I recently had an email conversation with a business owner in which she said she was having trouble pulling the trigger on a new hire. Here are some of her comments:

“Once I get this person in place, I can grow even more and spend my time running the organization and developing better business. I’m still a bit worried, but then I never forget what you told me and that is why I am wondering WHY am I not doing it? I think I am fearing money issues again, but I know that with a good quality person and one month and I will start to see the positives.”

When we first started talking she was struggling with her first hires. After our conversation she determined that to get what she wanted out of her business she needed to hire and hire well.

We talked about how she could dramatically improve her chances of hiring good employees and shortening the time required for them to be fully productive.

A quick learner her business has grown dramatically in the last 18 months and experienced a great deal of success.  So what gives with the email above? Isn’t this ground she already covered…

Yes, obviously, so what. I can guarantee this will not be the last time that she will revisit hiring issues or any number of other issues for that matter. And can you see why in what she said?

If you said fear, you are right. She knows the logical thing to do but it scares her. Hiring someone is a money, time and emotional commitment that has inherent risks.

This is what I wrote back to her:

I have found that it helps is to write down the reasons for taking the action or in this case deciding to hire. Most resist at first because it seems like one more silly task in an already busy day.

The most frequent push back I get is “I don’t need to write it down, it is not that complicated. I just need to do it.”

Maybe. But entrepreneurs tend to be very intuitive and ignoring or overriding that intuition can be dangerous. Decision making is a lot easier when we are able to resolve our inner conflict.  And I am recommending something a lot simpler than psychotherapy—write down decision making process.

Writing things downs makes it easier for any of us to have more complete conversations with ourselves. Often when we say we “just need to do something” the real issue is not one of discipline but of getting our left and right brains to work out their differences and that does not happen by just overpowering one or the other.

Spend just 10 to 20 minutes writing down the benefits and costs you want to get out of a new hire.

Documentation also helps us live with our decisions

The more uncertain the outcome the better this works. I have found that when a decision does not turn out the way I had hoped, I tend to question my judgment and for some reason I want to beat myself up over the result. 

But when I have something written down, I go back to my documentation and I am reminded why I did what I did. It is easy to forget why a decision made sense at the timeThis helps keep my energy up so I can face the new days decisions with optimism.

It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t need to be pretty. I also evaluate how the activity will affect my energy, focus and motivation. Seemingly small things that suck the life out of me are in fact very significant. If I muscle through something that leaves me drained, the cost to my business is high and I want to avoid that.

I use a table like this:




Short term









My Energy/focus



Long term









My energy/focus



The point:

  • Don’t ignore your intuition or your fears
  • Don’t ignore a tool just because it is simple
  • Knowing what you want is the necessary first step to getting it.