Paralysis by analysis. This should be a certified medical condition among business men and women. Over analyzing ideas and situations stops you dead in your tracks. ACTION is what separates entrepreneurs from wantrepreneurs NOT analysis.
So many businesses never get off the ground because you’re too busy looking for the right answer. But that’s not how it works.
Let me explain.
Bombarded by Decisions
If you run a business, you will face many decisions every day. Everything from how to approach your fundraising to which paper cups to buy for the water cooler.
With so many decisions to make, it’s impossible to research and analyze all your options.
Your team, if well chosen and coached, will help you. But you make the final call on everything. And this is what causes paralysis by analysis.
In business, your decisions are often based on spotty information and gut feel. That is unsettling to a lot of people and is why not everyone can be an entrepreneur.
But here’s the secret: whether you are right or wrong doesn’t matter. Taking action does. Make decisions and keep moving forward.
Every time you take action, you gain ground or you don’t. You stand still or take one step forward.
Are you starting to see why action is so important?
Failing Fast and Furious
You may have heard the idea of failing fast. This is where it comes from—by failing fast, you get to the right answer faster.
This is also why savvy investors look at a team more than the idea. A good team can turn a bad idea into a great business. But a bad team can’t turn the best idea into much of anything.
As you might remember from 14 Rules of the Game, my initial idea isn’t exactly what ended up working. After trying out the idea, my well rounded team found what worked and scrapped what didn’t.
We ended up with a great business.
So, why is it so hard to fail?
Study Hard, Don’t Get an F
I believe perfectionism or “getting-it-right-ism” comes from our education. The system reward us with A’s and punishes us with F’s.
Following directions is good, guessing is bad. Getting the answer right is great, failing ruins your life.
We are conditioned to avoid failure.
This isn’t a problem in early education where we have solutions to problems posed. But entrepreneurs tackle problems daily without right or wrong answers.
There is no textbook to read, nor study guide to reference. A teacher sure as hell won’t know the answer.
In the business arena, A’s no longer win the day.
Action Trumps Analysis
There are thousands of reasons to not take action today. You don’t have enough information, the timing isn’t right, you don’t feel good today. The mind comes up with any excuse to avoid discomfort.
This stops thousands of would-be entrepreneurs every day. Don’t let it be you.
The faster you make decisions, the faster you find the right solutions. The successful founder doesn’t care if decisons are wrong, because each wrong gets them closer to a right.
So get out there. Start taking action and collect your F’s.
Even a wrong decision is better than no decision.