It takes a combination of experience and courage to make a decision based on gut instinct. Some might say it’s following the heart, not the head, implying that’s a bad thing. But with practice it becomes easier, so how people can practice using intuition for making critical business decisions?
Lucy Davies, online coach and mentor who teaches small business owners how to ‘Make Marketing Simple’ says: “The gut is our second brain, and as a successful entrepreneur (and super-busy mum!) I have learned to follow mine. The truth is – when I haven’t followed my instincts in the past I have always regretted it!”
- Tune in to their internal dialogue and listen to their heart and head.
- Shift their beliefs to accept that one style of decision-making isn’t best, and a combination of head and heart is good.
- Know that intuition is made up of multiple senses and our neuroreceptors receive and process information faster than our conscious minds – so don’t consider intuition as not based on facts just because they weren’t knowingly processed.
- Be still. Stop hustling and embrace mindfulness because by being in the moment it is easier to see what’s working and what needs to change.
- Learn from previous experience. Think of a time when they simply knew something was right or wrong. How did they know? Was there a voice in their head? Did they get butterflies in their stomach? Did they follow that gut feeling, and what was the outcome? Recognising these details will help strengthen their intuition for the future.
- Stay in control of their own decisions. Listening to others’ opinions can be helpful but always stay in control of their own destiny. What’s right for others won’t necessarily be right for them.
Many successful entrepreneurs started their entire business because of intuition, and that feeling of ‘just knowing’ who their business could help and how. According to Anthony K. Tjan in his book Hearts, Smarts, Guts, and Luck around 70% say they started with the vision and added a business plan later.
Another example of when entrepreneurs would be advised to follow their gut includes when considering working with someone new – whether that’s a client or business partner. Relationships like this require a deep level of trust, which is almost impossible if the entrepreneur’s ‘heart-led’ intuition is warning them something is wrong.
Successfully combining head and heart-based decision-making will ultimately help business owners achieve greater emotional intelligence and personal authenticity. Which in turn will enable them to connect with and build greater rapport with other people. The benefits will be far-reaching, and not limited to just business life.