When the Head and Heart Disagree

August 24, 2013 in JWEF Newsfeed.

The entrepreneur’s gut instinct is a very important tool in their arsenal. It may be able to see trouble a mile away. But in some cases you may not be able to express it in time to save the company.

Take the time to reflect and to listen to your gut instincts. It may be giving you the signals to change directions, which may be better for you. Below is Mr Inderjit’s experience on one such instance.

When the Head and Heart Disagree

One experience that remains very clear in my mind is a fund raising exercise I handled for my company. We spent a lot of time preparing for the fund raising exercise. When done professionally, fund raising is a very structured process. We started well but after some time, we were doing the fund raising in a manner my heart told me was not something we should do. But my head told me it was the right and logical thing – if I looked at all the facts.

Throughout the process of preparing for the fund raising, something in me told me it was not the right thing to do, but I ignored my heart and allowed my head to rule. A few days before I left for the USA to kick off the formal part of the fund raising process, I also had a funny feeling, which made me feel that it might not be a right thing to do, but it was too late to turn back. When my team members and I were in New York, we had a dinner with an analyst who talked about the industry and the environment. At the end of the dinner meeting, I felt very edgy about starting the formal process the next day. One of my team members also has the same gut feeling. We felt like aborting the plans, just a few hours before the formal launch of the exercise. It would be a setback because we had taken many months to prepare for it. From New York, we called a banker in Singapore to tell him we were considering pulling out of the fund raising exercise. He instead started sharing data with us to convince us it was the right thing to do and that we should proceed. I let my head take control of the situation, and we proceeded with the fund raising exercise. Once we started, we could not turn back. Despite the tremendous effort we put in, WE FAILED.

Had I listened to my heart and my gut feel, we would have been in a much better shape. Of course, the difficult thing was that there were too many stakeholders involved, and I would have had a hard time telling them that my heart and my gut feel were telling me we were doing the wrong thing. How could I communicate this to them? – Mr Inderjit Singh, The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship.

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