We’re showered with choices; whether it be looking for a new job or deciding where to spend time. Having the autonomy and freedom to choose is critical to our well-being. It’s a feeling of empowerment and it’s probably the greatest privilege of our generation.
The challenge with having almost infinite choices is that it creates anxiety. Deep down, there’s a small fear of making the wrong decision. Or simply missing out on alternative options when you select one.
A few years ago, I heard Derek Sivers on Tim Ferriss podcast, where he shared his decision framework. It’s as easy as “hell yes or no.” Derek built and sold CD Baby for $22M in 2008 and has since retired to work on things he enjoys like writing, making music and just tinkering and having fun. He also just published his new book “Heck yea or no” that’s I highly recommend reading.
I first started applying the “hell yes or no” framework when I was interviewing people at Facebook. Thousands of resumes and hundreds of interviews… it was difficult to select between people that were all highly accomplished. During our debriefs (post-final round), there was an understanding that the interview group has to have unanimous consensus before we extend an offer. When you’re reviewing applications of top candidates, there’s no easy way to distinguish between who’s good and who’s great. So, I simply focused on “hell yes or no” based on how the interview went. Good enough wasn’t actually good enough. Hell yes was good enough when it came to selecting candidates. There are many people that can do the job, but we needed people that can think creatively, operate autonomously while still working in Facebook’s high growth systems and parameters. I still followed the interview criteria that was in-place by the People Operations team, but combining their quant assessment with “hell yes or no” framework made life easier and helped us hire great talent.
I’ve since applied this framework to all important decisions.
So, what exactly is “hell yes or no?”
It’s that gut feeling inside of you. It’s an instinct that’s typically driven by your previous experiences.
I encourage you to lean into that when you’re making decisions. And when you make a decision, commit to it. Often, people are quick to jump when faced with hardships. Remember why you made the decision in the first place and remember why you were a “hell yes” to begin with.