Some decisions are easy. These are the decisions you can quantify. You can calculate the return on investment, odds of success, etc. It’s the leap of faith that’s hard, but often necessary to surge ahead. Understanding the different forms a leap of faith can take will help you know when to jump and when to look twice.
The Unknown is Risky, And So is the Status Quo
Those who never make a leap of faith, never come close to their full potential. Their world is self-limited by what they directly see and know. Their lives are comprised of small, safe moves.
At the other extreme is the dare devil who leaps at every opportunity without consideration or foresight. These individuals go through life like a turbo charged sports car careening at high speed, on the edge of control, running down a winding mountain road. Sooner or later, they will crash and burn.
The trick is to find the balance. Don’t leap indiscriminately, but don’t fear the unknown. Here are the five forms a leaps of faith can take. Learn to recognize when you are facing each, when it makes sense to leap, and when it make sense to look twice.
1. You Have a Compulsion
Sometimes you are simply compelled to do something. It eats at you. You have to try it, no matter what the odds. Most business startups result from a compulsion.
If you feel compelled to take a leap of faith, you will know it. The compulsion won’t go away. Eventually, you must act on it. But first, do all you can to stack the odds in your favor. This includes due diligence and all of the small steps, short of the leap that you can do.
2. You Have an Impulse
Impulsive decisions are spur of the moment. You make them and afterwards, you might wonder why you did and what you were thinking. Small impulsive decisions are common. It’s the basis of a lot of sales activity. Let me give you a personal example. I knew I wanted a new vehicle, but did not know what. On a 105 deg F day, I test drove a truck with air conditioned seats. Impulsively, I bought on the spot. Rather, I bought a pair of air conditioned seats and the car dealer threw in a truck.
On a more serious basis, I have seen people join a business alliance on an impulse. Financially, it’s analogous to my truck lease, but with a shorter term. Both are financially manageable, yet while the primary upside of my truck lease is a comfortable tush in a Texas summer, a business alliance can make a dramatic improvement in your fortunes.
When an impulsive leap of faith involves a life changing decision, however, it’s time to tap on the brakes before you go careening out of control. It’s usually a mistake to quit a job, move across the country, or get married on an impulse. If the opportunity is real and meant to be, it will still be available in a week or so after you have had time to think about it and weigh the consequences and alternatives. At the very least, sleep on it.
3. It’s Small Ball
Some leaps of faith are small ball. Whether you fly across the country to attend a trade show or conference is small ball. At most you are out some time and travel expenses. The upside is you might learn something that can add tens of thousands of dollars to your top and bottom lines, or maybe even change your entire business outlook. When we travel to an international trade show like the ISH Show in Frankfurt, Germany it’s a small ball leap of faith.
When it’s small ball, go ahead, leap. The downside is manageable so you should see what might happens on the upside.
4. You Have Intuition
Some leaps are based on intuition. You have a gut feeling. It’s strong. You know it’s the right decision, but you can’t necessarily explain why. For example, you decide to hire the less experienced job candidate over the more experienced one based on a “gut feeling.”
Intuition, or a gut feeling reflects the influence of your subconscious. Your conscious brain can only focus on so much at once. The rest is picked up by the subconscious. A myriad of clues and signals that are missed by your conscious mind are processed by the subconscious. The intuition you feel is the outcome of that processing.
As a rule, you are safe trusting your intuition. Even if you do not trust it enough to take a leap of faith, do not buck it. If you gut is telling you to take a particular action, but you just aren’t sure, it’s okay to overrule your gut feeling by taking no action. However, if you are considering an action and your gut feeling tells you it’s a bad idea, listen to your gut.
5. Project Forward Qualitatively
Maybe the most obvious leaps of faith are those that result from your own qualitative projections. Most business expansion decisions are based on qualitative projections. You know you won’t be able to grow this year without adding a truck. Yet, the decision to add the truck and recruit a technician requires a leap of faith. You cannot be sure that the business will be there to support the truck, but you know you can’t take on more business without it. So you leap.
Another example is the decision to buy a building. You buy a bigger building than you need figuring you will grow into it. You know that you are running out of space and this will eventually be a restraint on your growth, but you are not sure how long it will take to utilize enough of the building you acquire to justify the investment.
Qualitative projections result from forks in the road. You may not be able to quantify the outcome, but you can predict the direction of taking or not taking an action. If the status quo is acceptable to you, stand pat. If not, get ready to leap.
Any business owner makes many leaps of faith through the years. The fear of spinning out of control is ever present. However, understanding the process and knowing when to leap and when to look twice will help make the leaps a little less unnerving. You can live with a little anxiety. Do not let fear of the unknown freeze you in place.
Could your HVAC, plumbing, electric, or solar business be better? Take the very small leap of faith and give the Service Roundtable a try. It’s only $50 a month. Learn more at www.ServiceRoundtable.com or call toll free 877.262.3341 and ask for a Success Consultant to give you a complementary tour of the password protected portions of the website.