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When you're in doubt... eat ice cream!

When you're in doubt... eat ice cream!

January 20, 2017

Ok, there's a bit more too it than that...

Personally, I find nothing more draining than living in a state of doubt. Uncertainty about which move to make next is very exhausting. It drains my energy like a balloon with a leak: not truly obvious until it’s gone on for far too long. (And yes, it makes me want to eat ice cream.)

I recently coached a client in a 2-day intensive “Turning Point Launch” who was in the ultimate state of doubt. I want to share his story with you. The names and circumstances have been changed, but not the complexity of the decisions he faced.

Robert had been in business for decades and was faced with a difficult choice. This choice would essentially determine the trajectory of the next few decades of his life. (Intense, I know!)

The choice was to buy out his his own business for a couple of million dollars, or sell his stake in the company for a couple million comparable sum and find a completely new source of income. Robert was really in doubt and needed help clarifying which way to go.

Here’s the problem. When you’re stuck in the middle of a big life decision and in serious doubt, it’s hard to get outside of your head and get some perspective. That’s when a coach, mentor or trusted friend can be a lifesaver. Robert and I worked together to give him the clarity that he needed to take the next step.

Over the years, we at Brand Launcher have developed a multi-angled, unique approach to getting out of doubt and making those really hard decisions. Here’s the abridged version of the 6 Step Process I took Robert through to Get Out of Doubt:

Note: Some of these ideas were learned from Chip and Dan Heath’s excellent book, “Decisions”.

[Click Here to Learn The 10/10/10 Trick to Getting Out of Doubt]

Step #1: Measure the Opportunity

There is a truism that “Business opportunities are like buses. Don’t worry if you miss one, another will come along soon.”

We had to take a step back from Robert's "monster decision" and look at it objectively. How big of an opportunity was is really? How likely was it that another equal or better opportunity would arise later? Did he really have to jump on this opportunity?

Step #2: Ooch

To “ooch” means to move slightly, but consistently to reach your ultimate decision. It’s when you break down your big decisions into smaller, more manageable ones.

Often when faced with a big decision we freeze up. That's when you can use the magic of ooching.

Robert and I white-boarded all of the possibilities. We broke down the big, overwhelming decision into smaller more manageable decisions and actionable items.

CarsDirect was a master of Ooching. They started with a very simple mission: Sell one car. They’ve since grown into a massive car dealership.

Find ways to imitate their strategy: At work, can you sell one? Pitch one? Try one? Find one? Ask yourself: How can I ooch a little? What small step can I take?

Step #3: Spend a little money upfront to assess your options

Imagine that you could take a half-day to do something to assess one of your options. (Not talk about it, not think about it, not agonize about it – do something about it.) What could you do? If you had $1000 to spend to aid your assessment, how would you spend it?

Ask yourself:

  • Is there anybody that I’d like to buy 1 hour of his time?
  • Are there any experienced business broker who could give you some insights? The broker will likely give you time for free since you are a potential client.
  • Where can you go on a field trip and shadow someone for a day and see how they operate as an investor in one of the fields you’re interested in?

Step #4: Run the “vanishing options test”

Let’s take away one of your options. For Robert, this meant pretending that there was no longer the option of buying the business. Then what would he do?

Robert had to go inside himself and ask himself what he would really want to do if he really had to start all over? What makes him excited to get up in the morning? How viable was that idea?

Practically speaking, this involved calling a business broker and ask what else he could buy for $500k, $1 million, $2 million, etc.

Step #5: Find an industry expert to consult with

Which industry expert can I ask to get some perspective? Find someone who has a broad knowledge of options in your industry. You’re seeking someone who could help shift the spotlight to options that you wouldn’t normally consider.

Step #6: Pre-hearse (instead of re-hearse)

Rehearse for the future. Plan out the best and worst case scenarios. Once you've delved into all of the possible options, it will be much easier for you to not only choose right now, but to continue make good decisions along the way. You will have "played all of the cards already".

Robert practiced projecting real numbers and scenarios for himself. He choose a number of investment possibilities (for example, real estate) with varying ROI scenarios over the next 3 years.

[Click Here to Learn The 10/10/10 Trick to Getting Out of Doubt]

Someday we will hopefully tell you what happened with Robert’s story, but not yet. Stay tuned!

The real question is, what’s your doubt? And how long are you prepared to live with it?

When is the best time to get out of doubt? Yesterday.

When is the second best time? Today.

When you are ready for some support in going through a turning point in your business and life and you’re ready to get out of doubt, we’re here to help.

[Contact us here for a consultation to Get Out of Doubt. Clarity is calling.]

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be.

Jon