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The Cost of Indecision: How Delaying Decisions Hinders Your Business and Career Growth 

August 31, 20237 min read

In the realm of entrepreneurship, indecision is a costlier mistake than a wrong decision. Embrace the art of making decisions swiftly, and you'll navigate challenges with resilience." - Richard Branson

Is Your Indecision Limiting Your Business and Career Growth?

As a leader, making decisions is a necessary skill that can either propel you toward success or leave you stuck in the same place. Indecision is like quicksand, slowly pulling you down while hindering your business/career and personal growth. 

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of quick decision-making and the consequences of feeling stuck. In addition, I will walk you through a simple five-step method to make better decisions. 

The Challenge of Feeling Stuck

Feeling stuck is a common hurdle that many leaders and business owners face. Being stuck can harm your business growth, whether due to fear of making the wrong decision, lack of clarity, or being overwhelmed.

Example: Consider a business owner who hesitates to invest in a new marketing strategy. The fear of failure or loss keeps her from taking the plunge and growing her business. Meanwhile, competitors who take the risk reap the rewards of increased visibility and sales.

Prolonged indecision can lead to missed opportunities, stagnation, and a loss of momentum. Time is a valuable asset in the business world, and being stuck robs you of its potential to drive your success.

When you lead others, your indecision also affects them. It often slows your team's ability to do their work, creating bottlenecks in your processes. Frequent hesitation can also erode employees' trust in you or the company if things slow down or stop without a clear reason. 

Indecision also has a psychological impact. Prolonged indecision can lead to stress, anxiety, and a loss of confidence. It can create a vicious cycle where fear of making a decision leads to further paralysis.

The Cost of Delaying Decisions

Delaying decisions often comes at a high price. It hinders progress, wastes resources, and impacts financial stability.

Example: A company delays hiring extra staff during a growth phase. This leads to overworked current employees, decreased productivity, and a loss in potential revenue.

Delaying one decision can also create a ripple effect. Indecision in one area can lead to delays in other business areas, slowing down the entire operation.

Overcoming Stuck-ness and Gaining Clarity

To overcome feeling stuck, it's essential to engage in self-reflection and goal-setting. You can break free from indecision by taking actionable steps toward gaining clarity.

As a starting point, it helps to clarify your vision, goals, and values and keep them in mind as you make decisions. 

Tools: Consider using a vision board or journaling exercises to clarify your goals and values. These tools can help you align your decisions with your long-term vision.

The Power of Quick Answers and Expert Guidance

Learning to accelerate decision-making and getting out of a "stuck state" is a skill worth your time. 

One way you can do this is by getting quick answers and expert guidance. Doing so can provide the clarity and direction you need to make informed decisions.

Having a mentor or coach can be a game-changer in your decision-making process. Coaching provides you with personalized insights, encouragement, and accountability. It also helps you move forward with more confidence. 

Example: One of our clients, a successful business owner, was feeling stuck about what social media platform to leverage. Through a Pick My Brain Call, she gained insights that helped her make a confident choice. We identified the platform that attracted her ideal clients, and she left with a plan on how to update her profile and start showing up to attract them. 

Another client, a high-performing corporate leader, wanted to approach a hiring manager in their company about a job opening but needed to know how. In one call, we identified the potential political landmines and devised a plan (including talking points) for proceeding. The client left the call feeling clear and empowered to take action to pursue their goal. 

What To Consider

Here are five things to consider and help you move from unstuck to clear:

1. The Importance of Alignment: Making decisions that align with your core values and long-term vision can create a sense of purpose and direction. It helps you stay true to your path and avoid distractions.

2. Breaking Down Barriers: Sometimes, the barriers to decision-making are internal. Recognizing and addressing these barriers can free you from indecision. Whether it's fear of failure, perfectionism, or lack of information, identifying the root cause can lead to effective solutions.

3. Taking Small Steps: If a decision feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller, manageable steps. Taking action, even on a small scale, can create momentum and make the larger decision more manageable.

4. Give Up on "Perfect" Decisions: Perfection doesn't exist. Allow yourself to make the best decision with the information you have at the time. If your information changes, you can take a different action. Waiting for the perfect choice only creates analysis paralysis and often the regret of having time go by and doing nothing. 

5. Ask Yourself The Question: What decisions have been on the shelf and are waiting to be made? Identify those and consider that you probably have all the information you need to make a decision today. 

The Anatomy of a Decision

In general, there are five steps to making a decision. I learn better using examples, so I'll illustrate a possible scenario as we cover the five steps.

Step 1: Clarify 

In this stage, you want to outline the following:

a) The decision to be made

b) The goals you hope for (if you made the "perfect" decision, this would be best case scenario as a result)

c) Your options

Example: We are a business owner or manager hiring a new assistant to support us. The clarification step looks like this:

a) Hiring a new assistant 

b) They will take away the tasks in my day-to-day that don't require my involvement so that I can focus on my CEO activities and work 8 hours or less each day, maintaining or increasing my output.

c) I've interviewed three candidates, so my options are Applicants 1, 2, and 3. 

Step 2: Research

In this stage, you want to gather information about your options related to your goal. Be careful not to get stuck in analysis paralysis. It can be helpful to give yourself a finite amount of time and then move to step 3. 

Example: When creating the job posting, I identified specific skills I wanted the ideal candidate to have. In step 2, I collect information from my interview notes. Then, I create a simple spreadsheet listing the candidate's name, competencies, and experience. I also remind myself that I can always return to recruiting if no candidate meets my needs. 

Step 3: Evaluate

This is the step where you weigh the pros and cons of each option. 

Example: All three candidates fit the company's culture well and meet the job's minimum requirements. Applicant 3 only wants to work part-time. Another key difference is that Applicant 1 has worked in retail all her career, while Applicant 2 has experience working in remote office environments. 

Step 4: Select

In this step, you use the data from steps #2 and #3 to make an informed decision.

Example: This is a full-time role, so Applicant 3 won't work out. Remote working experience is valuable, given my business is 100% remote. Applicant 2 is my top choice, as they stand out given their knowledge and expertise.

Step 5: Assess

After the decision is made, it's good practice to give it time and then review the impact (short and long-term) of the choice made. We can note any lessons learned and update any processes accordingly.

Example: In the scenario of hiring someone, we will have daily check-ins during their first week, then weekly, and then monthly. I will ensure they have the proper onboarding support to succeed and progress as needed during this time. This will allow us to address any concerns promptly. Down the line, I will look back at how this person is performing long term and track any learnings about what worked during the decision-making process. This will allow me to adjust my hiring process as needed. 

In summary, as a leader, the ability to make decisions is crucial for the growth of your business. Delaying decisions only hinders your progress and limits your potential. You can break free from indecision by recognizing the challenges of feeling stuck, understanding the cost of hesitation, and embracing the power of quick answers and expert guidance. 

How We Can Help

Schedule a Pick My Brain 60-Minute Call today and unlock the power of decisive leadership in your business empire and career. By taking this step, you're not just making a decision; you're committing to growth, success, and the future of your work. Don't let indecision hold you back. The time to act is now!

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Jean Ali Muhlbauer

Jean Ali Muhlbauer is a Leadership Coach for Business Owners and Corporate Executives. She helps her clients grow their businesses and careers via one-on-one coaching, group coaching, VIP days, and online classes. You can find more information by visiting

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