Logic Vs. Gut: Which of the Two Should an Entrepreneur Follow?

Head vs Heart

Head versus heart, reason versus emotion – a perennial dilemma mankind has faced through all times, when it comes to making decisions. The dilemma is even bigger for an entrepreneur, since the decisions have a direct bearing on the business, and one wrong decision alone can spell doom for a startup.

Of the two, logic is often given preference, given that it is based on hard facts. While gut feeling, instinct or intuition is also used in decision making every now and then, it is always a “well reasoned” approach that is hailed. But then, even gut feel is after all based on some past experience or occurrence’s, and therefore, cannot be completely ignored.

That gut feeling is what the idea is all about and may lead to the “seeding” of the startup in the first place. There certainly is no data available beforehand to guarantee that your idea will shape up to be a commercial success! It is a gamble after all, based on your intuition. So, you certainly can’t ignore it! After all, many renowned entrepreneurs from across the globe, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Richard Branson, attribute their success to the fact that they heeded to that ‘inner voice’ at crucial times.

For instance, Steve Jobs took the biggest risk by heeding to his gut feeling when he developed and launched the iPad despite critics claiming that were was no demand at all for such a product. And see how brilliantly it all worked out for him! Ever since the first iPad was launched in April 2010, over 300 million units have been sold globally, and the number has only been soaring.

But then, you may not always be right when you follow your gut. But if you come to think of it, you can never be sure of the desired outcome even with hard data! Bill Gates had even openly admitted in an interview once that he had often been proved wrong by following his intuition, but because his “batting record is good enough”, he didn’t shy away from listening to his inner voice over and over again.

According to mind coach Simone Wright, author of First Intelligence: Using the Science and Spirit of Intuition, “Intuition is the natural intelligence that allows us to see ahead of the curve, to generate innovative ideas, to communicate powerfully, and to do so without having to study spreadsheets or gather piles of data.” So although you may be tempted to look for data every time you need make a crucial decision, don’t hesitate to listen to your intuition every once in a while.

In fact, as an entrepreneur, if you can use a mix of a rational and an intuitive approach, it would be ideal. While your intuition might help sow the seeds for a new idea or product, to develop it into something more sustainable and formidable, you will need to fall back on data. So if you have a hunch about something and you can get data to back that feeling and validate it, nothing like it!

So why worry about whether to listen to your logic or your gut to be a successful entrepreneur when you can play and leverage both to your advantage.

[About the Author: The article has been contributed by  Vikram Upadhyaya – Chief Mentor at GHV Accelerator.]

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