For me, in business, one of the most disempowering statements I hear day in, day out is when a business owner says, “Ah, I had a gut feeling about that” I cringe every time I hear that statement. And I want to tell you why.
A great author, Keith Cunningham, wrote a book called “The Road Less Stupid.” If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it. And Keith has an acronym for gut thinking. It’s Gave Up Thinking. G.U.T. And that resonates so well with me.
You see in business, I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust your intuition. I’m not saying you shouldn’t rely on your gut feel. I’m saying that it shouldn’t be the only measure.
I was in a meeting yesterday with one of our CFO clients. And we’ve been uncovering where the holes in this business is. As we dug deeper and dug deeper into this meeting, the owner said, “Ah, well, I had a gut feeling that’s what it was.” And so we confirmed his gut feeling. But what if it was worse than what he actually thought?.
However, now that we’ve got the data in front of us, our certainty has increased and we can put a path forward to solve this challenge, how to block these holes, not just temporarily, but forever, so he can turn his business around and make more profit and put more cash in his pocket.
Because inevitably, that’s what we’re in business for. The scorecard of business is profit and cashflow. And I want you to understand that when you’re relying on gut feel, you’re running a higher risk than any other person in business. You will lose the game of business if you rely on gut feel.
Imagine you went to the doctor, and the doctor said, “Ah, I’ve got a gut feeling that this is what it is.” You’d be mortified. You’d run out. And you’d go and see another doctor straight away. Yet that’s how we choose, many of us, to operate our business.
We need to turn that around. We want to make calculated decisions. We want to make data-driven decisions. We want to make decisions from a place of certainty, not a place of gut feel.
And that’s not hard in today’s day and age.
I was in a meeting with one of our clients on Monday. We were having a CFO meeting, and we invited their marketing team in. And what was really cool was this business has been doing really, really well. And we sat down with the marketing team, and we presented the last three months of data on the marketing. Here’s what we’ve invested in advertising. Here’s the number of leads that we’ve generated. He’s the number of those leads that have turned into proposals. Here’s the number of those proposals that have turned into paying customers. And that’s how much revenue and profit that’s turned into. And what was really cool was the marketing team could now understand what was happening, whether their efforts were good or bad and how to take it to the next level. And the ideas that came weren’t trying to come up with brand new things. It was improvements and tweaks to what was already working to improve the data and the results from that.
So ask yourself, are you relying on gut feel only? If you are, you need to shift how you’re operating your business. You need to shift to a data-driven, calculated, well-estimated path forward versus gut feel alone.
I’m not saying not to rely on your gut feel, but it has to be aligned with the right data in front of you.