By Andrew Cass

Some decisions will be bad decisions and will have to be recovered. Knowing this reality, you may feel frozen in decision-making. How do you know 100 percent that the decision you are making is the right one?

Simply put, you can’t.

You collect as much of the data as possible. You weigh the effect on others if you are wrong and then you will make an alternative plan accordingly.

Why do you move forward without all of the facts? Delaying a decision is often worse than making the wrong one.  A missed opportunity or indecisiveness can be detrimental to say the least.

There are rarely perfect solutions, and waiting for “the right one” to present itself can harm you more than recovering from a bad decision. If you’re playing it safe, then you should work for someone else and not as an entrepreneur.

Playing it safe is the calling card of the 97 percent; quick decision-making is a quality characteristic of the 3 percent. (Read: Are You A 3 Percenter.) If you aren’t willing to make the tough calls, you will miss out on the opportunities that lead the 3 percent to success.

Decision-making requires action, and action is what propels a person forward.

Opportunities present themselves daily, but when you get stuck on making a decision, an opportunity quickly becomes a missed one. The risk of failure freezes you and indecisiveness makes the decision. A quick decision acknowledges the chance of failure weighed against the potential success and evaluates what’s at stake before finalizing.

A quick decision is not a blind decision. It is a skill developed to quickly weigh the risk against the promise and to choose accordingly.

Two key factors play into quick decision-making: analytical skill and knowledge. Both can be developed and nurtured. When it is time to make a quick decision, you will already have the skill set to move forward. Analytical skills and knowledge work together in empowering you to make quick, informed decisions.

Analytical skills are the ability to collect data, visualize outcomes, analyze detailed information, and see a problem from various viewpoints. You must have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and the ability to prioritize your goals to get there. Having a strategic plan and a detailed finish line will help you see if the opportunity fits into your goals or is merely a distraction. Knowing where you are headed and how you plan to get there is essential. Acknowledging that changes will pop up along the journey will also help you determine if the decision in front of you will benefit from a course change or not. You must pay attention to the details.

How do you improve your analytical skills? With practice. Spend as much time training your mind as you would in improving your body.

  • Be more observant in your everyday life.
  • Pay attention to small details.
  • Play strategy games: chess, puzzles, sudoku, etc.
  • Make lists and write out opposing arguments or viewpoints.
  • Write out detailed step-by-step plans.

Increasing your knowledge is another way to improve your quick decision-making skills. By being well informed in your field, you will be better prepared to know if the opportunity in front of you is beneficial. Spend your time consuming resources, new ideas, competitor techniques, and breaking news in your market. By being well versed in the language and nuances, you will be better prepared for future decisions. (Read: You Are What You Consume.)

You will never have 100 percent of the information when forced to make a quick decision. By bettering yourself between decisions, you will be more successful. Making quick decisions is a powerful tool that will keep you ahead of your competitors, will lead you to action, will keep you relevant in the marketplace, and will establish you as a leader in your field.

Indecisiveness is detrimental. Mistakes can be corrected but missed opportunities cannot be recaptured.