You have a business doing what you love. Which is amazing!

But to stay in business, to keep going forward you are going to need to make decisions. Small decisions, big decisions, loads of them all day, every day.

Dr. Saras Sarasvathy researched universal methods that entrepreneurs use to make those decisions. These methods can help you to take control of a future that is inherently unpredictable.


It is called effectuation: a logic of thinking that uniquely serves entrepreneurs in starting businesses. There are 5 principles that work well together and help you make decisions while the future is unknowable.

Bird-in-hand: Start with your means.
When you are starting out you need to start with what you’ve got: Who are you, what do you know and who do you know?

Affordable loss: Focus on the downside risk.
Instead of going all-or-nothing, be aware of what you can afford to lose at each step, so there is an upside even if it goes awry. Do take risks but don’t make them so big you can’t afford to lose.

Lemonade: Leverage contingencies.
Use surprising factors to your advantage and interpret ‘bad’ news as clues to improve or change your direction.

Patchwork Quilt: Form partnerships.
You are stronger together. Build partnerships to reduce uncertainty and co-create new products.

Pilot-in-the-plane: Control vs predict.
Focus on activities within your control. You can’t predict the future or as some entrepreneurs say: “The future is neither found or predicted but rather made.”

Which of these principles do you use most of the time?

*Want to read more on this topic? Here is a cool PDF about Effectuation*