It’s easy to veer off the trail. A lack of signposts, unexplored paths, and curiosity can tempt us to take a different route from our original plan. This often works out when we’re on a leisurely hike in familiar territory but can have devastating consequences if not approached with common sense. If the changes you choose result in you ending up far from your destination, the possibility of being stranded is genuine. No one will know where you are.
The same thing applies to your business. Whatever decisions you make on your business journey will impact your success. Distractions and alternative possibilities come at us daily. When we are in the middle of solving a problem, it’s tempting to choose a quick fix, even if it’s not perfectly aligned with our goals. The more we take this route, the more diluted our original business concept becomes and the weaker it can grow.
Here are three questions to ask yourself when at a crossroads in your business:
Does this solution match my values?
If your personal values include honesty, integrity, and transparency, and your solution short-changes someone, it’s probably not the best move. It’s true that in business, as in life, we can’t please everyone all the time. However, we can ensure that whatever decisions we make are communicated to stakeholders, opposing opinions are considered, and a final decision is transparent and fair.
What is my long-term goal, and does this choice of action help me get there?
Refer to your original plan often. It’s where you’ll find guiding words to help you stay focused. You put much thought into writing your initial goals, so beware of changing them on a whim or because a new pathway has opened. If the move doesn’t help you reach your goal, it isn’t for you.
This doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your plans along the way. No route is ever a straight line. But it is wise to make sure any changes, additions, new travelling companions (partners), etc., don’t throw you off track.
What does my gut tell me?
Trusting our instinct is a powerful business tool. Listen to what your common sense tells you. If you have a bad feeling, it’s probably not the right move. You’ll meet many people along the business trail, and not all of them have your best interest in mind. Empty words and promises won’t help you, so be alert when an offer seems too good to be true.
By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little, you gain the great. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson