Trust Your Gut

I am a big believer in “less is more.” When you have less money, you are more innovative. When you narrow your niche, you attract more targeted customers. And when you take in less information, you make better decisions.

The saying, “Go with your gut” is so overused, we sometimes forget that it’s 100% true. We are genetically programmed with a lifetime of knowledge that equips us with the ability to make GOOD decisions, quickly. You may call it instinct, or street smarts, or even ESP. Whatever you call it, you must trust it, because your gut will be right most of the time.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink he presents studies and stories confirming that snap decisions are often better than decisions made based on volumes of research. Gladwell refers to rapid cognition, our ability to make decisions in the blink of an eye as “thin-slicing,” and explains how information overload can negatively impact our ability to “thin-slice” effectively.

The solution to a problem often comes in a flash, almost like a premonition. The key to success is acting on your premonition, trusting that part of you that has is able to “thin slice,” to collect a small amount of information—the most important information—and make the best decision.

You have enough experiences from your own life to prove Gladwell’s theory. I’m sure you can come up with a bunch of your own stories about going with your gut— times you trusted your instincts and totally kicked ass, and other times when you hesitated or ignored your gut feeling, and totally sucked.

You don’t need a mountain of evidence to prove you’ve chosen the right path. Going for more and more research to backup your choices clouds your decision making process. It kills the spark of a good idea or solution— and if you keep doing it, you’ll kill the dream. We’ve all had our own experiences with “analysis paralysis,” the inability to make a decision due to information overload. When we wait to take action until we have all of the facts, very often we end up doing nothing at all.

You already know enough to make a great decision. Don’t let yourself get caught up in analytics or mired down in information, or you’ll end up with a bad case of “shoulda coulda woulda.” Less is more, my friend. Less is best.

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