Tough Decisions and How to Make Them

Struggling with a choice or decision can be very difficult especially when it involves your business. I had just completed a major goal and it was time to decide which goal I would tackle next. There were many possibilities and never enough time.

As the woman behind Gypsy King Software games I had several game related goals. There were older games that hadn’t been moved to the new millenium but could be. There was one game in particular I’d been wanting to bring forward.

Then there were the brand new games that were part way done that needed to be finished, two in particular that were tugging at me. In addition there was a game update that I considered important.

In addition to games, there were books. Now that the door had opened to allow me to publish my books, I had half a dozen already written and just needing to be polished and edited, and half a dozen more in my head wanting badly to come out.

On top of that there were websites to be updated, blog posts to be written, t-shirt designs to be released, marketing to be done, and the list goes on. With so many choices how on earth do you pick one to focus on?

The answer turned out to be quite simple once I knew how to approach the decision making process. I was spending the afternoon at the doctor’s office reading Les Brown to pass the hours. If you’re not familiar with Les Brown, you should be. He’s an amazing motivational speaker and writer who I first encountered on public television and he can set you straight.

I was reading his book called Live Your Dreams and like a magical genie called forth to answer a question, I came to a segment about making decisions. He said to close your eyes and imagine each option, moving forward with the option as if you had chosen it. Imagine yourself completing the goal or moving forward in that direction. How does it make you feel? What emotions do you get from success with this option? Then move past the emotions and beyond, what do you see as the result of choosing this option?

Do this mental exercise with each choice and see if it clarifies the decision making process. I was skeptical. I’m not good at foreseeing which option will be the most successful when it comes to business. Back in the day when I had released several different shareware games, I would have put my money on the political game to be the most successful. I was so wrong. A more common game that I didn’t expect to do anything at all turned out to be the dark horse which took off and left all the others eating dust.

Knowing my track record, how was I supposed to trust my imagination to fill in the blanks? Nevertheless I closed my eyes and followed each option mentally, seeing it finished and released, following it into the beyond. I was amazed at the answers that came.

The option I was leaning toward was a non-fiction book, already written and needing just minor changes. I knew the book presented useful information and could be finished quickly. From that logic it made perfect sense to pursue it. However, when I followed the book mentally as Les Brown had suggested, I discovered that my emotions on completing and releasing the book were not joy and elation, but embarrassment! The subject had been so overdone by so many different people, the entire topic had somewhat of a bad rap.

The next option on my list was to bring a game forward into the new millenium. I really believed this game would be well-received and I’d already undertaken the task of updating the graphics. I closed my eyes and followed this game to its re-release and beyond. Again, the result surprised me. Instead of feeling joy and elation, I felt like I’d just wasted several months that should have been focused elsewhere. I’d had this conversation with myself many times before and always I came to the same conclusion: If I were going to work on a game there was only one game it should be and that wasn’t it. This realization nixed another option that had been high on my list as well.

That left two other prominent options, both of which would bring joy and elation to finish and release, and both of which I felt had a good chance for success with the primary difference being which one could be done quicker. The answer was immediate. One was already near finished. The decision was made.

There are two morals to this story. The first being that the next time you have to choose between several options, especially in business, try this technique. The results might surprise you. The second nugget I hope that you take away from reading this is to acquaint yourself with Les Brown. If you’re needing direction, motivation or just a swift kick in the pants, Les Brown is your man!

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