Last week I alluded to a situation where I had to make a decision regarding the future direction of my business and how that situation caused me to think quite a bit about the meaning of success. This week I wanted to share with you some aspects to consider in decision making.
When I first started my business and someone would make a suggestion or offer an idea on an item to sell (“have you consider making/selling…?”) I often took their idea to heart, came home, and tried to make whatever it was. I was eager to please and, frankly, thought if I could make something that would sell and make some money, even better.
But what I rarely did was listen to my inner wisdom, my inner self, my intuition.
I understand that for many people the idea of listening to the little voice inside is all woo-woo hooey. I know; I’ve been there. Yet what usually happened when I’m make widget suggestion #54 is I’d find myself thinking “why am I doing this?” or “I really don’t want to do this.” And I’d still ignore that little voice and plug along, make a few of widget suggestion #54, take them to the store and…they wouldn’t sell.
Now maybe it was my choice in colors or maybe it was the price or maybe it was the energy that went into the piece wasn’t very positive and therefore it didn’t generate much interest. So I’d eventually remove widget suggestion #54 from the store and think to myself “now what the heck am I going to do with these?”
Now when someone presents me with widget suggestion #93 or #94 or whatever, I thank them for their suggestion and tell them I’ll have to think about it. 9 times out of 10 I don’t act on the suggestion because it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t excite me, or it simply doesn’t fit my into my lines of art.
The situation I referenced last week required much more thought than one might give to creating a widget. I found myself reflecting on the offer and going deep into my thoughts. In this situation several questions were key:
How does it make you feel? And not just externally but deep inside. Do you get excited or do you get a pit in your stomach? When you picture yourself pursuing the option, what do you see? Again, how does it make you feel?
Listening to your inner voice, your intuition, really can help guide you down a more positive path. Odds are you’ll be much happier with yourself. The big catch here is that whichever way you go (listen to intuition or don’t listen to intuition) you have to move forward and not look back. Learning from a decision is one thing. Regretting a decision is something else entirely. I don’t believe in regrets. What is done is done; you can’t go backwards so there is no point in worrying about it.
It is always important to consider the financial ramifications in making business decisions. The first question most of us ask is “Can I afford it?” or perhaps “Can I afford not to do it?” I do believe that if we wish to pursue an opportunity, we will find a way to afford it.
When it involves production work, you need to break things down even further. How many widgets can I make per hour, day, week in order to cover my costs? Will assistance be required? Will you pay for assistance? How many widgets would I need to sell in order to break even or possibly make a profit?
You may also want to think about the best case and worst case scenarios.
In other words, look at the situation from as many angles as possible.
If you can, talk to other artists who may have dealt with similar situations or who are in similar situations. Try to get the pros and the cons. Write down your questions. Listen objectively. And then take what you’ve learned and toss it into the decision making bowl.
In The End
Decision making is indeed a personal process influenced by many aspects. As I get older, I’m learning that listening to my inner voice is just as important as other tangible factors. In some respects, listening to my inner voice is more important, depending on the situation. Whatever process you take, do it with confidence.