Transcript: How To Become A Master Decision Maker (& Troubleshooter)

December 13, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “With every decision I make, I can absolutely change direction if need be. Now, I'm not saying it's always easy to change direction or there might not be some consequences if you do, but it is possible to change your mind. It is possible to make a decision, and when it's starting to pan out and you don't like the direction it's going, you can absolutely say, ‘No, hold on. We need to go in a new direction.’ And if you're doing that with a clear mind and if you're really looking at all areas and what it's impacting, and you can confidently say, ‘It's not going to be easy, but we need to change direction on this,’ absolutely possible.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. 

I wanted to check in on you and see how you're doing because I, for one, recently had an absolutely incredible weekend, and I hope you did, too. So at the time that I'm recording this, it happens to be a Monday, and last weekend, we flew in my team. So I have a 100 percent remote team. There's actually one person who moved from Northern California to Franklin, Tennessee, so I guess there's two of us now in Tennessee. Everybody else is across the U.S. So I flew out everyone. So there's about seventeen of us because two of them are pregnant and they couldn't come. It turns out that right now I have four pregnant people on my team—four—but two of them couldn't come because those babies are coming really soon.  

And so, anyway, everyone else flew out for two days of teambuilding and fun and conversation and connection because we hadn't all been together since before COVID. Some of us have gotten together because of the DCA launch, but that doesn't include everyone, so I wanted everyone together. And after this weekend, I was left feeling really, really excited, energized, grateful for the opportunity to lead such a talented group of people.  

And I looked at Hobie after it was over, and I said, “I love every single one of them so much.” And it's a good feeling when you look at your team and you know everybody on your team is meant to be there; everybody is in the right seat. And let me tell you, because you know I like to keep it real, there are many times throughout the year where someone comes on our team. It's just not working. I know they're struggling. I'm struggling with them. And I can't actually say everyone on my team is in the right seats. But it just so happened that when this retreat hit, I looked at the table, and I thought, every single one of them are right where they need to be. They're excelling. They're doing amazing things. I appreciate them. So I felt really, really grateful.  

So now that I'm back into work mode and I have had a bit of time to really reflect on all that happened this weekend, I started to think about leadership and, specifically, the qualities of a great leader. And I'm sure you've read or heard somewhere that one of the qualities of great leaders is the ability to make informed decisions quickly. Do I need to say it again? One of the qualities of a great leader is the ability to make informed decisions quickly. And I have to say I agree with that.  

But it got me thinking, what happens when you're the owner of a small business? You don't have a CEO. You're basically a one-woman or a one-man show. You could have a small team, but you literally make all the decisions, the big ones at least. So you are literally the one calling the shots. And what happens when you're sick of making decisions, when you have decision fatigue? Because, my friend, it is a real thing, and I've absolutely dealt with it over the years. So that's why I wanted to record a quick episode about decision making and what happens when you don't want to be the one making the call.  

But before we dive in, quick question. Have you ever shared this podcast with a friend, like an entrepreneurial friend or someone still in a nine-to-five job that has dreams of creating a side hustle or going out on their own? Would you mind just grabbing the link to this episode or to, really, the podcast in general and just texting a friend and saying, “Hey, I think you might love this podcast. Take a listen”? It would mean the world to me. My mission is to use my podcast to help as many entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs as possible, so I'd be grateful if you could help me make that happen. 

Okay.  So if you have your own small business, maybe it's just you or you have a few employees or maybe you have ten employees, it's likely that you don't yet have a CEO. So if that's you, I'm talking to all of you without a CEO, so at the end of the day, the big decisions are up to you. And when you are the sole captain of the ship, who's responsible for deciding everything from what the companywide email signature looks like to your growth strategy, it can feel like a lot.  

And I get it, because guess what? For many, many, many, many years that was me. Now I have a small leadership team, and I have goals to have a CEO next year. But at the time of this recording, I have twenty people on my team, and I wear the hat as the CEO, and I do make all the really big decisions. That coupled with the fact that most decisions in my company need to be made fairly quickly, it could be pretty overwhelming. And there are so many times when I just want to throw up my hands and say to my, let's say, content director, “You just decide. You just decide.” Like, I actually have a leadership team that I get to bounce tons of ideas off of, so I am lucky in that sense. But sometimes I want to look at my leadership team and just say, “I don't want to make this decision. Just decide for me.” And as tempting as that is to do, I need to fully own the fact that I am the leader. I’m the owner. I’m the CEO right now. I need to make the decisions. 

So there are a few things I do to take some of the edge and pressure off of making tough decisions. So I wanted to share with you some things that I hope you'll remember when you're facing a decision you'd rather hide from than decide on, but you know, “Listen. I got to decide on this.” 

Number one, I remind myself that with every decision I make, I can absolutely change direction if need be. Now, I'm not saying it's always easy to change direction or there might not be some consequences if you do, but it is possible to change your mind. It is possible to make a decision, and when it's starting to pan out and you don't like the direction it's going, you can absolutely say, “No, hold on. We need to go in a new direction.” And if you're doing that with a clear mind and if you're really looking at all areas and what it's impacting, and you can confidently say, “It's not going to be easy, but we need to change direction on this,” absolutely possible. 

In fact, I subscribe to this idea that my friend Brooke Castillo taught me years ago, and that is that there's no such thing as a bad decision. Now, if you're like, “Yes, there is, Amy,” and you want to argue that, how's that working for you? How does that serve you, to be, like, “No, you can absolutely make bad decisions”? Well, of course, you could look at it like that, but everything's perspective, right? And what Brooke says is if there's no good decision or bad decision, there's just a decision, you make it; you find out if that decision is moving you in the direction you want to go or not; and if it’s not, you make a new decision.  

And so taking away the good, the bad takes away a lot of shame, guilt, and judgment that literally, my friend, you do not need. That is a decision. You can subscribe to believing that: “Be careful of any decision you make, because if you make a bad decision, you're just going to screw yourself,” how is that even serving you? Like, if you look at Brooke and what she's been able to do to build a forty-plus-million-dollar coaching business, I think she's on to something when she says, “I don't tell myself it's a good decision or a bad decision. I just make a decision. And without putting a label on it, if I need to make a new one, I can do that faster and with more ease.”  

It's all in the way you think. It's a mindset shift, and this mindset shift has allowed me to become really good at making well-informed decisions quickly, because I know that if I need to reevaluate, reassess, I absolutely can.  

Number two is surrounding yourself with a few people who you trust that can help you make the decision. Because let's be real. Making a decision is so much more difficult when you feel like you're all alone in it. So this could be people inside your own business. It could be a mentor. It could be a coach. It could be a therapist. It could also be a really good friend. You know I've got my peers on speed dial. Like, I will absolutely bounce an idea off Jasmine or Jenna or my leadership team or sometimes even Hobie.  

Hobie’s really good at people problems. Like, he doesn't understand my business. If I asked Hobie a decision about how I should spend my ad money, he would literally laugh in my face and be like, what ads? Like, what are you talking about? But if I said, “Hey, babe, I'm having a problem with one of my coordinators,”—for the record, I’m not, if my coordinators are listening—“I’m having a problem with my coordinator. And here’s what’s happening. What do you think?” I really love his perspective. So just know who you usually go to for different things.  

Also, if you're in a mastermind or if you put together a mastermind of your peers, that's also another great group. So it's got to be people that get you and have some kind of understanding of your situation and that you are willing to reach out to them. Did you hear that last part? If you're multitasking, come back to me. You have to be willing to reach out to them. I think that's the most difficult part. Telling one of my peers that I'm really struggling about something that happened in my business is not always my most favorite thing. But if you're willing to be vulnerable with a select group of people, I promise you, they will give you such great advice so you can make the decisions that are right for you.  

And then number three is simply telling yourself this, “I am a master decision maker. I'm also a master troubleshooter.” Let me tell you, friend, this little mantra is incredibly helpful to tell yourself when you're having decision-making anxiety, because it helps you shift your identity. I do this all the time. When I have a hard thing that comes my way, I tell myself, “I'm a master troubleshooter. I am such a master at making quick decisions that are informed.” I tell myself, I give myself the identity, and that helps immensely. I start to really believe it. And today I could tell you I do think I'm a master troubleshooter. I do know I make well-informed decisions quickly, and I also am willing to change direction if need be when I see the opportunity.  

So all of those help this whole situation of making decisions quickly so much easier. 

So here's my homework for you. The next time you have a decision you need to make but would literally rather eat sand than try to figure out what to do, do these three things. Number one, remember that your decision isn't set in stone. You can always go back, reevaluate, and change course. Number two, surround yourself with a couple of people you can trust that you can also lean on for advice and support. And number three, own the fact that you are a great decision maker. You are great at troubleshooting. You've come this far. You've made a lot of decisions to get to where you are right now listening to this podcast. You've got this.  

And after doing this time and time again, I promise, making decisions will become much, much easier and far more enjoyable. But remember this: usually, the most successful entrepreneurs are quick decision makers. They don't sit on making a decision for too long, because life passes them by, opportunities pass them by, and it keeps them playing small. Become a master at decision making.  

All right, my sweet friends. I hope you loved this Shorty episode and found it valuable. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. Thank you for sharing this episode with an entrepreneurial friend. It means the world to me. So go out there and make some decisions. You've got this.  

I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Can't wait. 

Follow Me On The Gram