Entrepreneur's Weekly Update - 8 November 2021
Think Your Way to Success
“If I make three good decisions a day, that’s enough. And they should be as high quality as I can make them.” – Jeff Bezos
That is definitely something to chew on but, whilst Bezos pushes for three good decisions a day, Warren Buffet will settle for just three good decisions a year. It seems that high-quality decisions are hard to come by. They should however be consciously sought after, cultivated and when they have successfully blossomed, become a blueprint for any future decisions you make. You are the direct result of the decisions that you make. Successful entrepreneurs understand the power of their thoughts. That’s why they are intentional about gate-keeping their thinking process. When you are a business owner that employs people, your decisions affect the lives of many others. When you have the weight of carrying a business, carrying the livelihoods of other people, you realise the importance of making the best decisions. As a leader, your thinking and decision-making are the make or break of your business. You are the sum of your choices, where you are in life, what you are doing with your life, how your life has turned out – good or bad, your life is your choice. What this tells us is that success, however you define it, is on conscious choice.
So how do you cultivate that winning mindset that enables the best decisions, for both you and anyone under your influence? The kind of successful thinking, that says “I have achieved every goal on my vision board”.
Like with most things in life, there is a principle attached to making successful decisions and as a business owner, this principle is the difference between your business surviving and thriving, or being a statistic that leaves you as a loser, bruised and battered with nothing to show for all your hard work. Luckily for you, you have learned the key to success: Critical Thinking.
Critical Thinking is the ability for you to make rational decisions after undergoing a process of analysis and evaluation based on available facts. This skill has become somewhat rare in the conspiracy-gripped world that is 2021. With the rise of social media, there has been an equal rise in people’s expression of their opinions and everyone has a microphone. The neighbour whose productivity yardstick is playing pool all day at the tavern has the same microphone as a scientist who has studied for 10 years.
Entrepreneurs need to think critically and not be swayed by poor-quality opinions.
As you are presented with many decisions—which supplier you should choose, who do you want in your team, when should you bring in a manager—you need to apply critical thinking during these decision processes.
Here are the skills you need to have in order to think your way to success;
“You cannot change what you do not acknowledge” – Dr. Phil. Before you begin to tackle a problem, you need to pinpoint it. If you are skilled in observation will be able to see problems before they arise and steer away from them. Observation and foresight work hand in hand.
Analysis requires understanding. When facing a potential problem or opportunity, you need to gather information about it. This part of the process requires you to research the matter and evaluate the unbiased factual information about the problem or opportunity. For example, someone in your company asks you to implement cloud computing into your systems. Do you have the answer immediately? Would you say no just because you know nothing about it, or yes because it sounds evolutionary? You first need to educate yourself about cloud computing in order to understand it – how does it work, look at all the pros and cons from the information presented to you and then only make an educated decision. This should apply to all instances in your business that requires information and knowledge.
Inference refers to making a conclusion. This conclusion is an educated decision based on evaluating the information you have at hand. You will be making an educated decision, as the more information you have, the more educated that decision will be.
We cannot work in isolation, we all need to learn how to communicate our ideas clearly and concisely. Think about assigning a project to an employee with little to no instructions – they may spend hours working on it and return to you with something completely different than what you may have had in mind. How much time and resources have then been wasted for your company? Effective communication is a key skill one needs when working with a team.
This is one the most crucial of the Critica Thinking skills. This skill requires action. Problem-solving and critical thinking refers to the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve problems. This doesn’t mean you need to have an answer right now, it simply means you have to be able to think on your feet, assess problems, and find solutions. The ability to develop a well-thought-out solution within a reasonable time frame, however, is a skill that is greatly valued.
Critical thinkers are open-minded and they realise the limitations of their own knowledge and are open to how others think, this is why they actively seek knowledge when processing information and come up with multi-faceted innovative ideas.
The quality of your life is based on the quality of your decisions. Once you understand this, then—like Bezos and Buffet—you will put value behind your decisions. Your thinking will change and you will apply principles that elevate your thinking, decisions, and life.
So in conclusion, how you think matters. If you think "by the way", you will "get by the way" results. If you think critically you will make better decisions which will make your life better.
Critical Thinking is the penultimate skill that every entrepreneur needs. Applying it will ultimately mean success – for both your life and your business.
ActionCOACH Thabo Pitse