“Always always, trust your first gut instincts. If you genuinely feel in your heart and soul that something is wrong, it usually is.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~Anonymous

What is a gut instinct? And why do we place so much dependence on it? How does it help us? Well, in my life and my experience gut instincts have played a very strong role in bringing me to where I am today – a successful entrepreneur in my own right and by my efforts alone. I did not have rich or influential god-fathers who made my path smoother for me. I worked hard and trusted in my instincts and my God to bring me the fruits of my labour.

So, coming back to my first question – what is gut instinct? It is an instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion or an idea which is based on facts. Usually, we take important decisions after thinking about it for a long time and after weighing all the pros and cons and facts that we can get related to the issue in hand. However, there are times when we take decisions just because it feels right. It can be called a hunch, an instinct or intuition.

Don’t know why

We don’t know why we feel the way we do, but the feeling is so strong and persuasive that we are pushed into taking a decision. Later on we are not able to figure out what caused us to act that way but we find that the decision was the right one. And that is the reason why we have so much faith in our instincts – because more often than not, they lead us to and through the right path in life.

The general belief is that our instincts and hunches do not lie – that we subconsciously know the truth when we see it even if we are unable to understand the logic that underlies our decision. Dr Joyce Brothers , an American psychologist said that “hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level” – her advice was to always trust your hunches.

Decisions that affect our business

As an entrepreneur, we have to constantly take decisions that affect our business one way or the other. A right decision at the right time can be extremely beneficial for the business – it can bring profits and help the business to grow. A wrong decision can lead to financial losses, loss of respect, image and goodwill.

We by and large base our decisions on hard facts and figures. But sometimes that is not enough, we still find that we take incorrect decisions because our facts and figures may be incomplete and insufficient. That is when our instincts kick in.

Doing what your heart tells you

When you are working for somebody else, you don’t get a chance to go by your intuition, but when you are your own master, you can take the risk of doing what your heart tells you to do even when every fact is against you.

Some people believe in their instincts and some people don’t. When you have strong instincts which have helped you in the past, you know that they will help you again. And that is the advantage you have over those who don’t have faith in their hunches or are scared to take decisions based on instincts. That hunch, intuition, gut instinct – whichever word you use to describe it- is the ace that we entrepreneurs have up our sleeve. And that is one of the main factors that makes us successful as entrepreneurs.