We are all guilty at some time or another of talking about addressing an issue and then – – – and then – – – and then – – – nothing happens. Sometimes it is fear of the unknown that causes anxiety that complacency, and then the wrong course, becomes the easier route.
Another common problem is overthinking the issue. On the overthinking one – I have found this is a frequent problem for business owners. They analyze the problem, identify what needs to be fixed, and then identify the fix. Rather than acting, however, they get bogged down trying to figure out if there is a “better”, “smarter”, “less costly” fix and instead of making a choice – time passes, and the problem continues needlessly.
Running a business requires a continual process of identifying problems or issues, taking action, and then moving on from there. By doing so, you make progress. Delaying the decision process stagnates growth and progress. Of course, not every decision is the “best” one. Hindsight is always 20/20 so it means and proves nothing – other than increasing your range of experience and helping you to make better decisions going forward.
I have found the more comfortable you become making a decision, the easier it is to avoid delay and make the decisions that need to be made – when they need to be made. As each decision unfolds, you learn from your mistakes and hone your skills to get better and better at the process.
The need to make decisions and take action extends to more than business. Your personal finances, your work, your social entanglements all require analysis and action from time to time. The key is to take the steps and make the moves.
“Taking action is one of the most necessary steps in effectuating life changes. However, as most of us know, sometimes it is very difficult to take that first step and commit to the desired achievement.” (Svetlana Whitener, Forbes.com)
One of my favorite examples is that of the person who has too much credit card debt – and knows it – but continues to make the monthly payments on the cards, month in and month out. The balances do not go down because he’s using all his cash to make the required payments – so when he needs to buy something – he charges it.
The Credit Card Industry calls him a “Revolver.” It’s a good name – he’s the mouse trapped in the credit card trap, spinning the wheel and not getting anywhere. The problem is he is going backward. If he’s carrying $40,000 of credit card debt and paying 20% interest – he’s wasting $8,000 after tax on interest. Over 20 years – that’s $160,000 after tax and before tax, it’s $200,000. This person always says, “I know it, I have to do something about it.” The problem is every month they wait, they are flushing away another $1,000 (before tax) of money they could save if they took the action to get rid of the debt.
I don’t have the “action plan” for every problem. But I can tell you this – if you have a problem, identify the problem and the solution and then take action. If you err, act again until you get it right and move on. Waiting never works. If credit cards happen to be your problem – we will find your solution as each persons financial issues have individual solutions. I always say that the problem is individual to the individual and the solution is individual to the individual.
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Have a great weekend.