As a business owner, you make decisions continually. Big decisions. Small decisions. Business decisions that affect you, your employees, customers, and the company as a whole.

Many of us became entrepreneurs for the very reason of FREEDOM! WE control the destination of our company. WE steer the ship! WE decide how high we fly!

Every big decision we make has the potential to change the direction of our company, whether accelerating down the highway, or veering off into the ditch. It’s a fearful yet freeing position to be in.

The small day-to-day decisions change very little and are often made with little thought. It would be absurd to call a business consultant to decide whether or not buy a new office chair at Staples. Need the chair? Buy the chair. It’s pretty simple, but applying this same lack of thought to bigger decisions can sink your ship.

What do we do when faced with life-altering business decisions? Who is our sounding board?

[quote cite=’Ryan Boutiin’ align=’right’]The thing about taking advice is, YOU are the one who lives with the outcome of the decision. Make sure you follow your heart.[/quote]When it comes to business advice, many entrepreneurs turn to those they trust the most—their spouse, family or friends. Understandably, we must consult with those we trust and have our best interests in mind.

Or maybe it’s not honest advice we seek, but rather someone who will say what we want to hear? #ouch

Unfortunately, family and friends are often a bad source of business advice, especially those who have chosen a different path.

Would we listen to financial advice from someone who is broke? Would we seek relationship advice from person who has a handful of failed relationships? Would we want exercise advice from someone who is 150lbs overweight?

Absolutely NOT. Then why would we consider consulting with someone who has less business experience and success than us?

Sure, we can glean wisdom from many sources—and we should. But that advice must be carefully weighed and litmus tested.

Of course, it would be great to chat with those who have created billions in wealth, but Bill Gates and Mark Cuban aren’t that readily available to you and me.

What we truly need is a sounding board of entrepreneurs who are more easily accessible.

Create a Sounding Board

  1. Find people with like minds who are doing as well or better than you in business. Iron sharpens iron. Both parties must benefit.
  2. Don’t waste their time with trivial, small scale problems. These are the people you can go to for advice on the BIG business decisions.
  3. Get a second opinion… and a third… Weigh all advice.
  4. It’s important to have both people in a similar industry and people in a completely unrelated industry. Seeing things from a different vantage point will create different idea and options.

I’ve been burned myself a few times by taking bad advice. It stunted my growth and set me back.

I encourage you to STOP taking bad advice from those without experience. Follow the characteristics above and you will make better educated business decisions and avoid hitting proverbial ditch. Overall, listen to your gut, follow your heart and be true to yourself. You probably already know the path you need to take. After all, it’s YOU who must live with your decisions.

Do you have a sounding board or another method that helps you make the bigger decisions? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below.

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The Author

Ryan Boutin

Ryan Boutin

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Ryan is driven by a passion to help people grow their business. As CEO of Zeal Media Inc, a web development and marketing firm located in Saskatoon, Canada, Ryan's mission is simple; Implement custom strategies to launch small businesses to drastic growth. With a vision to reach more people, InspireCast was born.

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