Woman With Empty Speech BubbleYou know that feeling? The one where you feel like you should do (or not do) something, even though your head is telling you the opposite? Or maybe just after a situation, when you didn’t do what your gut told you to and you regretted it? Yea. Me too.

I’ve come to realize that my instincts are my most valuable asset. I’ve learned to rely on my instincts more, in part because of the way things have turned out when I didn’t. In small business, sometimes all you’ve got is your gut. You’d do well to listen to it more in these situations.

1. Working with an Iffy Client
We’ve all had those kinds of clients. Maybe we were just starting a business, and were too excited at the prospect of new revenue to pay attention to the warning signs (he calls every five minutes, or questions every decision you make). Ignore the red flags and you’ll end up with a client relationship you need to end, but may not know how to. When you feel like someone wouldn’t be a joy to work with (okay, settle for tolerable), pass on the opportunity.

2. Listening to a Kiss A#@
We’d like to believe we’re the most wonderful people on the planet, but when someone tells you this all the time, consider their motives. What do they have to win by making you happy? Financial gain? A job? A promotion? Temper what they tell you with a grain of salt and don’t let it sway your decisions.

3. Jumping in With Both Feet

It’s scary to start a business or launch a new product line. Logically, you’re saying you need to take it slow, but your gut tells you to dive on in. Do it. The worst that can happen is you fail, and that wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it?

4. You’re Surrounded by Naysayers
In running a business, there will be people that don’t believe in you. They’ll tell you that you can’t succeed. They’ll give you 100 reasons you should give up. But if your gut tells you otherwise, listen to it. Be reasonable, of course, and make sure you’re prepared to do what you need to do, but don’t listen to anyone else.

5. Choosing a Business Partner
This is a major decision for small businesses and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Weigh the pros and cons of bringing on a given individual into your business, but let your instinct have its say too. This is someone you’ll be doing business with for years to come, so it’s got to be the right call.

We tend to discount our gut instincts when they’re often a better indicator of what we should do than anything else. If that’s the case for you, let your instinct lead the way next time and see what happens.

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