Emotions are what make us human.  Without them, life would be boring.  Most of you know this… in my experience, most business owners are very passionate people.  It is that passion which drives them to take the plunge and set out to build their own company in the first place.

Unfortunately, this passion often works against small business owners as they manage their company on a daily basis.  The best decisions are made when you take a clear headed, objective look at the facts and the repercussions of your choices.  But the stress and the intensity of running a business often lead business owners to make rash, impulsive choices.  Emotions are what make us human—but they are not your friend when it comes to managing your company.  If you are prone to making rushed, emotional decisions, consider the suggestions below:

Do not make emotionally charged decisions in one sitting.  When you have a decision to make, think it through and write down your decision, but do not act on it yet.  Wait a couple of hours, and then think through the decision again.  This should give your emotion time to subside, and if you feel differently than you did earlier, take more time to decide.  If you still feel good about your choice, you can be confident that you are not making an impulsive decision.  Obviously this is not an option when you need to make an immediate decision, but when you have the luxury of time (and that is likely most of the time), use it.

Talk decisions through.  As the manager of your business, you may not be able to talk to your employees about your decisions, but you likely have a friend or advisor you could call.  They do not have to be experts in your business—they just need to understand YOU.  Talking big decisions through is a great way to remove emotion from the picture.

Take the time to visualize the fallout of your decision.  What impact will the choice you make have on your business, your employees, or your family?  Nothing is worse than making a snap decision—only to realize hours later that you inadvertently harmed people you care about.  A great way to do this is to start by making a list of everyone who will be impacted by the decision, and then go down the list and think through what that impact will look like for each person.

List pros and cons of each option.  Sometimes simply creating a list of the benefits and drawbacks of each choice helps to identify the best course of action.  When you are emotional it can be hard to see clearly, sitting down and taking time to think a decision through carefully will often help you get past your emotions and make a rational decision. In addition, consider whether your decision will help you or hinder you as you work towards your vision and mission for your business.

Running a business is like piloting an aircraft.  You should not make decisions based on gut feelings or emotions.  Instead, you should refer to your plan and use your navigational equipment to chart the wisest course of action.  Remove the emotion from key business decisions!

Do you struggle to make rational decisions regarding your business? How are you able to overcome this habit? Leave a comment and share your thoughts below!