Life is full of decisions. From the minute we wake up, to the minute we go to bed, it’s Decision Central.
Some of us are happy making them, some aren’t. Some like to ask other’s opinions, some don’t. Some wish we had, and some wish we hadn’t! Whatever our situation, we know that a decision – big or small – is inevitable every single day.
I’ve been making quite a few as a Mum recently, and not all of them have been day to day, relatively insignificant in the great scheme of things, decisions.
I’m not very happy where we live, and would love to move somewhere else. My son wouldn’t. He’s in his last year of school, so a pivotal time in his life, and after much soul-searching I’ve decided that he’s right. We need to stay put for another year so that he can keep the continuity he’s used to; besides, a move would impact on his studies and I can’t let that happen.
Am I disappointed? Of course! Do I accept that it’s the right decision irrespective? I do. Was it a hard decision? No; my son comes first. I can live with it.
My car has recently been sent to the big car heaven in the sky and now I need to decide what I’m going to do about replacing it. It’s a tough call because, as a single mum with only one income and an entrepreneur with businesses that are still establishing themselves, I’m not prepared to take out a bank loan to replace it. (See Day 1 post about how women don’t like debt, and multiply that sentiment by a million to get an idea of how much I reallydon’t!). However, whilst I can access the majority of my clients by train, there are a few that I can’t. And on a personal level, I need a car to do my usual ‘mum stuff’ because I don’t live in an area where public transport works particularly well.
It’s a decision I’ve been turning over for a few weeks now, and I’m no closer to an answer.
These will probably be decisions that you are familiar with too. Balancing the needs of your family along with yours. Considering the best course of action that leads to the smallest amount of upheaval – emotionally, physically and financially.
As an entrepreneur, I’m used to making decisions all day long too. Decisions that not only affect me as the business owner but anyone I employ, plus the people I work for.
For instance, I’m expanding one of my businesses at the moment and I am looking for new people to work with me. I’m also considering taking on a full-time administrator, plus someone on a university gap year, to develop certain areas of my business. Biggest concern? Can the business afford the hires!
Next? I’m going to have to rent an office; buy furniture, computers, phone systems. What if the hires don’t work out? I’m left with an office full of things I don’t need.
But on the plus side I’ll have people covering all the things I simply don’t have time to do; giving me more time to develop the things that need developing in order to grow the business and hire more staff, who will then cover even more things for me, giving me more time to develop the business… And so the circle goes.
Of course, not all of my business decisions are big and full of impact. There’s a lot of day to day decision-making going on all the time that I probably don’t even acknowledge as making decisions. It’s just about doing what I know I need to do to get through the day – hopefully, without making too many wrong ones.
Exactly the same as I do as a single mum.
Yet, a lot of single mums that I speak to about setting up a business say that they couldn’t make the decisions needed to do it. That they’d be nervous about having to make a judgement call on something that might be important.
Ladies. Every single day you are making decisions.
Every single day, entrepreneurs are doing the exact same thing.
Look back at the decisions you’ve had to make recently – big and small – and then tell me that you couldn’t use that skill in a business environment. A business that you’ve developed, that you know better than anyone, that you are the expert on. Just as you are the expert on your family.
For when you have set up a business, the only person who really knows the right decision to make is you. It’s your baby, remember.
That would be the same as being a mum, right?
So actually, making decisions on something that you know inside and out is not quite as tough as you might have at first thought. Family, or business.
See you tomorrow!