’s entirely up to us.
I welcome all feedback (both positive and negative) on this post.
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