3 Steps To Improve Decision-Making and Create Freedom In Your Agency
Would you like to create more freedom in your agency? How can you spend less time making decisions? How can you make the right decisions to grow your agency without too much emotion or personal bias? It’s time to improve your decision-making skills and spend less time on small agency tasks. Today’s expert uses science to explain how you can greatly improve your decision-making skills in order to create the role you really want within your agency. All you need is discipline and the right framework to keep yourself accountable.
Dr. Frederic Bahnson is a surgeon who found a new career path in coaching. Initially, he needed information on how to make a career decision and found valuable resources that helped him not only with his career but with other aspects of his life. He decided to share those tools and created his own framework, which he now shares in his book Better Than Destiny.
In this episode, we’ll discuss:
- Why struggles with decision-making could start with your ego.
- 3-step framework for making better decisions
- How to know when it’s time to replace yourself in daily agency operations.
Sponsors and Resources
Wix: Today’s episode is sponsored by the Wix Partner Program. Being a Wix Partner is ideal for freelancers and digital agencies that design and develop websites for their clients. Check out Wix.com/Partners to learn more and become a member of the community for free.
The Process and Skill of Decision-Making
As much as we theorize about decisions, we can all fall into these same mistakes again. Decision-making is a skill and as such, you’ll get better with practice. You develop a framework, evaluate how you’re doing with it, get feedback, and observe the results about why something might have gone wrong. Sometimes you can attribute a bad outcome to bad luck.
You can’t control everything, but always make sure to assess the results you get from implementing the decision-making process. Pay attention to how you go about making important decisions and see if it’s effective, and if not, go back and revise. The important thing is to have a process.
Being Honest and Self Aware Making Decisions for Your Agency
You can approach decision-making from many angles. Dr. Bahnson encourages us to remember we all have biases and blind spots. You may have tendencies to go for things that will be beneficial in the short term but not so much in the long term. There are systematic ways in which we make decisions that are not in our best interest or fail to follow through with the decisions we’ve made.
We find ways to justify this to ourselves but if we were honest we could identify the patterns of how we consistently fail to make the best decision or double down on a bad decision. We fool ourselves into thinking we can’t give up on a project because we’ve already invested so much in it. You may think giving up is admitting the resources you poured into something are really lost. That leads to you digging and digging deeper into a hole, ultimately not where you want to be.
Is Your Ego Playing a Role in Making the Right Decision?
Some of it is ego and some of it is just your ego tripping you up into thinking you’re being objective. You think you understand yourself well enough not to worry about biases. Recognizing your own biases when you’re calm does not mean they won’t be a problem for you. That perspective disappears once you’re in the heat of the moment. You start to make decisions based on your emotional reaction or the status quo and not consider that you’re being affected by your blind spots. This is something that we can much sooner recognize in another person than in ourselves, which is where our ego comes into play.
Should we completely remove emotion from the equation when making an important decision?
No, Dr. Bahnson does not recommend that. Understanding how we feel about something is an important part of the decision-making process. The idea is to use emotion as a piece of information but it shouldn’t be in the driver’s seat when we’re making a decision. One way to do that is to have a process you can implement as a series of steps to making a sound decision.
3 Step Framework to Making Better Decisions
- Decide how much time, effort, and resources are worth spending on a particular decision. Don’t fall into the trap of small decisions when you’re building your agency. Otherwise, you may end up spending too much time on things like what color to paint the walls. It’s not that the details don’t matter, just not so much if you’re doing it at the expense of strategy.
- Think about what’s important to you when it comes to a particular decision. People approach different decisions in different ways depending on their priorities. What are your priorities and how much of a role do they play in the decision you’re making?
- Consider your options and narrow them down to a few viable ones. If you determine the decision is in fact important and you need to spend time on it, figure out how to thin out your options by identifying a top few that you’ll spend time researching. It becomes less overwhelming when you have a few concrete options to consider.
Deciding When to Step Out of Daily Agency Operations
A common decision agency owners face at some point is when to step out of daily operations. It is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make for your agency to start empowering your team and grow. You need to be clear on the direction you want to take your agency and which skills you personally bring to the table. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll be able to identify tasks someone else could be doing much more efficiently so you can focus on agency growth.
As he details in his framework, Dr. Bahnson suggests that you start by recognizing all the little things that you’re spending time on, like making follow-up customer calls. Whatever it is, if it’s taking up more time than building your strategy then you should ask yourself if you’re better off paying someone to do that. That person would at least be able to put 100% of their attention on those tasks. You shouldn’t spend more time on the day-to-day operations than on the big initiatives for your agency. Instead, try to focus on things that will matter two or three years down the road.
Why Do People Struggle So Much With Delegating?
It requires a certain level of humility to recognize you might like how you do something but someone else could do a much better job. It can be hard to admit for an agency owner who built their business from scratch. However, it is very likely someone who doesn’t do it exactly your way could actually get better results doing it their way.
When is it time to start looking to replace yourself in some agency tasks? When you assess how you’re spending your time and realize you’re focusing too much and spending too much time on small tasks. If you’re spending more time on a three-day framework than you are on three-year planning and strategy, it’s time for a change.
Decision-Making for Agency Owners
Similar to Dr. Bahnson’s framework, Jason advises mastermind members to consider two things when they are making a decision:
- Is it going to save you time?
- Is it going to give you freedom?
If you want your time and freedom to be a priority when it comes to agency decisions, then it could be useful to create rules and make decisions based on the rules. Giving yourself rules around decision-making is a good way to keep yourself accountable. If it’s well thought out, these rules will be easy to follow and something you can evaluate and update.
Giving yourself a goal with rules will force you to focus on what truly matters. You just need to be honest about the amount of time and energy a decision is worth. Dr. Bahnson says a good rule of thumb is asking yourself — how much will that decision matter in three days, three months, and three years from now?
Growing an agency, you need to focus on the three-year term. You shouldn’t be focusing on the three-day horizon. You won’t have the energy to focus on both and do it well.
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