As an early founder, I was responsible for everything. I was the linchpin holding everything together, and I was into all the details. As my company grew, I realized that I was spending too much time working in the business and not enough working on the business. I added to the team, but I still found myself thinking about the weeds more than I should. I wanted to be thinking big-picture, but my brain was used to thinking details. With the help of some founder friends and good strategic frameworks, I eventually lifted my head to focus on the forest—not the trees.
Building a company is a journey full of twists and turns. It’s not uncommon for teams to get caught up in the day-to-day turmoil and lose sight of the destination. When this happens, it’s like going in circles: you’re going nowhere fast. Thinking big-picture is a must for founders. It helps ensure that they don’t lose sight of what they set out to achieve. Getting down in the weeds is often necessary early on, but founders should be thinking high-level from the beginning. It’s easier said than done, which is why I’m a big fan of defining and reviewing high-level objectives every quarter to make sure everyone understands the big picture and then defining what needs to happen in the upcoming quarter.
If you’re a founder or thinking about becoming one, raise your head. Take time to think about the big picture often.