If you were trying to get an old steam engine going to move the train, would you put the coal in the caboose or in the engine’s firebox? Does it make any sense at all to put the coal in the caboose instead? It’s not the way a train works and it’s not how business works, yet in business we do it all the time and all it does is weigh us down.
The Business Train of Success looks like this:
And it’s really simple to run it. Stop putting your faith in your feelings and make a habit out of putting your faith in the facts. It’s amazing how much better your business will run, and how much more likely you are to make good decisions.
When we put our faith in our feelings we either make fear-based decisions or hope-based decisions.
Fear-based decisions are rooted in how things have gone in the past and maybe how things “are”, but don’t take into account anything to do with how things could be if I decided to make a change. If you tend to make fear-based decisions you are saying two things:
- The pain I know is better than the pain I have yet to experience. I’ll just live with it. (A big reason why most small businesses never grow to maturity).
- I am committed to making decisions based on where I am, rather than on where I want to be.
Stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself, “What would I be doing right now if I wasn’t afraid?” Make decisions based on where you want to be, not where you are. Otherwise you will never get where you want to go, you’ll only just wish you could have…
Hope-based decisions ignore the past, the present and even the future facts that should be informing your decisions. Hope here really means, “I wish” and, “Wouldn’t it be nice if..” People who are hope-based ignore the facts as well and go full steam ahead without any idea where they are going or how they will get there. They are always “excited” about the future but have no factual reason to be – “it will just work out” if we keep going. If you make hope-based decisions, you are really saying two things:
- I will ignore the facts at all costs because reality always gets in the way of my dreams. Or – the pain I have yet to experience has to be better than my present pain – I’ll just keep running headlong into the abyss.
- I’m committed to making decisions based on where want to be with no regard for where I am or the facts on how I can actually get there.
Both the naively optimistic (hope-based) and stiflingly pessimistic (fear-based) view of the world will keep us from being successful. Instead put your faith in the facts, stoke the engine of success, and get moving on a clear track to growing a mature business.
The more faith you put in the facts and not your feelings, the faster you will get there!