Are You a Good Decision Maker?

Decisions.  Decisions.  There are few days in the year of a freelancer when the ability to interpret information and come up with a resolution quickly affects overall longevity.  For those with weak decisiveness skills, the freelancing game may not be for you since thinking outside of the box is a trait many veterans use to prevent punching a clock.  However, if a workplace scenario feels like the blind leading the blind and punching your boss seems to be the perfect solution (or stress reliever), then this Forbes article may help you pinpoint some areas in need of work.

One of the main factors the article names is going with ideas instead of facts.  This had happened to me and others who are creative or idealistic and feel our concepts will overpower changes that we cannot control.  It cannot be stated enough that the majority who choose to go at it alone normally find themselves needing more that they assumed to keep the machine going.  Taking time out to research important factors that affect an industry should be a monthly, if not bi-weekly thing.

Just like any relationship, using facts to determine the status or find out if further investment of time or money will either pay off or prevent you from losing more money.  If a new entrepreneur does not remember anything at all, keep this little limerick in mind.  "Denial" is not just a river in Egypt but it's hella expensive.

If you're a person who believes that making any decision is better than none at all, hopefully you can apply filtering skills along the way.  The truth is that none of us are perfect and oftentimes, no amount of schooling can prevent mistakes from happening.  Having an BS antenna is great but for some of us, it takes a moment to hone this handy (and money-saving skill).  Here are some of the worst decisions new business owners have made:

Going in cheap.  Sorry but free websites with someone else's URL or other property information does not always transfer well.  Obvious exceptions are merchant sites with an SSL and consumer guarantee policies.  Even though many can make full-time income on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, having a standalone online presence with professional-looking real estate goes a long way.

Letting friends have a piece of the action.  Offering to help for free is great for the entrepreneur is great when first starting out but when this is happening over a period of time, it's only fair to offer some form of compensation.  If you're not in the position to cough up any cash, then establish a barter system of some kind.  Even if they don't have a business, things like fixing their car, cleaning their home, or even washing their dog should pay off.

Taking out high-interest loans.  New business owners with bad credit are prey to these companies, who may charge an average of 25% APR.  Sometimes additional fees are included when minimum payments have been made on time.  Since some are still rebounding from the recession that occurred more than a decade ago, this can be a truly vicious cycle.  Making more money should never equal lo going into debt so speaking with a credit counselor.  Once personal finances are under control, contact a small business development center (SBDC), local SBA or SCORE office for assistance.