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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Business Instincts vs Data

As business owners, we face a constant battle when it comes to the decisions we make – should we go with our gut instinct or chose based on the facts? It’s an everyday part of keeping things running, and can sometimes cause a bit of stress if our instincts and the data don’t match up.

So which do you go with? Well, truthfully, either way you can risk failure or accomplish success. Your instincts are based upon experience, and you are more likely to feel comfortable doing something that has worked for you in the past. If, however, your instincts are telling you to go for something that has never crossed your mind before, it may be a hard step to take.

That’s when, if time allows, you should consult the data on the situation. What makes the decision easy is if the data matches what your gut is telling you. The hard part comes when the facts don’t match and you have conflicting possibilities. And, keep in mind that some decisions require immediate action and there may not be time to find out what the data is.

Don’t force yourself to come up with the “correct” answer. If you have to debate with yourself for days on whether or not your gut feeling is the right choice, then your gut feeling really isn’t clear in the first place and you should probably go with the more reliable route, the data.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to go about this. If you are an intelligent, educated individual with quite a bit of experience in your industry, then you can likely trust your instincts regardless of what the data says.

The important thing to remember is that you will inevitably be wrong on occasion, no matter which way you go. If you find out the hard way that your instincts were wrong, evaluate the situation, learn from it and move on. Don’t let a wrong choice here or there deter you from trusting yourself in the future.


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By Michelle Cramer
Thursday, May 8th, 2014 @ 12:01 AM CDT

Motivation, Operations |