Friday, November 27th, 2020

Succeed by Closing Door on Options

By Lisa Sansom on Jul 05 2011 • Filed under Business

Leave one door open (Photo: Miguel Saavedra) As an entrepreneur, you are faced with numerous choices every day. In fact, many women get into running their own business to have more choices and more say – more choices about what work to do, more choices about what hours to keep, more choices about which clients to take on. But keeping all of those options open, and having so much choice, may actually be bad for you.

People, when asked, will tell you that they prefer to keep their options open. That they would prefer to have flexibility and several different plans “just in case.” However, research tells us that this actually makes us unhappier and less successful. It turns out that if you make a commitment and stick to it, you will be happier with your choice, and that commitment will enable you to make a greater success of it.

Why? As Heidi Grant Halvorson writes, it’s because our “psychological immune system” kicks in – we don’t want to be wrong, so we muster up all of our energies and efforts into proving that we made the right decision.What’s more, with all of that energy and effort behind it, frequently, we prove ourselves right by turning our commitment into a success.

Also, when we pick just one option, we release the brain from the obligation of having to juggle and remember the other options that we didn’t pick. Removing those options permanently from the equation means that we free our brain’s power to work on the one option that we did choose.

When business is feeling shaky, and we’re not sure where the next customer is coming from, it can be tempting to want to open a whole bunch of doors. To a certain extent, we need to do that when we are networking and prospecting. However, once you have chosen, make it an irrevocable, intentional and permanent choice. Put all of your energy and effort into that one option, and shut the doors to the others. Your business will be more successful as a result, and you will be happier.

Journal Assignment:

Having trouble with too many choices? Write down your options and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which of these do I really want to do? Why?
  • Which of these will most benefit my business (or my life, my family, etc?) How?
  • Which of these can I do now?
  • What are the pros and cons to choosing one over the other?

If you still can't decide on one option to commit to, put the list away and return to it in a few days with a fresh mind. 

Some people find that having many choices brings them to a standstill. Because they can't decide what to do, they end up doing nothing! If you find yourself in that position, and all your choices look equally good to you, it may just come down to closing your eyes and randomly picking something from your list to work on.

1 Comment

  1. I totally agree! You have to pick a plan and then run it without giving yourself any other options. Your best creativity will come out as well as it is so much easier to stay focused. Great post!

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