Take the Risk (Intelligently) - Focus Friday



With so many moving parts to an e-commerce store, many of the business owners and marketers that I speak with are constantly challenged by the various risks that they are presented with when making changes, investments, and seeking a competitive advantage to help them draw more of the market in their favor. Sometimes, I speak with folks that are faced with big, hairy decisions they can have many complex moving parts. One of the toughest challenges about decision-making is that when you are faced with lots of risk and unknowns it’s very easy to get caught up in the trap of “analysis paralysis.”

Think back to some of the major decisions you have made in the past three months. Do you have a very well-defined process? Have you found yourself at a crossroads not knowing which path to take? Today will share a methodology that can give you a better foundation for how to more intelligently make decisions for your marketing and for growing your business.

The following two slides will help to outline four questions that you can ask yourself when you are faced with either difficult or potentially risky decisions for your business. The purpose of these four questions is to help you outline potential outcomes if you were to do something or make an investment, or alternately to not do something and to state the current course. The first question you have to ask yourself is “what is the best thing that can happen if I do X?” The next question that you have to ask is the flipside of that coin. “Was the worst thing that can happen if I do X?”

You can spend some time envisioning the possible outcomes provided that you go ahead with the decision and that will give you some insight into your thoughts, feelings, and is a very basic level how many points are in each category. Most people make their decisions based in one of three categories. Head, heart, or the hip – logically, emotionally, or with your wallet. It’s good to consider all those points as you answer these questions.

Now, in order to do your full due diligence you need to be able to also consider the outcomes if you don’t go forward with the item that you are considering. The questions he asked yourself your very similar, but with one slight variation. Now you have to ask yourself, “what is the best thing that can happen if I don’t do X”and “was the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do X?”

These two questions help you to think about what you would do or how things would stay the same if you were to follow along with the proposed change item. Overall, now through these four questions you have been able to examine present versus potential future outcomes.

Let’s give a quick illustration of this methodology action. Let’s say you just bought a new car and you’re considering purchasing car insurance.
If you get it, the best in the can happen is that you have peace of mind that in the event of an accident you will have coverage, and won’t need to scramble for cash. In the worst-case scenario, you pay for coverage, drive safely, an insurance company gets to book a profit.
If you don’t get the insurance, the best thing that can happen is that you don’t have any mishaps or accidents, and you haved save yourself the amount of the premium. The worst thing that can happen, is that you end up in accident, and have to spend a hefty sum in order to fix or replace your vehicle.

If you’re interested in learning more about this decision-making methodology I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book “Take the Risk” by the renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson. It’s a great read and showcases that this is a good methodology not only in business.