Happy new year everybody! It is a happy new year … right? Sometimes with the economy in trouble and uncertainty on every side, decisions become very hard to make. They don’t need to be. Let’s discover how to make it easy.

I watch business owners become paralyzed in their decision making. They don’t know what to do. Sometimes, unless I call them up and give them a push, they won’t make any real changes and their business and personal life suffer.

Procrastination and indecision will sink your ship, sure as anything. But how do we decide with so much uncertainty ahead?

Just because the road is rocky or difficult, does that mean we shouldn’t try? Does it mean we shouldn’t set goals or make changes? Of course not! Then we would be dead in our tracks, not growing or progressing.

The real answer is to have a general idea of where you are heading and an intense focus on what you must do today. You can never act in the future, only in the present.

The future is never clear, and certainly not at all right now. Our plans will always have to changed and be modified. But if we take no action today, we will be left behind. Small business success waits for no one.

True entrepreneurs never wait, they are men or women of action. The wanna-be’s always find excuses and reasons to put off decisions. They won’t take action. Maybe they get lost in trying to plan every last thing out, so focused on the details and getting it right that nothing innovative ever happens in their lives or business.

Maybe they are afraid of failure. Hey, failure is your friend. It is by our failures that we learn and move on to greater things. Have no doubt, entrepreneurs fail all the time, the good ones fail fast, learn from it, change and succeed. Wanna-be’s never even start.

Don’t get paralyzed by life around you. Get out there and give it a try, whatever your idea is. Maybe you’ll look a little foolish and make a mistake or two. Who cares? Enjoy the adventure of finding ways to make your business work.

If you don’t innovate and change, I can guarantee you what will happen. You’ll find yourself sitting with a failed business, or no business at all, watching how your competitors innovated, took chances, failed and learned … and left you in the dust.

In this new year let’s do things differently. Don’t try to do as well as the next guy or perform as well as your competitors (thus being average). As Joe Polish likes to say “eat your competition alive!” Go outside the box, be creative, innovate, and then “just do it.”

A final illustration that works for me is to just start the ball rolling. Once it is rolling you are forced to make decisions quickly to adjust and keep it going in the right direction. If you never get it rolling, you go nowhere.

Find people you trust to brainstorm or mastermind a direction for 2010, then take action … just do it. If you don’t take action today, likely you never will.

So, let’s get going!


by Steven Schlagel