Decision Making And The Last Word – Flathead Beacon

Posted: May 22, 2021 at 1:56 am


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Ive noticed some patterns in business owner decision-making behaviors over the years. Most of us tend to fall into more than one group. Among other things, were number crunchers, marketers, procrastinators, and magicians. Develop some self-awareness about which one of these groups you belong to. The more we know about ourselves, the better.

These folks track and (often) know every metric about their business. Sometimes thats good. Sometimes, it isnt. Dont focus on metrics to the exclusion of other important work. Its important to know your metrics, but having too many can fog your vision. Theres lead cost, lifetime customer value, ARR, MRR, conversion rate, traffic, net promoter score, and so on

Which do you focus on? If your company is large enough to have departments, each likely has a most important metric. How many are there?

While Im a number cruncher (among other things), metrics arent everything. Theyre a tool whose importance gains clarity when I travel.

The road strips away metrics FOMO because you can only handle so much while traveling. While I can have everything when Im at my desk, I dont NEED (or use) everything. On the road, I seldom need much more than OK vs Not OK.

Can you boil down your most important 37 metrics to OK vs Not OK?

Yes, most important 37 metrics was sarcasm, but you may have that many. You cant focus on the most important work of the day AND keep your finger on the 37 heartbeats. Theres a time and a place for each metric, but it isnt every day.

As my friend Tim Francis says, You need only enough precision to make the right decision.

Marketers tend to be number crunchers. We use LTV, CAC, and other metrics to make decisions & determine how were doing. We sometimes focus so hard on marketing that we forget everything else. Marketing metrics often drive mindset, even when theres little profit. More than once, Ive heard, Theres so much gross, there has to be some net somewhere. Pro tip: Know where the net is.

Jim Collins talks about making a decision as early as possible when known risks are stable. When the risk changes in severity or nature, review your decision.

Procrastinators view risks from a different angle. Making a decision as late as possible is one way to manage risk. It also increases cognitive load much longer than necessary. For decisions with little risk or little change in risk, procrastination has a cost. Sometimes the cost is that you arent ready for rapid change.

Some make decisions so fast that it appears they didnt care. What you dont often see is information gathering / review over time. One remaining piece of information may trigger their decision its the final piece of the puzzle.

Almost everything magicians touch seems to turn to gold, even if it takes years. Many dont appear to be working at all often because they enjoy their work and the people involved. Theyre often skilled decision makers.

The best decision makers have a process & guidelines. Ask and dig in thats where the gold lies. They often have a refined process for decision making, but refined doesnt mean slow. Make decisions as soon as possible, but not too soon, and dont look back. Focus on making your decision pay off unless changing conditions force a review.

After 14 years, this is my last column for the Beacon. I hope at least one of these 728 columns has helped you, your business, your team, and your customers.

Three things drove what I wrote about each week: 1) Whatever pushed my buttons, 2) A lesson (re)learned by me or someone I know, 3) Something reminded me that we all need occasional reminders.

If youre an employer, remember that your most important people are your employees. Theyre the ones who take care of your other most important people your customers.

If youre an employee, consider a side hustle. It might grow well beyond that. It might become your new role at your current employer. Almost everyone starts small. You have to believe, even when no one else does.

Thank you Liz Marchi and Kellyn Brown. Its been a fun ride.

PS: Skinner, you win.

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Decision Making And The Last Word - Flathead Beacon

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May 22nd, 2021 at 1:56 am

Posted in Self-Awareness