26. Going with your gut — 30 Days Of Medium

James Thomas
Jun 25, 2018 · 7 min read

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0. 30 Days Of Medium

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26. Going with your gut — 30 Days Of Medium

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Have you ever…

Have you ever had a strong gut feeling about something and acted against it?

Did it go well?

I’ve made decisions and gone against my gut instincts plenty of times, the majority of these decisions haven’t worked out in my favour.

Your gut instinct isn’t something tangible and easy to describe like logic.

Your gut is a combination of learned experience, logic and a kind of 6th sense that we develop as humans.

Anytime we are faced with a decision, our brain performs an unconscious analysis behind the scenes.

Is this the right thing to do?

Will this turn out like last time?

I’m not a scientist, so I couldn’t give you the exact science behind acting on a gut instinct, but I can give you my own personal insight into how acting on my gut has helped me build and grow my businesses.

Your gut is your instinct + 1

Your gut is basically an advanced version of your instincts.

We all have inbuilt survival instincts that are triggered all the time, every single day.

Fight or flight, survival and replication. These are the most basic human instincts.

Your gut seems to be a built in database for your instincts. It learns from past experience and helps you unconsciously make better decisions in the future.

For example, why do you think it takes most entrepreneurs close to a decade to hit it big, with many of them failing a lot in the process and many more going bankrupt along the way?

Because humans weren’t built with business instincts. Evolution takes time, we’re still catching up. We don’t have these built in instincts yet, so we have to develop them over time, the hard way.

Our bodies and minds are still just trying to adapt to The X Factor and the fact that we aren’t likely to be clubbed to death by someone after our resources on our way to work (for the most part).

Whether or not to pump and dump Bitcoin is not something we’ve evolved to handle unconsciously.

On the plus side….

This means that we can develop a business or success instinct through learned experience and studying the right stuff.

The first year you start a business you are wet behind the ears. You might make a ton of mistakes. Some of these might stick in your subconscious helping develop a gut instinct, some might not.

The thing about business is, everyday is different.

There are a set of rules you can learn and apply, but they are very very basic. For example, the objective of a business is to make a profit. Hire good staff, work hard, make sales, keep customers happy etc etc.

However, these small simple rules will only take you so far.

There certainly aren’t a set of rules or a solid game plan you can take and apply to creating new markets, new products or deciding if something will sell or flop.

If these rules existed everyone would be millionaires.

If it was easy, wouldn’t everyone be a successful CEO?

But it isn’t, which is why business leaders are renowned for relying on their gut instincts when it comes to making decisions.

They have to use their gut instincts, because there are no purely logical answers available to them and no case study for every scenario they can apply to their own situation.

Look at Steve Jobs and Apple.

Jobs knew that Apple would be successful if they focused on the small things, sold a small amount of products and made those products absolutely unforgettable.

His competitors were doing the same old stuff. Churning out product after product, not making any real innovations.

Jobs knew that for computers to truly take off and become mainstream, the technology had to a natural extension of self, and easy enough for anyone to just pick it up and ‘get it’.

The entire business world and his board thought otherwise, which is why they fired him and he started NEXT.

The thing is, they were wrong and he was right.

Only Steve had the killer gut instinct on the right course of action, because it was his business and he had spent his entire life developing that gut instinct in the pursuit of one goal.

I run a small business, so I’m not a high flying CEO. But the same logic applies for me in my day to day decision making.

The times I go against my gut, it rarely works out, because my gut is my subconscious decision making process giving me the right answer based on learned experience combined with logic.

The takeaway from this article is, if you have a strong gut feeling about something, don’t ignore it.

It’s usually almost always right.

And a little tip. Your gut decision is usually the decision that pops straight into your head that you will second guess or choose to ignore.

Don’t second guess yourself and stick to your guns.

As Brian Tracy says — “The thing about decisions is to make a decision. And if that decision doesn’t work out, you make another decision. And then another, and then sooner or later the decisions start working.”

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James Thomas

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Owner of squareinternet.co. Writing about how to build, grow and scale a business online.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +541K people. Follow to join our community.

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