As a general rule, gut instinct is nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite. It’s really just pattern recognition, isn’t it? You’ve seen something so many times over your life or career that you just get what’s going on without a lot of deep thinking. Gut instinct is a deep, even subconscious, familiarity — the voice inside you that tells you “Go for it now” or “No way — not ever.” We would wager, however, that the most common gut call falls in between the two. We’re talking about the “uh-oh” response in which your stomach informs you that something is not right.
The trick, of course, is to know when to go with your gut. That’s easy when you discover, over time, that your gut is usually right. But such confidence can take years.
Until that point, we suggest a rule of thumb: Gut calls are usually pretty helpful when it comes to looking at deals and less so when it comes to picking people.