Discover more from Female Owned: Small business without the hustle
How I make big decisions in my business
An experiment to try, and tips to help you make decisions too
In late summer, I suddenly got an idea for my business that felt big. Huge. New. Amazing.
I felt deeply that I wanted to do this, and that it would be the right thing for my business. The idea came to me practically fully formed: one minute I had the idea, and the next I was scribbling pages full of notes and plans into my journal.
For two days I felt like I was carrying around this amazing thing. I felt lit up and inspired inside.
Then the doubt crept in.
Wasn’t I doing something too “out there”? I hadn’t seen any other mentors take this approach. Would people even understand what I wanted to do? What if everyone unsubscribed? What if no one wanted to make use of this offer?
I think as business owners, we’ve all had situations like this. Ideas or plans that feel magic and so right initially—until our inner critic steps in, or people close to us challenge our plan.
Today I want to share more about how I deal with this, and how I make big decisions in my business.
Lean into your idea
When I get an idea that feels exciting, new or big, I first try to really embody that feeling. I write down as much as possible. And then I keep it quiet for a bit. I rarely immediately share a big idea. Especially when it’s something that feels important, it feels like a little seed that I want to nurture first, before exposing it to the world.
Where does the doubt come from?
When I started to doubt my new idea, I realised that all of the doubts were external. They were voices of imagined critics, things that I’d fear others would say. Just because I haven’t seen others do what I’m planning to do is no reason not to go ahead with it. And if no one wanted to make use of my offer, I could always go back. I could treat it like an experiment (like much of what I do in my business).
How does this align with your vision for your business and life?
I knew that I wanted to go ahead with this plan because it aligns so perfectly with my vision for my business and my life. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I’ve made quite a few decisions over the past years because things don’t fit in with my vision.
One of the reasons why I’m not on Instagram anymore is because I don’t want to be ‘on’ all the time. Choosing evergreen and scheduled marketing fits in with the slow and gentle approach I take to my business (and has also proven to be more profitable).
The other day I had a meeting with someone about providing some in-company trainings about work-life balance. This was something that we’d planned for over a year, but things kept coming up to keep the training from going ahead.
Initially, I saw this as something to try out. I knew I could do this training, and I’d probably also enjoy it. And it would make me some extra money. But from the beginning, I knew that it didn’t really fit with my vision. I don’t want to work with employees in large businesses. I want to work with small business owners. So I turned the opportunity down, and had zero doubts about that.
If you have doubts about whether your new idea fits in with your vision for your business or your life, listen to them. Start with you, your needs and your vision. What would feel good about how you’re running your business? What would work for you? For your time, for your energy? Start there.
Take some time
Sometimes I like to let big plans percolate. At the beginning of this year, I decided that I wanted to get a tattoo. I’d never gotten one before, and after picking a design I liked, I let the idea percolate for a month. At the end of the month, I still knew I wanted to get the tattoo and I booked an appointment. Giving myself this month helped me get clear that this was what I really, really wanted (and I love the tattoo I got!).
Share it with the world
I’m very clear about who I ask for advice on my plans. As much as I love my partner, he’s generally not the best person to ask for business advice. I do discuss things with him, but I don’t ask for his specific feedback much.
Instead, I ask my business friends and mentor for feedback: not whether I should do something or not, but what they think of it. I know that they will respond in a supportive manner and ask questions that help me clarify my thinking.
Do you have a big idea or new plan for your business that you’d like some feedback on?
My one-off mentoring sessions are perfect for this, or book a package for on-going accountability.
What big ideas or plans do you want to bring into the world?
If you’re experiencing doubts, where do these doubts come from? Are they voicing the opinions of other people? Or are you doubting because the idea doesn’t fit in with your vision for your business and life?
Revisit your vision for your business and life. What fits in and what doesn’t? What are you doing because you think you should, rather than because it fits in with your vision?
garden plans | I’m itching to get my plans for the garden on paper. I’m planning to turn our sad front lawn into a drought-resistant meadow and am really excited.
interview | I loved having Rhiannon Adler answer my questions on how she runs a slow, gentle and profitable business—there’s so much gold in her answers!
What are your favourites this week? Do share in the comments, I’m always curious ✨
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What big decisions are you itching to make? Is there anything stopping you? Or do you have a process that you rely on when a big idea pops up? Do share in the comments and join the conversation.