There are questions and there are ‘million dollar questions’ and ‘How do I know if this will work?’ is one that definitely falls into the latter category alongside the likes of, ‘How do I know if this is the RIGHT thing for me to do?’
I’m thinking it’s likely that you might well have asked yourself these questions in relation to your business idea– would I be right? I know I certainly have MANY times, before finally coming to terms with the answer I already knew deep inside but didn’t really want to hear – you can’t know.
You Can’t Know
I know it’s hard and it’s not the answer any of us WANT to hear…. but when you think about it, how many decisions in life DO you make where you CAN be totally sure of the outcome? Funnily enough, I actually know the answer to this one… NONE!
When you think of ANY of those BIG life decisions we make – the job offers we accept, the property we choose to buy, the person we decide to share our life with (or not) – we somehow managed to make these major decisions, didn’t we? And what’s more, we made them without total certainty that ANY of them were the right way to go.
We simply made our decisions to the best of our ability with the information that was available to us at the time – we had absolutely no guarantees and yet we STILL accepted job offers, bought houses and committed to relationships.
And that’s exactly what I encourage my clients to do when they finish the Inspiration Incubator programme and they’re ready to take their newly formed ideas out into the real world. In the absence of a definitive answer to the ‘will it work’ question, this is the advice I share with them:
Exercise Due Diligence
Most of our major life decisions are made in good faith after a time of research and reflection and the same applies to starting a business. So do your research first, weigh up the pros and cons, talk to people and take advice and THEN you can feel confident that you have done your best when making the decision to ‘go for it’.
Trust Your Instincts
When there is no definitive answer (or crystal ball!) we have to trust our gut instincts and listen out for those pieces of undeniable wisdom which seem to speak loudest in the early hours of the morning!
In the absence of guarantees, our instincts are a pretty reliable alternative. From my own experience, when my intuition signals that I’ve found something which is truly right for me, the decision suddenly becomes strangely easy.
Regard it as an ongoing journey
Just because you can’t be totally sure of your eventual destination (…can we ever?) it doesn’t mean you can’t start the journey. Embrace the liberation of setting out on a path safe in the knowledge that you can adjust the route accordingly as you go. In the words of Martin Luther King Jnr, ‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’
Let go of the need to KNOW
Sometimes, when we’re faced with ‘big’ or ‘hard’ decisions, we put SO much pressure on ourselves to do what’s ‘right’ that we end up not doing anything and not going anywhere for fear of ‘getting it wrong’ or ‘making a mistake’!
One of my favourite quotes which I’ve said to myself on many an occasion is, ‘Just Do It!’ I love it for its sheer exuberant simplicity and for reminding me that if we’re lucky, life is a wonderful ride made up of a collection of different experiences. And whatever happens, the choices we make are never wrong, they simply teach us the lessons we need to learn in order to grow and be the best we can be.
So no, you can’t ever KNOW but what you CAN do is hold on tight, smile, trust and enjoy the exhilarating ride.