Ever clung to a piece of advice or a business strategy because it’s what popped into your head first, even if it’s not quite right for the situation? Welcome to the entrepreneurial twist on the availability bias, where the first idea that comes to mind often feels like the best one. It’s like insisting on navigating New York with a map of Los Angeles simply because it’s the only map you have. Sure, you’ve got a map, but chances are, you won’t end up where you want to go.

         This bias sneaks up on us in all sorts of ways. Heard a story about a startup that hit it big with a viral video and now think that’s your golden ticket too? That’s the availability bias at work, prioritizing flashy success stories over the steady, often quieter path of solid business growth. Our brains love a good spectacle, and as a result, we overestimate the likelihood of hitting it big overnight and underestimate the value of consistent effort and incremental progress.

         For ANTrepreneurs, this bias can lead to chasing after the latest trends or buzzwords, thinking they’re the shortcut to success. It’s tempting to adopt strategies that worked for others without considering if they’re the right fit for your unique venture. But here’s the thing: entrepreneurship is not one-size-fits-all. What worked for one startup might not work for another due to differences in industry, target audience, or countless other factors.


ANTrepreneur Takeaway

The key to overcoming the availability bias is to diversify your sources of inspiration and information. Surround yourself with a variety of perspectives, not just those that echo your current thinking. Engage with mentors, peers, and resources from outside your immediate circle. This can help you build a more accurate map of the entrepreneurial terrain, one that’s tailored to your journey rather than borrowed from someone else’s. Remember, the most successful ANTrepreneurs are those who learn to navigate with their own compass, drawing on a wide range of insights to chart a course that’s authentic and effective for their business. So, the next time you find yourself reaching for that familiar, yet misplaced map, pause and consider if it’s truly guiding you in the right direction or if it’s time to draw your own.

Source: The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli