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Micro vs. Macro

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Most people think micro (especially when running their spaces). They lose a sale and think that maybe the sales pitch is wrong or their pricing is wrong or the logo is wrong. This is thinking micro.

Micro is when we focus on the small stuff, the immediate stuff. It’s when we think of changing incremental things in order to improve something right away.

On the other end we have macro.

Macro is looking at the big picture. It’s understanding that you need time to see results and that an incremental change that seems positive in the moment can have very negative and unforeseen consequences down the road. Macro is about anticipating for, and ultimately accepting that you might not be able to prevent, the unforeseen consequences. But knowing this is key.

People think macro when they hear negative feedback from a member, thank them for it, document it, and do nothing (yet). People think macro when they pick the ugly, yet scalable, member management platform because it works as well with 10 members as it does with 1000 and has zero bugs (even though it takes longer to set up). People think macro when they turn down a paid gig, event rental, or opportunity, because it will distract them from the work that matters, even though the pay is great.

Thinking macro is different than thinking big. Macro doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be all-encompassing. Having a comprehensive and written-out sales process that follows a certain rhythm, but allows for the salesperson to be their passionate selves, isn’t big, but it is macro.

In fact, thinking big might be seen as the opposite of thinking macro. Thinking big is about making big, permanent, life-altering change. Macro is about considering the implications of the change and making them when they are appropriate. Sometimes this means irreversible change, but it’s never done without forethought. In contrast thinking big may be seen as a more haphazard approach to doing business. Making your coworking space free for everybody in the city is certainly thinking big, but I’m not so sure it’s a good business model (at least not without some serious behind-the-scenes jiu jitsu).

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Certainly do things today that need to be done today, but don’t do them only because they can be done or because somebody insists they be done. Think about whether or not they should be done in this moment and this context. Then you’ll be thinking macro.


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