THE Decision making process

The decision making is a process of getting an answer to a clearly defined issue to move you and your business forward.

Right or wrong, it’s what you go with.

We make small decisions in our head most days without thinking about it too much. I’m not saying it’s wrong, certainly not, regarding small everyday decisions. When you need to make big decisions, well, it’s another thing all together.

How to Make The Decision Making Process with Confidence

When you start your business, there will be multiple decisions to make every day of every week. How you go about the decision making process is important. There are ways and there are ways. Probably no right or wrong. It’s a matter of working out what works for you.

For example:-

Do I accept the loan?

Can I support this acquisition?

Will I take the offer to rent the office?

Is it feasible to work from home?

Do I need a bank overdraft?

Do I need a salesperson?

Have I the time to train them?

How long can I survive until I make a sale?

And on it goes.

You see the decision making process happens all the time. Can you do it alone? Sure you can. Although it’s easier when you can bounce the issues off someone else. Get the feedback to re-enforce your decision. Maybe it’s your partner or your parents or even a trusted friend. All offer feedback on whatever limited knowledge they have of your business.

There is a better way

writing in a note bookGet yourself off to a quiet place and start writing.

The best way to tackle the biggies is to take yourself off to a quiet place with a pencil and notebook and write the question out in longhand. It is imperative you do this in longhand. Write it do not type it on a keyboard into the computer. This is important.

Then, when you have done it, read it and then write it out again in a different format. A different tense. Continue writing it out until you have exhausted every point. Now the next part is vital. On a clean page, write out the best version you think describes the issue.

Now close the notebook. Walk away. Go do something else. Do not think anymore about the decision. Sleep on it.

Tomorrow revisit the decision and write the solution. It will come easy. It might not be a single decision it may well be multiple. You have given yourself the best shot at solving the issue to gaining the best solution.

The decision making process

This is the process you use, and every time you use it you will get more proficient at it. Make it a habit. Give it the time it deserves. You won’t get it right every time, but I assure you it will be the correct decision over 75% of the time.

To sell or not to sell

Allow me to tell you a story of a decision using  the decision making process I had to make some years back. To sell my business or not.

You’d think this would be a straightforward decision. It was not. After all, I had built my business for over 35 years. I was 59 years old. In my prime. 

It was my baby.

If you have read my ‘about me’ page, you would understand what was at stake and the money involved.

There were always two parts to my business life. My shareholding in the holding company. Let’s refer to this as APL, which was its name. If you remember this is the company I set up in 1975. Also, you will recall I owned 100%. The value conservatively was maybe $10,000. Not much. Who would buy it? No one. Not as if I was looking to sell.

As time went by, this business gathered interested with like-minded businesses and we formed a type of co-op. Every business had a shareholding in APL. Fast forward to 2004 and the co-op garnered interest from a large listed company wanting to acquire our type of business to enhance their existing business. Taking it to another level. Of course, the APL shareholders had to vote on the deal.

Of course, the APL shareholders had to vote on the deal. They passed it overwhelmingly to accept the offer of $100,000,000. Significant result.

I still owned my business, but the co-op was now incorporated into a listed company. All the shareholders were now stakeholders with an embargo of 2 years before they could sell out of their entitlements. They received dividends, and the listed company grew exponentially over the years. Consequently, so did the shares.

So the decision to sell or hold was in my hands. No big deal. The share price was transparent and the share price fluctuated every day on the stock market, as does every listed share due to market pressures, etc. I could buy on a down day or sell on an up day. Completely in my hands. It was a quality stock and the decision-making on this was quite easy and the transaction was always visible. An excellent position to be in.

So what is my decision making dilemma?

This was not the decision-making dilemma I was struggling with. It was my actual business. My day to day financial planning business. The business owned entirely by me. What do I want to do?  

By the way, my shareholding in the listed business was 3%. Remember when I had 100% of the business and it was worth $10,000? Now I have 3% worth $100 million. You work it out. All right, I love saying it is $3,000,000. Love those zeros at the end.

Back to the decision making process. To sell or not to sell my business. Current appraised value $750,000.

I had buyers chasing me to sell. A pleasant position to be in.

The decision making process and the issues.

This is what I wrote. Still have the notebook entry to this day.

Do I want to sell?

Do I need the money?

What am I going to do if I sell? 

After all, I started the business with nothing. It was my heart and soul. It was the only business I ever built. It served me well over the years. It raised my kids. Funded their education. Built a home. Funded amazing travel memories. Created investments. Helped charities. Made me who I am today.

This was one of the major decisions of my life. I am 59. Way too young to retire.

I sat down with my notebook, and my wife and we went through the options.

I called up my lifetime mentor, John. I wanted advice from an outsider. With no pecuniary interest in the outcome.

You know the outcome. We sold. 

How the decision came about.

You recall I was a flight attendant before I resigned and started my business. If you don't maybe this is a good tome to read the about me page.

I never told you the main reason I resigned. In those days, many airlines had an overseas basing or two. Probably economic reasons. I was next up to get a 2-year married man basing in London. I was holding out for it. This is what I wanted more than anything.

When I was ready to move, the management cancelled all overseas basings. The London basing was dead in the water. There went my dream. 

This activated my resignation. I always thought they cheated me out of my lifetime dream.

Back to The decision making process - to sell or not to sell.

Prominent in the written questions in the decision-making process written clearly in my notebook was “we can rent our house and move to Italy for the 2 years”. The overseas basing I never had. I reckon that clinched the decision. The deal maker.

notebook on decision makingExtract of the written process way back then. It was the right decision.

We sold and moved to Europe, and it was fantastic and it was well worth the wait.

Santa Margherita, Ligure. Italy where we lived for two years. Per due anni.Santa Margherita, Ligure. Italy where we lived for two years. Per due anni.

“Never give up on your dreams"

The moral of the story is “Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes it take longer.”

There you have it, the decision making process to work through when you have a tough decision to make. An issue you will come up against from time to time. Here, I have given you a process to work through. Use it. Make it your go to process for all major decision making.


It is the little things that sometimes make the greatest impact in your business. Get the decision making process right and act on it constantly then you are giving yourself the greatest chance of creating a successful business. Decision making is another piece of your journey you will come up against constantly. Remember the decision making process works. commit to it.  Make use of a mentor this is an action with enormous results. It is amazing what a trusted mentor  can bring to the table with quick succinct solutions. 

Maybe read this next: 5 exciting reasons to start your business.

cliff climber

Experience isn't the best teacher, experience is the only teacher.