Much of what I know about running a business comes from my parents.
My stepfather, Mickey Low (who has been in my life since I was 12), manufactured and sold wedding rings through his family company, B.F. Hirsch, for over 30 years. During his time at the helm, he grew the company more than twenty fold and was able to sell the business at a terrific price. In all of my business experience, I have never met anyone who knows the nuts and bolts of operating a business better than Mickey. Incredibly practical, creative and realistic.
My mother, Linda Low, and her partner, David Edell, started a placement firm, Development Resource Group, focused exclusively on executives in the non-profit industry. When it started in 1987, DRG was the only placement firm focused on the non-profit sector and remains today as the leader in its market. It is a rare talent to have the courage and will to take a business from zero to millions, with the business smarts and aplomb behind it -- talent my Mom has in spades.
Although they don't always agree on how a business is supposed to run, one of the things they both most value is making the best decision possible as opposed to the best decision under the circumstances. A lesson I learned early and often from both of them. Translated, you should never have to make a snap decision about the course of your business. Take your time, learn as much as you can, have people argue both sides. Just sit with it. Then act. You might be wrong. Who cares. You will have made an empowered choice and will know what to do if things don't play out as planned.
To not make a snap decision, you have to put yourself in the position to be able to make good decisions. If you are starved for time and worried about not only creating your art, but dealing with every decision under the Sun, it will not be possible for you to aborb the information (and internal dialogue) necessary to chart the course of your business. Use whatever time management tool you need, but set aside time to run your business. Give it the same undivided attention you give to your art.
So often the decisions right in front of you are not the REAL decisions that need to be made. For instance, if you are unhappy with an employee's performance, how much of it is the employee and how much is it the lack of structure and direction in your business. Firing the employee won't necessarily solve the problem (and might make it worse). Without perspective, your decisions will tend to be too radical. Like over-steering a ship, once you start zigging and zagging, it is very hard to stop. So, if you think you have to make a decision right away, wait a week or two.