Focus on the Gauges of Your Small Business

In his book, This Is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehearsal, Jim Donovan said this, "One of the chief characteristics of virtually all highly successful people is that they make decisions quickly and rarely, if ever, change them." This might seem like a rigid, perhaps even arrogant attitude – to refuse to change a decision – but there is something else at work here.

One of the keys to success is to be able to make things happen. In order to "make things happen," you have to make a lot of decisions. If you know what you are doing, you will make most of them correctly. The incorrect ones, as Tom Feltenstein says, aren't so much failures as they are examples of what doesn't work.

When you learn to fly an airplane on instruments (when you are in the "soup" and you can't see outside of the plane), as you monitor your gauges and ocntrols, when you see the plane drifting off course or away from the attitude and direction you desire, you are taught to make little corrections. Lots of them. And you must make them constantly. My instrument instructor told me, "Fosuc on your gauges and trust them." The result is that your plane never gets too far off course or out of a safe attitude.

Successful people do the same thing in their businesses. They make lots of decisions. And while it may seem that they rarely change a decision, it's really more a matter of moving on and making the next decision with new information. little corrections, but lost of them. Constantly.

Sometimes it feels like we are managing our businesses "in the soup." And just lik a pilot on instruments, it's natural to freeze up at first. When you get this feeling "focus on your gauges," the decisions that have to be made. Then make lots of decisions and trust them to either lead you to success or to the next decision.

Good flying.