Don’t Be Afraid to Make the Right Decision

By Thad Plumley

At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.

What does that have to do with you as a water well professional? It’s a reminder that it is OK to not have everything figured out sometimes.

It’s not always an easy decision deciding what to do with your life, job, or company. For example, it’s not easy knowing if this is the right time to expand your business into a new territory, diversify its offerings, or bring on a new team member.

It’s also understandable that choices like these keep you up at night. It really is OK. The only thing not OK is freezing and doing nothing.

When it comes to major decisions, you must do your homework by evaluating all your options, studying the options, and then acting on what your data is showing as the path to take.

At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh gave up as a missionary and decided to go to art school.

Decision making is tough for many people. Fear of making the wrong decision often leads to no decision being made, or to a lengthy delay in response that often sees a hasty choice made at the last minute without much thought behind it.

Both scenarios usually lead to struggles. Sometimes they can be overcome with hard work. Others, sadly, can have dire consequences.

Constructively looking at an issue, though, and considering it from all angles can take a lot of the angst out of wondering what to do. It can also lead you or your business to successes that may have never been found without action.

The first thing to do when approaching a big decision is the easy part: identifying the problem or issue. From there, come up with criteria for what would equal success. Then begin brainstorming alternatives to get there.

Next you must develop these ideas out and analyze them. Reporters ask what, when, where, why, and how when working on a news story. Be an investigative reporter and deep dive into all your ideas and see what you find.

Some people come up with a scoring system and assign a score to each alternative to help them differentiate their choices. If this helps you, go for it. Whatever you do, when you complete your investigation, select the choice that emerges as the right one.

Then set out on implementing your change. While doing so, also have a system set in place that will help evaluate it after a set period of time.

Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39. She didn’t get her own cooking show until she was 51.

Whether the big choices you make are personal like choosing a career path or business related like taking on a new rig or adding water treatment to your company’s list of offerings, making decisions is part of life.

And they can be fun and rewarding. Just imagine how the former carpenter, Ford, felt when he was told he got a part in a little film called Star Wars.


Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org, or (800) 551-7379, ext. 1594.