Business & Entrepreneurship

#AskOllie – Developing Entrepreneurial Mindset: How to be More Decisive

“Authentic leadership is a product of clarity. Clarity in what you stand for, and what you will not stand for.” -Rodger Dean

Few weeks ago I got a question through email from a young womanpreneur I met in Jogja.

Setelah ngobrol sebentar kemarin, aku jadi berpikir, sepertinya aku belum punya modal utamanya entrepreneur yaitu attitudenya. Aku anaknya masih ragu-an. ragu untuk mengaplikasikan ideas into action, terus bingung karena mikirnya kebanyakan. Kak gimana ya supaya lebih tenang, mikirnya satu-satu dan strategis, habit apa yang harus kubangun dari sekarang? beserta list buku yang harus kubaca mungkin :)

In short, she thinks that she’s very doubtful in running her business (to apply her ideas into action), think too much and not calm enough. She asked me how to have a better entrepreneurial attitude.

Looking back, I’ve been making big decisions in life (not only in business), and the best decisions I’ve made were when I quit doing things that no longer serve me to become a better person and quit things that no longer have the same visions and values with me.

Having said that, here are the things that needed to be paid attention to, to be able to be decisive:

Know what you want

This is where you should figure out what the outcomes you desire for your business. Take time to reflect and look at the big picture and see how the business going to end up in the end. Next time you need to make a decision, anything that is not aligned with this vision, is not worth pursuing. If you want to play for a bit, it’s up to you, but it’s going to delayed the process of getting to where you want to be. It’s your call. Now, I didn’t say you should be rigid. In startup, there’s a Lean Startup formula that allows you to experiment with your theory, and learn from your failure or success. But the big vision should stay the same.

“Individuals and organizations learn from making decisions, even bad ones” -David Spungin

Understand your values and priorities

Write down your life and business values and sort them into priorities. For example, among my top priorities, is integrity. If I get an offer to do a business with someone who’s dishonest and do dirty practices, I won’t do it in the first place, even when the deal is big. The decision would be easy.

Let go of trying to be perfect and pleasing everyone

We’re not here to be perfect, we’re here to experience and learn. So, stop depressing yourself with the pressure to be always right, to be perfect and in the end trying to please everyone. You can’t please everyone, even when you already do the right thing according to your vision and mission. So, have a laser focus on your own journey and let people minding their own business (they do have their own businesses and problems, they don’t care much about ours as much as you think they are).

Stay Mindful

The core of being mindful is to be aware, not drifted by the stream uncontrollably, but to be able to see the situation and act based on the outcomes you prefer. As zen and as balanced as I do, I also would express my anger when I need to make a point. But it’s not just snapping out of my head, the anger comes out after a careful consideration that this action will clears situation and create progress.

So, as we know what we need to do, then we want to instill the skills with some habits to practice. Here’s what I suggest:

Meditate in the morning and write gratitude journal to reflect your achievements, even small things that matter

These practices will develop your mindfulness skills needed for business.

Plan your day and choose your focus

I always say: structure before substance. Create a strong structure for your business with schedule, plans, and focus, then pour a lot of love and passion into it. This will also apply to anything else in life, including writing. The love of writing will get you in your wildest imagination, but structure will help you finishing your book on time to be able to serve humanity with your words.

Practice making smaller decisions

Volunteer to make smaller decisions in your everyday life. Start with helping your mom figure out what to cook, choose what to wear for your friends, and start increasing the complexity bit by bit. Before you know it, you will be the expert of decision making!

Recommended book to read on how to think and make decisions: Thinking, Fast and Slow — By Daniel Kahneman

A curious leader is a better leader. This is for her: I am grateful that you allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask me these questions, I thank you to take the time to read my thoughts and I wish you would get benefits from my experience.

Have a decisive day!



A writer of 30 books. Co-Founder & CMO & Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.