In my book the Entrepreneur Awakening – Making a Move from Employee to Business Owner I describe several rules and tools of decision-making. One tool I use all the time for helping people make any type of decision is the Decision Matrix.
The decision matrix is basically a way to evaluate your choices and their potential effect on your values. You get a score for each decision that will more clearly reflect how you feel about the option and how it may affect your life.
To use this tool, you need to know all of your options and all of the possible outcomes. I recommend you brainstorm ideas with a friend, colleague, or your accountability partners to ensure you get the full picture of what’s available.
The important point to recognize is that the numbers only apply to you and no one else. It is your decision and your outcome.
Start by drawing a table with five or more columns and rows. Down the left side of the matrix are the items that are important you and that will affect your decision. For example:
- Avoid working on weekends.
- Must be available to pick up kids when the husband is on shifts.
- Cannot afford to buy a second car.
- Pays well
Or other items about your business and your life that will be affected by the decision.
Across the top of the matrix is a list of all your options. When using this type of matrix, you must have more than two options. Look for all of the outcomes that could apply to you so you get a broad understanding of your expectations and your needs. For example:
- Work from home office for self
- Work from home office for someone else
- Commute to city for job
Now we look at how each of your options affects each item that is important to you and rate it out of 10. For example:
“Commute to the city for a job” vs “be available to pick up kids” is likely less valuable to your desired outcome so you would rate it lower.
“Commute to the city for a job” vs “Pays well” is likely more in line with your desired outcome.
Use a higher number for combinations that are more desirable and a lower number for combinations that are less desirable.
|Work from home office for self||Work from home office for someone else||Commute to city for job|
|Don’t work on weekends||2||4||10|
|Pick up Kids||10||8||2|
|Must pay for a second car||10||8||2|
|Pays well initially||2||7||9|
|Unlimited potential income||10||1||1|
When you have completed the evaluation you simply need to add up the totals for your options. After doing the tally some options become front-runners and some are easily removed from the list.
This does not make your decision for you, it shows you what you see as valuable and how you rate your options against what is valuable to you in your life. If you still want to take the option that rates the lowest, then you need to justify that choice. When you do, you will likely have another “item that is important to you” to put in your matrix.
Check out my book for another decision tool and the other rules of decision-making.
Making the Move From Employee to Business Owner.
Now on Amazon (also in Kindle format)