March 26, 2019

How to Make a Tough Decision

By Paul Bieber

Last week I had a very tough decision to make. One that had been rattling around in my brain for about a week. The decision was whether I should go to Glass Expo Northeast™ ’19 in Long Island, N.Y. I had attended every Glass Expo Northeast since the first one held in one of the warehouses where I worked. It has grown into a great event since this. I loved seeing old friends and just being around glass folks, of which there are very few in my home town.

The offsetting factor was a medical procedure for my wife at the start of next week and I wanted to be home with her this week. She insisted that I go to Long Island. We had many discussions on this. Finally, last Friday I made up my mind, called the folks that needed to be told of my plans and suddenly my mind was clear, and I could move to other thoughts. How does this impact you and your business? Read on.

We have all made tough decisions. Someone’s tough decision may not be so tough in your eyes, but then again, your decision may be ordinary for another person.

For a business decision, the first step is to get a pad of paper, run a line down the center of the page, label each column “pluses” or “minuses” and start to fill in the columns. If, after a period of thought, one column outweighs the other, you have your decision. Easy. But there is more. You may have a moral decision, such as the termination of an employee or a special decision, such as whether to open a new branch or buy a competitor. On these, use your plus and minus chart as a guideline, see how you can overcome the minuses, and let the entrepreneurial feeling in your gut take over.

If you tell me that you don’t have time to think this through, then it’s a day-to-day decision, and you just make it. The only times I used this was for the changing of staff. I would think for a week, and finally make my chart, letting workforce morale be a major part of my decision. Once you realize you must make a decision, don’t dawdle too long. A couple of days, a week max, and move forward with implementing and running your business accordingly. You can talk to a partner or a trusted advisor, but don’t pass the decision to others. Use their thoughts to help you form your own decision.

We’ll discuss this in more depth in a future article. If you are in Long Island, enjoy the show. I’ll be thinking of you.