Why You Shouldn’t Fall in Love with Your Business 31 Aug 2018


You may have heard that the best surgeons are the ones that can keep emotionally distant from their patients. This is because surgeons who distance themselves can view things objectively and aren’t nervous when operating.

The skill of maintaining emotional distance is useful to more than just surgeons; it can help business owners too. Why? Because the most successful businesspeople are the ones that can make hard decisions objectively, and you can’t do that if you love your idea or business too much.

In this article, we’ll consider why it’s essential for business owners not to fall in love with their business and the steps you can take to ensure you’re making objective business decisions.

Why You Need to Break Up with Your Business Emotionally

If you love your business or idea excessively, your feelings can blind you to the changes you need to make. For instance, you may miss out on product or service improvements, get stuck on ideas that don’t work, or fail to see that your business has become unprofitable and needs to pivot. Not being able to see things objectively can even cause your business to fail.

How so?

Let’s say a food truck has been losing business, and the owner decides that the best way to get more customers is to create a new type of burger. The owner becomes so focused on the idea of a new burger that they don’t test any other ideas. They also don’t conduct market research which would have shown customers actually want portable packaging for their food, not a new burger.

The passion for this burger idea blinded the owner to the real problem and caused the owner to waste time and money that could have been used to fix the real problem.

The Business Benefits of Being Emotionally Distant

As we saw in the food truck example, there are many benefits to viewing your business objectively. In her book The Objective Leader, Elizabeth Thornton talks about the importance of being an objective business owner. Elizabeth was inspired to write the book after losing a million dollars because she was too emotionally attached to her business. You might not have a million dollars on the line, but the benefits of being objective are still too powerful to ignore. Objectivity can help you:

  • Stay open to suggestions about your idea or business.
  • Change when your tests prove that an idea won’t work.
  • Accurately assess if your business or idea is doing well, or if you need to change things up.
  • Pivot and grow if you find that what originally worked isn’t working anymore or helping you reach your goals.

4 Practical Steps to Help You Make More Objective Business Decisions

Business leader looking at data with team

It’s easy to say that you’re going to be objective in your decision making, but it can be hard to actually do that. Below are some practical steps to help you make objective business decisions.

  1. Figure out where you have problems being objective. One way to find out where you tend to be biased is to see what subjects or decisions make you overly emotional. That could be a sign that you’re making decisions based on personal preference instead of your company’s needs.
  2. Try to reverse your assumptions. For example, you may think that your marketing strategy is going to be effective for another year. Flip that assumption around and imagine what would happen if it didn’t keep working. How would that affect your decision?
  3. Make a scoring system. A scoring system is when you assign a number to each factor, negative numbers to bad factors and positive numbers to good factors. Then by adding the numbers together, you get a score which you can quickly use to analyze the risk vs. reward of taking an action.
  4. Ask people you trust for ideas. Since they have no emotional attachment to your idea, they’ll likely be realistic and objective in their outlook. Make sure you actually consider other people’s ideas instead of just listening and moving on.

Objectivity Can Save Your Business

Business owners who are objective can save their business by seeing things clearly. In this article, we’ve considered why you shouldn’t fall in love with your business, the benefits of staying emotionally distant, and practical steps for making objective business decisions. But how can you make smart business decisions when it comes to hiring?

To learn more about making smart hiring decisions, check out our ebook Supercharge Your Hiring Process. This 11 step checklist will help you streamline your hiring process and ensure it’s legally compliant. Jumpstart your hiring process by downloading it today.