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How to Figure Out What to Do

You're stuck. Maybe you have a few choices. It may break down nicely to A or B, but perhaps a few more ideas are creeping in. You're apprehensive about the next step. What if you fail? How will you know if you've made the right choice? What's next? 

I'm asked to coffee about an average of once a week to chat with someone who's facing the above dilemma. My wife is a professional counselor and coach, and most of the time, I want to tell the person to go chat with her, but I guess spending $2 on coffee with me is cheaper. 

The person presents his or her problem and I share a few ideas and wish them well. But more and more, that question seems to be universal: What should I do? Hell, I face it almost every day in running Batch and Cool People Care. 

Here are some ways to figure it out:

  1. Hire someone to listen to your options and then suggest a best course. This may be a coach, a mentor, or a counselor. You'll be out some money, but you'll get some unbiased input.
  2. Call together a trusted group of friends. I have a list of five people who know me well who I would trust with privileged information and whose insight I would value when determining a big move. 
  3. Just pick an option and go for it. If it doesn't work out, correct course as soon as possible. This is one pathway that Pixar has used that I've uncovered reading Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

And two ways not to figure it out:

  1. Do nothing. Please don't choose this one. 
  2. Go with your gut. What does this even mean? If you're going to do this, then don't call anyone beforehand. You're just wasting your time and stalling, which is almost as bad as doing nothing.

How do you determine what to do next? What secrets can you share to help any of us figure things out?


Sam DavidsonComment