After a failed pitch competition in April, I was approached by an investor who wants to co-found a company with me based on my pitch. Since we are talking equity, full dedication to the company and millions, this decision that I am yet make is the most adult thing I will have done yet. So to make the right decision or a series of right decisions is the first challenge.
“When you choose to do something, you are choosing to not do everything else. “, aka opportunity cost and tradeoffs. Lots of decisions every single day. Arguably, my whole life is a result of the decisions I am making every single moment. The question is: “How much of those decisions are mindful and intentional towards the life I want to have?” So I want to continuously learn to improve the quality of my decisions: fast and slow ones. For now just a couple thoughts on making big complex decisions decisions.
Core Principle: Scrupulous unbiased analysis helps making the right decision inevitable. Thus, a third-person could deduce a logical decision based on the given analysis.
Why such a principle? When making important decisions, I want to deeply inspect all of my biases because they might be very damaging. So to prevent a biased emotional decision, I want to run an unbiased analysis of what would be a good decision I would want for myself.
Core Philosophy: A good decision is not necessarily rational but rather mindful of multiple factors and comprehensive, because rationality in its common understanding is not taking emotions into account. Rationality is very linear, while decision-making is infinitely complex and uncertain. You can never actually make the right decision, but you can choose the best option at the given time with the given information. If you develop a personal trustworthy decision-making system, you will never have to doubt your decisions. Instead of regret and personal doubts, you simply iterate on your decision-making methodology.
What is a good decision?
• Aligned with personal values and principles
• Gets me closer to my goals
• Prevents future or any trouble
• Makes life simpler and easier, not more complicated and harder.
• A decision I would want for someone I love.
1. Big decisions need to be written down in a Decision- Maker
when we pause to write our decision down, we get the thinking out of our head and on the paper. This adds an additional layer of being removed from your emotions. I made a document called Decision-Maker where I write down my big decisions: to keep track, to avoid regret by seeing that I did my best, to become very intentional with my decision-making.
2. All perspectives need to be inspected with the help of a FAQ page.
To act unbiased in your decision-making, you will need to actually consider other perspectives, like for real. So the best tool I have found is to ask yourself all the questions that someone could ask you, such as a FAQ page on a website. People will ask weird, irrelevant, annoying, controversial, critical questions, so it’s better to have thought of them before they pop up. It’s tremendously. Additionally, this is also the time to seek outside perspective from other people.
3. Play with different perspectives and don’t settle on an easy one.
Once you allow yourself to think that a certain side is better, you will conveniently convince yourself that it’s the best one. If you are trying to act unbiased, you need to not let yourself settle on a perspective until the very end. What if there is a better option? Continue to challenge your own thinking with the FAQ page tool until you have exhausted the questions.
4. Prevent death, aka Pre-Mortem.
Whatever the final decision will end up being, I need to first counteract the very bad disastrous outcome. What are the worst things that could happen? How could I prevent them from happening?
5. Clarify my personal goal
To prevent getting distracted with emotional pulls from other people, I need to define specifically for myself what my goal is. Apart from others are wanting from me, what am I in this for?
6. Gather emotional data on yourself.
Emotions going into the decision need to be inspected and never ignored. Emotions are a powerful form of information because they are the fuel for our life and desire to do things. What am I feeling about this? What are the deeper fears/motivations does this raise in me? Why do I feel this way?
7. Get ready to make a purposeful sacrifice.
With complex life decisions, there’s no way it will come free. So although we are choosing the very best option, we still might have to let something go. If there is a tradeoff, get ready to embrace it.
8. Once decided, commit.
All of the steps above help make decision-making intentional.So once you have led yourself up to this decision, you hopefully have solid confidence that you did your best. After that, there is no more need for self-eating, doubts and perspectives.
This is something I wish I knew way earlier so I’m happy to share it with others!