We have argued throughout that the best way to deal with uncertainty is to act.
More specifically you should:
Take a small step toward your goal.
Learn from that action and
Build off that learning and act again.
You go through this Act. Learn. Build. Repeat model until you succeed; know you are you not going to; or decide there is a more appealing opportunity.
And often our advice triggers this reaction:
Who the heck can afford to take step down a road that may lead nowhere? I have a finite amount of time, resources, and energy, and I simply can’t waste them.
Agreed. But you really have only three options when faced with the unknown.
1) You can sit there forever thinking and conclude the situation is hopeless, or the problem is too big, so you do nothing.
2) You can do all that thinking we talked about in Option 1, and when you are absolutely, positively sure, you act . . . only to find out that a) you may not have been right, or b) while you were doing all that thinking, someone beat you to the solution. Or
3) You can do enough thinking to take a smart step toward a solution, one that won’t cost you a lot if you are wrong (leaving you enough resources to try again).
You can choose options one and two. But we guarantee you your smart competitors are always going to choose #3. Sure, they are going to make more mistakes than you–but because they are taking all those small steps, they have a far greater chance at success.
Paul B. Brown is the co-author of Just Start: Take Action; Embrace Uncertainty and Create the Future published by Harvard Business Review Press.
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This article was written by Paul B. Brown from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.