There are two points I enjoy sharing with most of my clients. One was passed down to me by my father when I was in the scrap metal business. The second springs from a lesson I learned in a sensitivity training program I attended a very long time ago.
I think of them now because no matter whom the client is that I am working with, at some time, something comes up that bring these points to mind. They both apply to a similar concern by a client about either being uncertain about a direction to take or having to make a decision.
One of my clients is growing a franchise business and had an opportunity to join some other franchisees in some marketing endeavors. He wasn’t sure if it was more of a sound decision to take a chance partnering with others in this one aspect of his business or to go it alone. We discussed the pros and cons at length. In the end, I told him what I had learned from my Dad.
My father, everyone who knew him agreed, was very smart and he had many years experience running a business. There was one occasion in which a situation was gnawing at him. I believe it was a legal matter, a court case. After weeks of thinking about it, he decided what he was going to do. Afterwards, we were talking about all the options that had been possible and how the matter ended in his favor. That is when he said, “Linda, when you have something you are dealing with and you feel uncertain about the best approach, after careful consideration of all your options, let them go…forget them.” He said, “Just go inside yourself and trust your gut.”
Another client, just the other day, had to make a decision about entering into an agreement with a potential client which involved a lot of contentions. She realized that there was a lot she had to depend on the client to do in order for this arrangement to work for her. The lesson I learned from that 3-day program was helpful for this situation.
My program trainer was discussing what happens when we get bogged down with multiple considerations that we dwell on prior to making a decision or choosing a certain path. He asked for volunteers to share about a situation with which they felt stuck. As we belabored what direction to take and all the many considerations to ponder, he asked us to envision that in each hand, he held one vanilla and one chocolate ice cream cone.
He said now our dilemma was to decide which cone to eat. As we began to argue the attributes and benefits of one ice cream flavor over the other, he helped us to see that those ice cream cones had little ice cream left in the cone, and most of it was dripping over his hands and onto the floor. He made his point well that the benefit of what we were considering was losing value and that all that nonsense about which flavor was the best wasn’t as favorable as choosing one sooner. Again, as with my Dad’s advice about our gut, after some consideration, choosing one is the best thing to do.
These two points have helped me time and again over my life and they continue to help my clients as well. Is there something you are dealing with that would work best for you if you made a decision right now and you went with your gut?