How to Make Decisions

21-May-2014

How to make decisions as a creative entrepreneur

As creative entrepreneurs we’re faced with some pretty weighty decision-making to-do’s on a daily basis. In a single day at Braid Creative we’re responsible for making decisions on how we run our business, from the content we’re sharing to the processes we’re implementing. But in that same single day we’re also helping our clients make big decisions around their own brand and business vision, too. The thing is, decision-making is a resource you have to exercise to get good at – otherwise you may find yourself paralyzed and wanting to stay in bed all day. 

Kathleen here. I’m really good at making decisions. I’m never paralyzed by options and I’m never afraid I might be headed down the wrong path as a result of a decision I made. It’s a skill I took for granted, or simply overlooked, until I started a business with my sister. When I found that we were having to make decisions that seemed to stress her out (she has a beautiful mind that seems to think in layers that weigh all the possible variables and outcomes at once) I was finding no problem in saying “let’s do this.” And then we’d do it, make some money, and everything was fine. Or we’d do it, it would be a total failure, and we’d move on quickly – either way, everything was still fine. Failure or success, either way, we were moving through all the planning, launching, and growing of a business with speed and grace. 

So in this moment, of this single day at Braid, I want to share with you a few ways to exercise and leverage your decision-making power – from the super practical to a bit more conceptual: 

EAT AND SLEEP WELL
Eating well and being well-rested is the easiest and most effective way to become a better decision-maker. Since being sleep-deprived (ah, life with a 4 month old) I’m now realizing how key sleep is to making decisions. Get your eight hours in every night and I promise you’ll be better equipped for weighing pros and cons on the fly during the day. You’ll be twice as efficient in half the time if you’re getting good sleep. 

And then there is food. Food is fuel not only for your body but for your brain. Since eating a mostly Paleo diet (that means veggies, fish, eggs, and lots of good fats – no sugar, grains, soy, or legumes) I’ve had more sustained energy throughout my day, not to mention some skin that rivals a glittery Twilight vampire during those rare sunny days (guilty pleasure right there). If you’re interested in eating more Paleo I recommend checking out our friends at Whole9 and their NYTimes bestseller It Starts With Food. I also like Michael Pollan's book Food Rules for a more simplified and holistic approach to eating well. 

MEDITATE
I’m currently reading Ariana Huffington’s Thrive and it’s inspired me to really get serious about my meditation practice. Even just two minutes a day can do wonders for your psyche and decision-making abilities. And meditation doesn’t have to be another task on your to-do list – here are some more ideas on how to incorporate living mindfully into your already busy day.

EXERCISE
Some of my best ideas happen when I'm lifting heavy weights at the gym or on a long afternoon walk. Even just now, as I am writing this post, my sister went for a quick walk around the block to clear her head before going into a client meeting where she knows she’s going to have to be on point with recommendations and on-the-fly advice. 

Make decisions creative entrepreneur

Decision making for creative entrepreneurs

READ MEMOIRS
It's nothing short of inspiring to read about how other people have forged their path and seeing the successes, failures, and decisions they made along the way. Reading memoirs is a great reminder that we're all human and we all have the same 24 hours in a day to write our own life’s narrative. I prefer reading memoirs over blogs when I find myself getting caught in the comparison trap. Memoirs tend to share the whole picture, with equal weight on the ups and downs, versus the Pinterest-worthy highlight real that the blogosphere is so well known for. 

CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT
Ditch the list of pros and cons, get out of your head, and check in with your gut. Let intuition lead the way from time to time. It's usually never wrong. This week in our Letters for Creatives – an exclusive email straight to your inbox – I'll be sharing a few examples of how and when I've used intuition to make little and big decisions for my work and life. Sign up to get that letter here.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
When you know what you want it's easy to make decisions that will lead you to the end goal. If you're not sure what you want, then get curious. Daydream about the kind of life you want to live. Get specific. Map out your ideal day. If you still need more help pinpointing the kind of life you want to live check out my DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. 

In closing I want to share one more secret when it comes to making decisions: any decision is going to move you forward if you take action on it. Ditch the notion of right and wrong and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don't wait for confidence and courage to come knocking on your door first – you only find those guys along the way. 

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Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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