Where is the line between paralysis by analysis and proper due diligence? How much research and reflection is enough? This is the issue I am struggling with at the moment.

So, how did I get here?

A few weeks ago, during a meeting with an accountability partner, I began talking about my transition from the center to focusing on my coaching practice full-time. The question I was facing could best be described as, “How did I want to grow the business?” Rightfully, as he is an expert in the decision-making process, he recommended that I take some time to think through what exactly I was trying to solve.

Step one, using the key performance indicators (KPI) process, I crafted my goal and objectives. In sharing these with Dan, he asked good, probing questions that helped to advance my thinking both on the goal itself and the criteria by which I would evaluate opportunities as they arise.

My next step was to create a matrix with types of opportunities on one axis and criteria on the other. With the grid filled in, I began to see how the various opportunities stacked up against each other. In fact, one opportunity that had not been top of mind when I first started this effort actually rose to the top when assessed against my criteria. Good, right?

I sent this completed assessment back to Dan, and as he looked at it, he offered two insights. First, by more clearly defining both the opportunities and the criteria (for example, what did I mean by “existing network”? And, might this network be broken down into different groups? What does “flexible schedule” mean to me?), I would gain new insights into my decision and be in a better position to evaluate opportunities more objectively. Second, by weighing the criteria, the ranking of which options are truly best for me might change.

So, where do things stand now? I’m meeting with him this afternoon to go through this final iteration of the assessment before putting it into action. I will admit that detail orientation is not my strong suit and there were several points in the process where I got frustrated and thought (perhaps aloud) that enough was enough, and it was time to just get on with it already. Now, sitting here on the other side of it, I feel much more confident in my ability to articulate what actions I am going to be taking and why. Time well spent.

I started this blog by asking where the line is between paralysis by analysis and proper due diligence. The easy, but not useful answer is, “it depends.” What I have found is that partnering with someone who brought objectivity and expertise to the process enabled me to put things into perspective.