The main difference between working for a company and running a company is the sheer number of decision you’re forced to make.
I get bogged down by the number of decisions on my plate, and wrestle with the balance between quick action and critical thought.
I’ve realized that decisions come in two flavours, Macro and Micro, and need to be digested differently.
Macro-decisions are the high-level/30,000ft/head in the clouds thinking that one would probably assume ceos spend their the majority of their time thinking about. Decisions like, what products should I be selling? Who are my customers? What values do I want my company to embody? What kind culture am I trying to build? Should I outsource or hire in-house.
Macro-decisions require ample time to marinate and shouldn’t be rushed. Measure twice, cut once.
Macro-decisions become your North Star. Spend as much time as necessary on them to the point where they become your company’s religion. Two companies that do this tremendously well are Zappos, with their Core Values and Buffer’s 10 Values.
Micro-decisions are the every day/ground floor/down in the dirt questions that real ceos deal actually deal with every day. Whom to hire? How quickly to cut losses? When to upgrade your office space? How much to spend on marketing vs product development?
Micro-decisions are endless, abundant and relentless and, as a result, should be handled with quickness rather than over-analysis. Speed > failure. You can always concoct learnings from failures but paralysis by analysis is deadly to the culture of a startup.
Micro-decisions are guided by your North Star, and the truer guidance the quicker and clearer your everyday decisions become.