Passion: The Handbrake On Fast Decision Making

There is no argument that small business owners passion for the business sits generally at 110% (if there is such a thing!), but is passion always great for business? One would argue that it needs to be turned down a notch in the name of progress.

I stick my hand up here and admit fault.

Yes, in the past I’ve been one that’s emotionally involved in every job, every customer, every purchase, every marketing campaign, every project, every issue, and that even included licking and sticking stamps (what the !~#@!).
I have been passionately committed to achieving results and was personally responsible for all decisions. In short, everything had to be 100% perfectly right and more often than not, it meant I had to do it myself. I can see you nodding and smiling to yourself…you’re one of them too aren’t you. But as the business grew I realised something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be our output or our profits.

Increase in customer base = more staff  = 95% care factor from me

Yes, I admit that as the business grew, I had to relinquish control (as hard as it was) and I learnt to train and trust my staff to make the right decisions.

An increase in work resulted in less emotional involvement. Although I was still very committed and gave everything my solid commitment, the passion had to give a little on each and every job/project to keep the customers happy.

Happy customer = happy business

It was at this point that I reflected on many a single project – building the website, designing the vehicle signage, developing a marketing campaign – and they all had great momentum up until the final 5%. It was at this point that we all went into overdrive on analyzing, tweaking, reviewing, adding more information or completing the final touches. Days turned into weeks with the final 5% percent taking longer than the entire piece of work.

“ When you care just a little less, things gain momentum. ”

It dawned on me that the final 5% of tweaking, although I thought was perfecting the project, was at times making the project worse and was definitely slowing down progress. What’s that cliché? Go with your first decision!

I liken it to the corporate world where fixed deadlines, levels of middle management, fast-moving competitors and a slightly lower care factor combine to keep things moving forward – “let’s get it out the door!”

We business owners think that our passion is an asset. It is, but there is some truth to to fact that it is indeed a hindrance when we waste took much time (and for us, money) on the final 5%. Let’s face it, 95% is 1000% better than a killer idea gone stale or worse still, implemented by your speedy competitor.

No more lingering for too long on final touches. ‘Sleep on it for 1night’ is about the maximum limit for me to make decisions. It’s helped me complete far more work in a much smaller amount of time (love the efficiency!), has kept me focused and has turned my business into a moving freight train.

I’m all for passion, but too much can sometimes be a handbrake.

Is there something you need to loosen your grip on?

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.