Decisions, Decisions…

Now that you have decided on some changes to your life, what’s the next step?

How are you going to find your next career path? What steps are you going to take to analyze and eventually decide on the best course of action? The decisions you make will ultimately determine if you succeed or fail. Choose well….

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day, who, through a series of life events has found himself at a crossroads, but seems unable to decide exactly how to proceed. At some point we all might be at this same crossroad, and we need to carefully weigh all considerations before proceeding.

One way of sorting out the best course of action out of all of the various possibilities is to create what I call a decision matrix spreadsheet. On this spreadsheet put down all of the ideas that you have for a business and any other business ideas that you know of that you also might consider. List them all on the left hand side and create a list of pros and cons that will give you a clearer picture of your best options. Here is a sample that I created for myself:

Decision Matrix

List the business type and write a short, concise description. You don’t need to get fancy. Make note of the type of income, that is, whether it is a direct, indirect or even a multi-level sales model. When you make a sale is it one time or reoccurring? Is it a hard product or information?

Now, list all of the deciding factors that you can foresee and give them a rating number out of 5. Rate your business idea on the following 4 criteria:

  1. Impact: What is the customer impact?
  2. Effort: How much effort do you need to put in?
  3. Profit: How much profit will you make?
  4. Vision: How close is the business to your overall vision?

Now add up all the points and score each idea out of a possible 20 points. You might be surprised which idea comes out on top. The best idea does not need to be the one that makes you the most money, nor does it need to be the most complex. Sometimes the simpler the better. Nor does it have to be the hardest to do. It might be the easiest.

Choosing something fairly simple that you have some success with might also be great way to get a start so you can prove to yourself that you can do it. Then, you can do something a bit harder and hopefully more lucrative. Remember, the only thing standing in your way is your confidence. Success breeds success.

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