The Braving Business Blog

Serial Entrepreneur and Host of The Braving Business Podcast

Published on

14 Sep 2023

Read time

5 min

Written by

Tal Zlotnitsky

Every entrepreneur or leader inevitably encounters scenarios or decision points that weren’t covered in the playbook. A moment when the decision that lies ahead isn’t illuminated by a clear sign. It’s as if you’re standing at the crossroads, and each path seems equally intimidating or promising, depending on how you squint. So, what do you do when you’re not sure what to do? Over the years, I’ve refined a few principles that have guided me through these challenging and often foggy junctions, which I’ve refined further based on great insights from guests of our podcast.

1. Start and End with Your Values

In one of our most memorable conversations yet on the Braving Business Podcast, PJ Benoit and I had the privilege of speaking with General Leslie Smith, the 66th Inspector General of the United States Army, about values and why they matter (the episode will be released on all streaming platforms on September 18, and can be viewed now on YouTube).

General Smith’s distinguished career in the military was marked not just by his courage and tactical acumen, but by his unwavering commitment to core values. In his interview on our podcast, General Smith emphasized how, especially in the most trying situations, leaders must use their values. He said: “In leadership, as in life, your values aren’t just your compass; they’re your North Star.”

General Smith’s words are a powerful reminder that no matter the complexity of the situation or the weight of a decision, staying rooted in your values provides clarity and direction. It’s the compass that keeps us on course, even when the path isn’t clear.

Every decision has a starting point and a destination. For me, both these points are deeply anchored in my values. Our values serve as our internal compass. When the exterior world seems chaotic or ambiguous, revisiting your core values provides clarity. Before making a decision, ask yourself, “Does this align with what I believe in? Does this resonate with the core ethos of my business?” Once the decision is made, use the same values as your checkpoint. A choice that stands in harmony with your values rarely feels misguided in retrospect.

2. Accept Uncertainty as a Constant

Business, at its core, is an ongoing exercise in decision-making with incomplete information. You’ll rarely have the luxury of full clarity. Accepting this can be liberating. By understanding that certainty isn’t always attainable, you free yourself from the chains of indecision.

It’s essential to make peace with the fact that you’re playing the odds based on the best information available at that moment. As the saying goes, “Done is better than perfect.” An imperfect decision made today often trumps a perfect decision postponed indefinitely.

3. Anticipate the Ripple Effect

Recently, my co-host PJ Benoit and I had the privilege of hosting the #1 international best-selling author of Compassionate Capitalism Blaine Bartlett, who is an international leadership consultant, Bloomberg TV host and coach. Bartlett’s insights into leadership and organizational dynamics in the episode are remarkable, and well worth listening to (the full episode is available on our website, on all streaming platforms, as well as this link). He shared a principle that I had not previously considered and that I think is pure gold: Anticipate two or three steps forward. Consider how your decision will ripple through your organization, stakeholders, and the larger ecosystem.

Every choice, especially in business, sets off a chain of events. By visualizing potential outcomes and understanding these cascading effects, you’re not only making a decision for today but also laying the foundation for tomorrow.

4. Commit Fully to Your Decision

Once you’ve weighed your options, consulted your values, and made a decision – own it. Dive into it headfirst, as if no other options existed. The energy and commitment you invest post-decision often play as critical a role as the decision itself.

There’s an undeniable power in wholehearted commitment. It galvanizes your team, gives clarity to your stakeholders, and often, even if the decision wasn’t perfect, the sheer force of commitment can steer things towards success.

Final Thought

The journey of entrepreneurship and leadership is full of moments of uncertainty. It’s not the absence of these moments but how we navigate them that sets the tone for our success. Every decision, clear or unclear, is an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, to grow, and to reinforce the ethos that underpins our ventures.

In those moments of ambiguity, let your values guide you, embrace the inherent uncertainty, consider the ripple effects, and once decided, commit to your decision with all you’ve got. Because in business, as in life, it’s not just about making the right choices, which is impossible to guarantee, but aiming to make your choice right. Keep braving the journey, even when the path isn’t clear.

About Tal Zlotnitsky

Serial Entrepreneur Tal Zlotnitsky is currently a Senior Principal for global tech consulting giant, Infosys. Previously, he was the co-founder & CEO of iControl Mobile, now part of ParkMobile, as well as co-founder & CEO of iControl Data, one of the leading B2B payments company in the world, where he raised $20 million from Goldman Sachs and built a company that still processes billions of dollars in annual payments for tens of thousands of retailers. He has also founded, co-founded, invested in and sat on the boards of Our.Love, JetComfy, Ugo, Magi Foods, NewsOne, sold in 2009 to NNA, and Current Companies, sold in 2008 to Hudson News. A proud dad and granddad, Tal believes that awareness, compassion (including self-compassion) and respect are the keys to joy and success. To learn more about Tal and to contact him, visit his personal website at

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