Jager McConnell - CEO of Crunchbase | How To Use Intuition To Succeed In Business
Scott D. Clary | Mental Models, Performance, Business & Entrepreneurship
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How To Use Intuition To Succeed In Business
As entrepreneurs, there are many different skills we have to constantly be developing. But what if there's one that you can't touch, can't see, can't really measure, but it turns out to be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal?
We're talking about intuition.
Intuition can be hard to define, but it's that general feeling you get that something is right or wrong without necessarily being able to explain why.
It's your gut feeling, that sense of ‘knowing’.
We’ve all felt it before, when we suddenly get an inkling about what’s about to happen, or about the outcome of a decision that was just made, without necessarily knowing why we feel that way.
It's true that intuition isn't always reliable and it can be wrong sometimes. But it's also true that it can be incredibly helpful in making decisions and succeeding in business.
In my recent conversation with Jager McConnell, CEO of Crunchbase, we dove deep into his history of entrepreneurship. We also talked about how he has used his intuition to navigate his career and the value of developing this skill.
This inspired me to do a deep dive into this topic, as intuition has played a crucial role in my career as well. I believe it’s incredibly valuable to learn what this skill is, how to develop it, and how to use it properly.
So, buckle up, today’s going to be a fun ride!
What Is Intuition
First things first, let's try to define intuition.
Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without conscious thought. It's the immediate understanding of something without any logical explanation. It is often seen as a sixth sense, and it can be a powerful tool for entrepreneurs.
For example, you might walk into a room and get a feeling that something is wrong without any tangible reason. Or you might face a problem, and immediately know the solution without thinking it through logically. That's intuition. And it can be a superpower in business.
In the business world, intuition is often overlooked, but in reality, it is a vital skill to have. In our fast-paced world, intuition can help us make quick decisions, identify opportunities, and anticipate problems.
Why Intuition Is Important For Entrepreneurs
As entrepreneurs, we are often pushed to the edge of our comfort zone and have to make judgments quickly and confidently. We don't have the luxury of spending weeks analyzing all of the information.
We need to be on our toes, ready to tackle any problem that arises, without delay.
That's where intuition comes in.
Intuition can help us get in touch with another source of knowledge within us, and it can help us gain a new perspective. Of course, intuition is not a substitute for research and analysis. But it can be a valuable tool to have in your arsenal.
There are four key reasons why intuition is such a valuable skill for entrepreneurs to develop.
If your business is anything like mine, it’s likely you often have to make decisions with incomplete information and under extreme time pressure. This is a skill that is difficult to develop, as there’s no textbook you can learn it from. It relies on your accumulation of knowledge and internal compass to guide you.
Intuition can be a valuable asset in these situations, as it allows you to rely on your gut feelings and experience to make decisions. For example, if you have a strong gut feeling that a particular business opportunity is a good one, you might decide to invest in it despite not having all the information you need. Or vice versa.
Developing a strong intuition is one of those intangible skill sets that could potentially save you millions of dollars in bad business deals. Or make you millions on good ones.
Intuition can also help you to identify opportunities that others may not see.
By paying attention to your gut feelings, you may be able to spot trends or patterns in the market that others miss.
For example, I know of several entrepreneurs who use this for investing (although I don’t recommend this strategy). When they have a strong gut feeling that a particular technology is about to take off, they might decide to invest in it before others catch on. They let their intuition guide them, and then they pounce on the opportunity.
This ability to anticipate changes in the market and act on them quickly can give you a competitive edge.
Developing a strong intuition also allows you to think outside the box and consider new possibilities. You might start to get a feeling that a particular product or service is needed in the market but is not yet being offered, and you can use this intuition to develop a new business idea.
Intuition can also help you to create a unique vision for your business.
Rather than being constrained by preconceived notions and established ways of thinking, a strong intuition allows you to connect seemingly unrelated concepts and come up with unique solutions to problems.
Entrepreneurs who rely on intuition are more likely to come up with creative solutions and unique ideas for their businesses. This is because they are not limited by conventional thinking, and can tap into their unconscious mind to generate new and innovative ideas.
Developing this power can help you to differentiate your business from others, and create a unique value proposition for your customers.
When you can tap into your intuition, you are able to identify patterns and trends that others may not see and are better equipped to adapt your business strategies accordingly.
From managing finances to managing personnel, we are constantly faced with a variety of problems on a daily basis. There is an ever-present pressure to make decisions and anticipate potential problems.
While experience and knowledge can help you anticipate some problems, intuition plays an important role in helping you anticipate and address issues before they arise.
Having a strong intuition can help identify patterns and trends that may not be obvious with traditional analysis. It can also help you to anticipate potential problems and come up with solutions.
For example, you may wake up one morning and feel that strong gut feeling that a particular marketing strategy isn't working, and you may decide to change course before it's too late.
By developing and trusting your intuition, you can gain a competitive edge in the business world. But it is important to mention that intuition should not always be used in isolation, it should be combined with data, logic, and reason to make well-rounded decisions.
How To Develop Your Intuition
As an entrepreneur, developing your intuition can be a crucial step in achieving success. Intuition can provide valuable insights and lead to great decision-making, which can be especially important in the fast-paced and ever-changing business world.
To develop and trust your intuition, there are a few key practices you must take.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation. I know, I’m always preaching the importance of these, but I always will, as they have had such a profound impact on me.
These practices will help you clear your mind and focus on the present moment, which can lead to increased self-awareness and a deeper understanding of your gut feelings.
The more you are able to be in the moment with your thoughts and feelings, the more you are able to listen to them when it matters.
Gather Your Intuition. One of the best ways to access your intuition is to pay attention to your gut instinct. When you’re faced with a difficult decision or a complex problem, take a few minutes to sit with it and see what comes up for you.
You’ll be surprised how often your “gut feeling” is the best advice.
You can also use your intuition to gather information from your environment. Look for clues that can help you make the best decision.
For example, if you’re considering a business partnership, pay attention to the body language of the people you’re talking to. Do they seem interested and engaged or are they distracted and disinterested? Your intuition can help you pick up on subtle cues that can inform your decision.
Pay Attention to Your Body. Your body often knows more than your mind. If you feel a knot in your stomach or a tingle in your spine, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Pay attention to those physical sensations.
Seek Out Diverse Perspectives: Seeking out diverse perspectives can also help you to develop your intuition and trust it more. By exposing yourself to different ways of thinking and problem-solving, you can broaden your understanding and enhance your intuition.
Gain More Experience in Your Field: The more experience you have, the more you learn to rely on your gut feelings and make quick decisions based on them. As you gather an accumulation of life and business experience, your intuition will grow sharper and sharper.
Trusting Your Intuition
In order to make the most of your intuition, you have to trust it.
Intuition is a powerful tool, but it can be hard to trust something that’s not backed up with data or research. The best way to start trusting your intuition is to take time to reflect on it.
After you’ve made a decision or taken an action, take some time to reflect on the results. Did it work out as you expected? If so, you can start to trust your intuition more.
This practice will give you some valuable feedback on whether or not your intuition was guiding you in the right direction. You can begin to dissect what parts of your intuition were right, or whether there were feelings you had that you didn’t act on that then turned out to be true.
Trusting your intuition also means being willing to act on it, even when you can't fully explain why you feel a certain way. By taking action based on your intuition, you will develop more confidence in it and be able to rely on it more in the future.
As you can see, intuition is a wildly underrated skill that you must begin to develop and nurture in your entrepreneurial journey.
It can help you make quick decisions, identify opportunities, and anticipate problems.
But here's the thing, intuition is not a substitute for research and analysis, it's a supplement. So, pay attention to your gut feelings, trust your instincts and use it to your advantage. But continue to do your research and logically plan for your business as well.
Remember, a strong intuition can potentially save you millions in bad business deals, help you find the next big product your company needs, or help you rebrand successfully. Don't overlook it, develop it.
If you want to hear more about this, check out my full conversation with Jager.
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