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We are in exciting times right now. According to some forecasters, the US economy faces a 100% chance of a recession in the next 12 months, and 98% of CEOs expect a recession. Whether or not you’re in the 2% who are recession optimists, you recognize that every decision matters during turbulent times.
Uncertainty affects everything. Every new hire, layoff and expense is analyzed to ensure whether it leads to growth and, in some cases, even the survival of the company. One of the biggest mistakes during a recession is making decisions too late. New entrepreneurs tackling this climate for the first time struggle to make strategic predictions and know who they can trust, ask for advice and confide in. Savvy entrepreneurs, who have gone through previous recessions, have discovered that this alone is not a good strategy.
This is an epidemic among entrepreneurs. The Gallup Wellbeing Index shows that 45% of entrepreneurs report feeling lonely compared to 42% of other workers, and 50% of CEOs report loneliness.
Among entrepreneurs, a much higher percentage are feeling anxious or depressed on a daily basis. During these times, it is crucial to cultivate communities of support to build resilience, ensure that you do not make the necessary difficult decisions too late and face the difficult times ahead.
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As President and CEO of the Alternative Board, which represents 5000 small private businesses in 22 countries around the world, I speak with entrepreneurial leaders every day about their concerns about running seven and eight figure companies to the new issues facing leaders understand business on the high street. .
Action is the antidote if you are struggling with extreme stress and anxiety. But not just any action. Act with the wisdom and guidance of others who have experienced setbacks before. You need support to increase your resilience and make sound decisions that promote the growth and overall well-being of your company.
How do you make difficult decisions with confidence? Surrounding yourself with other business owners, traveling down the same journey and learning from each other’s experiences, is key to having the confidence to make tough decisions..
Facing the coming economic turmoil, here’s the 7-step process for making tough decisions and leading your enterprise to smoother times.
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1. Get clarity on the main question.
The adage “it’s lonely at the top” doesn’t have to be true. If you feel like you can’t share your day-to-day struggles with anyone, take some time to create the space you need to be clear. What is the basic question? It cannot be an underperforming team member. Maybe it’s the overall company culture or an outdated offering. Get to the root cause of the situation. You are not alone, even if you feel lonely.
2. Discuss the question with your colleagues.
Napoleon Hill’s bestselling book “Think And Grow Rich” introduced the concept of an alliance of business leaders who gather around a specific subject as a “master teacher.” Create a support group of between five and ten people; they can be in different industries, ages or demographics – the more diverse the better. Communicate your question to the group for assessment.
3. Try to understand first.
Suggest clarifying questions in a roundtable session; at my company, our philosophy is “don’t move the fence until you know why the fence was put there in the first place.” Our members want to make sure they are helping each other to solve underlying issues rather than symptoms. Ask everyone to suggest clarifying questions in a roundtable style session. Once everything is understood, you will be better able to receive valuable feedback.
4. Share your experience.
The best advice is advice based on experience. Peer lists of business owners often represent 150 years of business experience or more. Peers share their collective experience. Sometimes the best advice is, “I’ve done this before, and it didn’t work out well for me.” That kind of advice is invaluable to other business owners. Consider whether any experience you might be involved with or encourage a new path forward.
Related: Being Vulnerable Is The Boldest Act In Business Leadership
5. Consider your options.
Many entrepreneurs spend too much time gathering information and not enough time executing it. After considering the feedback from your group, process the takeaways. What is the most beneficial thing for your company in its growth path? Decide which session you want to prioritize.
6. Commitment to action.
We deliberately use the word “commitment” in board meetings. Members promise each other to take a specific action. Commitment is not just action but that everyone is committed to their peers to take action. These commitments are an integral part of advancing key issues and opportunities.
7. Stay accountable.
The easiest person to let down is yourself; the hardest person to let down is another person. Peer board members hold each other accountable for their commitments. They do this because they support each other, work together and try to help each member of the group overcome their challenges and take their business to the next level.
Although what lies ahead is uncertain, one thing is clear: by maintaining a community of support, advisors and mentors — whether through a Board of Directors, accountability groups or peer support — entrepreneurs will be well-equipped to draw on wisdom across. industries and demographics to support each other and make better decisions to face the times ahead.