Impulsive Behavior: Not Good For Business

Apr 21, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

BlogImpulseIf you know me, you don’t think of me as overly emotional…at least if you are not my spouse.  Yet, it really doesn’t take long for the perfect sermon, an incredible testimonial, or an inspirational talk to have the tears brimming.

I am all about inspiration and it drives a lot of my vision and direction. However, inspiration can be dangerous when it creates impulsive actions and decisions.

You know what I mean.  You watch an inspiring video about how some famous social media guru made 6 figures with one program and her course for $999 will show you how too.  Who wouldn’t spend a thousand dollars to make a hundred thousand?

I am also really motivated by momentum.  I believe that momentum gives us confidence and confidence breeds more momentum.  However, I don’t believe that momentum is a guarantee and we should still focus on wise, data-driven decisions that match our direction and strategies.

The Problem With Impulse

The problem with impulsive behavior in business:

  • It rarely makes good financial sense – it isn’t impulsive if you have done a full financial analysis.
  • It usually isn’t a perfect match to our strategies and vision.
  • It catches someone off guard on your team.
  • It always has an opportunity cost – what else could you have done with your time or resources had you thought through it?
  • Many times, we regret it later.

I’m not talking about an impulse purchase in the checkout line at the store. Usually the dollar amount is low enough to not cause severe pain (remember I am talking about a pack of gum or an electric razor).

I just haven’t seen a lot of good come out of impulsive actions or decisions.

How To Protect Your Business From Impulsive Behavior

We can protect ourselves from impulsivity if we are prepared and proactive.  If our business has a vision and a plan then we can measure decisions and actions against these plans.

If you have a budget and projections for your business, you can measure decisions as it relates to the budget you have in place.

Policies and approval systems in place will protect your business from an individual making an impulsive decision.  Make sure your systems have dual control and approvals in place.

If you have a marketing plan and point of difference you can focus on these plans to grow momentum and measure the effectiveness of each tactic since they are planned out and executed according to the plan.

What If You Are The Impulsive One?

If we are honest with ourselves, we are often times the ones we need to protect our business against. That same impulsive strand in our DNA may be the same one that talked us into starting our own business.

But it doesn’t have to be the character trait that makes us move forward, that creates momentum.  It is much better to lean on our faith, pray to God for His vision and His help, and then to use the gifts and talents that He has provided us to do our part and run our business.

With faith, wisdom and stewardship.

Which also are gifts from God….if only we can squelch our impulsiveness.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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