It All Comes Down to Making Choices

By Alan Olsen

The business world, just like life, is full of choices. Everything we experience in life comes with choices. Of course, some choices are very simple, like what shirt to wear on a given day, and others are extremely difficult, like where to invest your hard-earned money. So what makes some choices more difficult than others? There are many reasons, but essentially it all comes down to the fact that with every choice there is some level of pain that comes with it. In fact, according to Jeff Hayzlett – CEO of Hayzlett Group, with whom I spoke recently, there is some pain in everything. “There always is. Pain of learning, pain of love, pain of everything.”

Don’t Succumb to Excuses

Jeff talked about choices and pain and the fact that success all comes down to overcoming excuses and making tough choices. Jeff talked about an experience he had when he was writing his book: Think Big Act Bigger. “I listed pages of excuses. I went out and crowed sourced amongst my friends and said give me the list of excuses. ‘Well we can’t activate that on Thursday because the best day to activate content is on Tuesday,’ or ‘we tried it before,’ or ‘it’s not in the budget,’ which is a common one. You know, it’s all about making choices.” In fact, according to Jeff, that’s what you have to do in life. You have to decide, if that’s what you want to do then you go out and do it. It may not go how you want, but it’s ok to fail. Then you pick up the pieces and try something different. There is always the possibility of pain, but pain exists on both sides of the equation.

Give up Something to Get Something

That is what makes some choices so difficult. It’s usually easy to choose between something good and something bad, but when you have to choose between two unknowns or two options that are both good, the pain level can feel too high to move forward. However, that is what making choices is all about. Jeff said, “You have to learn that you have to give up something to get something. That’s the first step of being on that journey is to figure out what that pain is going to be and to understand that no one is going to die in the process.” Jeff expressed the importance of making those decisions early on that you want to go to a certain place or accomplish a certain goal. Then you’re going to have to make choices and sacrifices along the way.

Don’t Let the Pain Stop You

No one wants to fail, but in order to succeed we all have to make choices. The other option is to do nothing, which brings the same result as failure, because you accomplish nothing. In fact, even if you make a bad choice you still get the benefit of learning from that choice. On the other hand if you cower from the possible pain and avoid making a choice, then you end up gaining nothing. There will be pain with choices, but there will also be reward.