How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
“Paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.”
Alright guys, I get it- a lot of us are perfectionists so we know what it’s like to be stuck in analysis paralysis a little too well. As I go through the branding and web design process with my clients (and hell, even myself) I notice that there’s always a time where we go back-and-forth -- wondering if we are making the right decision.
We get stuck on questions like:
“What should my business name be?”
“What freebie will I download”
“Should I use the color pink because everyone else is using pink?”
I get it, I’ve been there recently even trying to redo my own website. It’s hard, guys. So here are a few things you can do to get out of being stuck when analysis paralysis hits:
Avoid comparing yourself to competitors/ others in your industry
Trust me, this one is hard and I know it. Whenever we are launching a new business, or new product, our first instinct is to see what other people who could possibly be our competition are doing. I remember when I first started in the design world, I kept seeing everyone with these super girly/ overly-pink brands and I was like “okay, that is clearly what works, so I need to do that.” Then I’d find someone who had a super retro/ black-and-white style and be like “OH, no, I should do that.” I’d have like five websites up for inspiration and keep changing directions and get nowhere.
I am giving you permission right now to stop looking at what others are doing. Stay in your own lane and create something that feels real and authentic to you. Don’t compare yourself because I promise you will just continue down a hole of confusion -- not clarity!
2. Don’t ask advice from people who don’t know/ understand your business
Funny story: I had a client who was OBSESSED with her site, and we were about to launch. She asked what her mom and husband thought of it before launching it then called me in tears because they said they thought it was “too informal” for her industry because of her imagery (which was the point- we were making it fun!) I told her to trust her gut -- if she felt that she wanted to be super corporate and dry in her messaging, we could change it, but I knew what we had was strong.
She decided to stick with what we created and launch it. She booked out her services within a week of launching and was able to go full time into business.
People who are around us LOVE us and want what’s best for us -- but if I asked my parents, who don’t have a business, for business advice, I probably wouldn’t be making the best business decisions. Hell, I never would’ve started a business if I had listened to everyone else around me and not gotten support from other entrepreneurs.
My advice: If you want advice, ask it from someone you’d trade places with in business. Ask it from your ideal clients. THEN, show it off to your friends and family, but don’t ask them for criticism. They’ll give it to you out of love, but you’ll get hung-up on it when it’s not really affecting your bottom line.
3. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
This was something I had to repeat to myself almost daily when starting a business and trying to get everything together. Perfect doesn’t exist. Seriously. Never aim for perfect. Because you will never, ever get there. When you get something that is “perfect” you will find something else that you want it to be. Just let it be good enough, or great, or something that just feels right. Accept that perfection in business doesn’t exist, it never will exist, and let that go. You have permission to do that.
4. Figure out what will make you money first
When making business decisions always think about the bottom line. There are SO many things we could all be doing- starting a podcast, creating a YouTube channel, multiple blogs a week, creating freebies left and right -- but figure out what will get you closer to your bottom line and the rest can wait.
When I first started out, I really wanted to start a podcast. I still really, really want to start a podcast. But a podcast will take a lot of time, and money, and hiring out help for editing, scheduling guests, etc.
I realized to do that and to do it well, I needed to make money in my business first.
Think of the next thing you can do to fill your pockets, then focus on that. It helps clear the noise and steer you in the direction that will benefit your business the most.
Everyday on my to-do list I set my top three goals for the day and I always make sure one is something that will advance my business the most and help me hit my bottom line the most.
5. Pick one direction and stick to it
This is something I still have to remind myself of daily: pick one direction and give it your all. Go all in with one thing. Decide on a brand identity that is super feminine and light, bright, and airy? Stick to it. Don’t let seeing someone else's identity change that for you. Figure out what resonates with you and make a promise to yourself that this is the right decision and that you are going to COMMIT to that decision no matter what. I promise you, you will save yourself so much time and money by just sticking to one thing and going full-force ahead in one direction!
So friends, there you have it. A few simple reminders when making any business decision -- whether it’s branding, pivoting, or even just starting. Getting out of analysis paralysis will help protect your energy to help you reach the goals that affect your bottom line. I promise.