In this episode, James and Megan wrapping up our theme of Fear (for now!) and discuss a double-sided fear; one that makes us say yes when we should say no, and when we say no, we wonder if we should have said yes.
Our Kryptonite today: The Fear of Regret!
Why do we fear regret?:
- As entrepreneurs, we see and love opportunities. The thought of missing out on an opportunity can drive us to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do. This is the fear of missing out.
- But when we do say no to an opportunity (and we must because we can’t do them all), we feel the ping of regret. And if time shows that we missed out big, the regret is all the bigger.
- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mother of H. Jackson Brown (author of Life’s Little Instruction Book)
What can we do to better evaluate opportunities?:
- It’s important to go beyond our gut feel and get out of our head. Talk through these opportunities with a mentor, coach, partner, or other trusted advisor. That can be enough to help you see clearly.
- Get outside of binary thinking. Most of the time Yes or No are not the only options. Not now might be an answer. The degree to which you enter into an opportunity also provides multiple answers. You don’t have to go “all in” every time.
- Having an overall strategy in your business can help you evaluate opportunities and make decisions more quickly and more confidently. Your mission, vision, core values and more will guide you.
How can we use regret as motivation?:
- As you evaluate each opportunity, think about what happens if you say no.
- Saying no may mean that you don’t lose focus on your current efforts. If those efforts are successful, will you still regret saying no? Is that enough to make you say yes, even at the risk of your current efforts?
- This fear can be used to motivate you to make changes so that you don’t have to regret not doing it.
- List three regrets you have in your business. What would you do differently today?
- List three opportunities you have in your business today. Talk them through with a trusted advisor.
- Review your overall strategy. Does it provide adequate guidance for decision making when new opportunities arise?