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#WeStayLearning: Issue #013: On Decision Making

#WeStayLearning: Issue #013: On Decision Making
Here’s a funny truth, I am not sure how I use to make decisions before, especially big ones, but I know how I make them now is far more improved than ever before.
Lately, I have had to reevaluate my choices in many areas and make critical decisions, and every single time I am lost in my thought or analysing my options, I catch myself feeling impressed. The quality of thinking is different!

So I have been asking myself what has changed. I have been able to identify four things and thought to share:
Growth/exposure to new knowledge:
The first thing that hit me when I started digging deep to find out what is different about how I approach decisions now is that I have filled some knowledge gaps (that I didn’t even know existed).
I was faced with a decision that I had encountered at least two other times in the last two years (similar situations, same aspect of my life), and I realized that what was different this time was that I had new knowledge informing my approach. As a result, I was able to bring into question new criteria because for the first time, I knew they existed.
Let me put some context: for instance, if I were to negotiate a remuneration right now, the way I would approach it would be different because I understand things like stock options, valuations, and taxation better.
This knowledge gap has been filled in two ways: (a) experience. I have absorbed knowledge by just living my day-to-day and exposing myself to new places and people. Also, by being able to look at how I failed or succeeded in similar situations in the past, I learned. (b) deliberate learning: books, movies, curated conversations, youTube, courses etc.
What's the lesson learn: give your self grace, you'd get better in making decisions as you grow and gain more knowledge and experience.
Learning about values alignment:
An essential exercise my therapist and I have dug deep in, in the last couple of months has been values alignment. Basically, me re-identifying my core values, what they mean to me and why; and use that as a yardstick for everything else.
Does A align with my values (and then my goals as it pertains to where I am with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), or is B a better option because of that. When I do something or don’t do them, does that take me closer to the quality of person I want to become and the kind of values alignment I want to live by.
We have talked about values so much that on my own - outside of sessions - when faced with critical choices, I asked myself the essential questions. For example, does it check so so and so boxes or not? And if not, why is it still an option? Are they ways to mitigate?
Relearning the importance of a simple pros & cons list:
Really simple but, like typical cliches, is quickly discarded. A pros & cons list is a great way to logically and sincerely weigh an option(s).
I have learned that it helps me, Nah, forces me to be sincere, to think deeply about the positive and negative, and to write them down. Not just to write them down but to question them.
What can mitigate a con, and if it can be mitigated, what does that make it?
What are the short-term and long-term upsides to the pros? What can be built on?
My notepad and Google sheets are full of pros and cons lists and it has me feeling more confident about my choices. But, bear in mind that confidence doesn’t mean that I don’t think I can not make bad decisions anymore; oh, I still can; but I have more clarity, more conviction, and I can plan ahead (see the worse case scenarios and plan how to mitigate them / plan B to Z).
Having a community where I can get quality feedback and advice from:
I have become more deliberate about building community, but not just seeing and hanging out but also talking more, sharing more, and asking for feedback and advice.
Having quality people around you improves your life in so many ways, and I am beyond grateful for it.
Lessons I learned from Therapy
Lessons I learned from Therapy
So yes, these are the four key things making me more confident in the quality of my decisions these days. Something important to note is all four work hand in hand. In fact, this is a framework/formula, if I may.
  1. Be deliberate about your growth always: (a) take time to introspect. Look at your past and pick out lessons (b) gain new knowledge. Expose yourself. These things bear fruit. For sure!
  2. Don’t be afraid to use a pros and cons list to dig deep. When doing this exercise, be 101% honest with yourself. As you think of pros, ask yourself how you can build on them long-term. As you write down cons, think, are there ways to mitigate them?
  3. And in addition, identify your core values and what motivates you/is most important to you right now based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Then, weigh your choices against these. Is there alignment?
  4. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, input and advice (and even prayers) from the people you trust.
I hope this helps somehow. Thanks for reading.
Now that said.
Peace x Sean Ellis
I have the rare opportunity to talk to one of the few people that have GREATLY influenced my career. When I decided to focus on growth marketing, I binged on every content I could find on the internet, and a lot of what stuck was content from Sean Ellis. 
From his book, Hacking Growth, to his experimentation community,, to the breakout growth podcast and more. Sean Ellis isn’t called the father of growth hacking for nothing, so on Thursday (23rd June) at 7.30 pm BST; I’d be asking him questions about driving growth at the early stage of a company. 
Come & learn how growth hacking differs from marketing, tips for building a badass growth team, finding an acquisition channel, how to create great viral loops and more. 
Use this link to turn on notification / join the live on Thursday.
Use this link to send in questions you want me to ask him.
Peace Itimi x Sean Ellis: Driving growth for early stage startups
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