In the last Blog Expert post in this mindset series we discussed communication and why it is important for your messages to be clear, accessible and concise.
Now let’s move onto Clear thinking.
Have you ever watched The Apprentice on TV?
This hugely popular show follows a group of young aspiring entrepreneurs as they battle each week to become Lord Alan Sugar’s (UK version) latest protégé.
Apart from the entertainment generated from listening to people telling the world how successful they are and then going on to mess up again and again, the programme is also notable for the way in which it highlights the attribute of clear thinking in the workplace.
Lord Sugar is famously down to Earth, and comes out with a huge number of funny comments relating to business which make the programme one of the most quotable on television today.
One of the things the mogul is notorious for is the ability to cut through the obscure issues which business sometimes throws up, and get straight to the point in any given situation. Sugar is a classic example of clear thinking in practice – someone who sat down with an idea when he was much younger, worked hard at it, and devised a number of additional enterprises to supplement his business empire as he progressed.
Why do we need clear thinking, as small business owners?
When we run our own online enterprise, we seem to be beset from all sides by people wanting to sell us things, give us advice, work with us or ask us to work for them.
The minute our business becomes registered and recognized, the onslaught of sales calls, persuasive promotions and unscrupulous scams come our way.
Having the ability to step back from the deluge and understand what we are aiming to achieve, and how we will get there, safeguards us against potentially investing in poor products, or agreeing to certain ploys such as expensive marketing campaigns or fruitless advertising, unnecessarily.
When we go about our daily tasks as business owners, it can be easy to get sidetracked by different activities.
Our ‘things to do’ list expands each day, and we often don’t get the chance to take a little time out and assess our situation. However, it is this very distance and space which affords us a chance to cut through the ‘noise’ or our everyday tasks and remember where we are headed as entrepreneurs.
What techniques aid clarity of thinking?
The ability to achieve the relevant detachment to see our business in perspective and make sound decisions about our strategic approach isn’t a natural trait in most business owners.
In fact, we are far more likely to resort to intuitive decisions than analytical ones, responding to situations and people because we like them rather than because we have carefully evaluated them for the return on investment which they can offer.
The following techniques will support you to manage the decision-making process for your business with detachment, sound judgment and logic.
Consider the following:
- Does the decision I am about to make fit in with my overall business direction?
- Before I make a financial investment, have I shopped around, compared equivalent products or services, and chosen the one which makes the most sense from a delivery and financial perspective?
- Have I taken time out to objectively evaluate my business, to ascertain whether or not I am progressing according to my strategic approach?
- What can I do to make processes more efficient? Are all of my activities each day supporting me to achieve my goals?
- What would Alan Sugar do?!
OK, so the last one may not be as useful to you as the previous tactics, but it may support you to cut through the many business calls you have to deal with, and field unwanted approaches from companies trying to sell you unnecessary products.
If all else fails, and a service provider lets you down, you could always quote the Amstrad owner himself – “You’re a loser. It’s a shambles. You’re fired.”
Previous posts in this blog expert series, the Six ‘C’s of blogging success :
Do you find time for clear thinking to move your business forward?
Please share your views in the comments below.