Paying employees twice as much as the standard rate may seem like a crazy decision, but that’s what Henry Ford did when he was starting up his empire. His logic was to pay more to retain the best of the best.
The idea worked. Every business entrepreneur wants his decisions to be great ones. Even Henry Ford didn’t simply make one decision that lead to his career success. He made thousands. Some were brilliant, some were not, and most were mundane.
Break It Down
To know how to make the best decisions, it is best to understand how we make decisions. Cognitive-behavioral psychologists often use the analogy that the brain works like a computer. When making decisions, the brain has a limited amount of resources, so the more complex the analysis, the harder it is to process the decision, as Psychology Today explains. Using this information, the key to making good decisions is to break them down into a bunch of smaller, simpler decisions. By doing this, we do not overtax the resources we use in the assessment process. Instead of deciding on a marketing firm to use, look at each component of marketing, such as social media or print advertising, and identify each category’s needs. From there, choosing the firm that can deliver on each marketing item is relatively simple.
Do Your Research, But Trust Your Gut
Having mental resources means doing your homework. In this Internet-based world, doing an international investigation before jumping into business with a partner or vendor makes sense. This becomes the data that floats around in the subconscious of the brain. The Small Business Administration recommends trusting your gut. If higher-order cognitive analysis taxes the brain’s resources, then intuition or gut feeling-based processes bypass these limitations. You are still drawing from the same database, but your gut does not need to waste energy creating a cogent reason why it likes or dislikes something. Without needing to explain the intricacies of its process, your intuition is free to look at the data, and spit out an answer that is generally correct.
Blue Wire Or Red Wire
Not every decision is important. As a matter of fact, unless you are part of the bomb squad, most decisions are not essential in the grand scheme of things. Deciding between one great logo or another will not make or break a company. It is the culmination of many decisions that really make a difference. So give yourself a break, and focus on the big picture.
Juggling On the Tightrope
The United States ranks 28th in the world for work-life balance, according to the OECD Better Life Index. If you figure there are only around 25 first-world countries, this is not a very good rating. For a small business owner, work-life balance needs to be central when looking at the big picture. Nobody ever met the Grimm Reaper thinking they wished they could have worked more. The best business decisions are the ones that allow the most time with the ones you love, reports the Mayo Clinic. Sometimes it is easy to lose perspective when overwhelmed, so take a timeout before making decisions that will affect you outside of the workplace.