Entrepreneurialism: Research Vs Intuition

In the development of a business there is a certain amount of research that must be conducted. Most entrepreneurs find themselves immersed in some form of research whether they like it or not.

For many burgeoning entrepreneurs there is a question of whether intense research or personal intuition is the best course of action in determining the direction needed in business decisions.

Henry Ford once said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is. Which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.” Even the pioneering automaker knew that research was a taxing and labor intensive process that was not necessarily enjoyable.

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Author Unknown

There is a certain learning curve that comes with developing a new business, and it is research that moves us to a point of understanding. Ceilia Green once quipped, “The way to do research is to attack the facts at the point of greatest astonishment.”

It is often the vision realized through research that allows entrepreneurs to move beyond speculation to risk and reward.

However, if there is a battle it may well be between the usefulness of research or intuition in business development scenarios. Albert Einstein once wrote, “The only real valuable thing is intuition.” Albert Einstein was a genius, yet he placed a high value on intuition.

Dr. Joyce Brothers understood a dynamic that many miss when she wrote, “Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”

It may be possible that the very act of research allows our intuition to somehow work through all the intangibles so that intuition can take over. I would suggest that it is not a matter of whether research or intuition is more important, but how the two processes work together.

“Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.” – John Naisbitt

It is the very moment when research and intuition meet that they real enthusiasm typically begins for entrepreneurs. The two are ultimately allies in the process of understanding, but far too often individuals over analyze the research information without allowing intuition the freedom to understand what it somehow knows without being able to articulate.

The development of vision often occurs when the known meets the unknown and somehow understands they are compatible. The development of a majority of businesses occurred when research met intuition and found they were not enemies.