26 Nov 2018by Chris Weir
Quit Playing Duck, Duck, Goose
Today, let’s talk about how to Get Started, and get out of the mud of over planning and over preparing.
Failing to move is one of the top reason’s businesses fail or never even get started in the first place. It’s one of the primary reason’s professionals do not learn new skills or improve their current skills to earn promotions. We will never move forward if we don’t start moving. We just sit and “spin our tires” in over preparation, over thinking, or just plain fear.
There is certainly value in planning and strategy. Lack of preparation and under planning are very real too. However, I have met far more professionals who are paralyzed by lack of movement than those that are stumbling because they moved too early. And quite frankly, at least those that moved too early are actually moving.
“Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.” ― Sean-Paul Thomas, The Universe Doesn’t Do Second Chances
There is only one guarantee here: if all you do is plan and never act, you will fail. You justify the planning in your head with the excuse, “I’m getting my ducks in a row”. What you don’t realize is you are actually putting your ducks in a circle and going nowhere.
You remember the game as a child: Duck, Duck, Goose. You just ran in a circle hitting kids in the head. That’s all you’re doing, going in circles beating your head against the wall and not taking one step forward. There is a reason it’s called “ducks in a row” and not “ducks in a circle”. If your ducks are in a row you are moving forward.
So, how do you get past the planning stage?
I am far from immune to over planning. Especially when it comes to new business cold calls. I can come up with some pretty creative excuses to avoid knocking on doors or making cold calls. I am much more drawn to strategic and creative planning, where my talents really stand out.
But to overcome my paralysis from analysis, I just started reminding myself that planning is not just an upfront action. It’s constant, never-ending, and always evolving.
Think of it this way. In warfare, there is the old saying, “The battle plan is only good until the first shot is fired”. That means that as soon as the first shot is fired in battle, the environment begins to change. Personnel change, the landscape changes, the enemy changes. In business, our competition changes, the economy or our industry changes, even internal factors evolve.
No business will ever succeed by carving a strategy in concrete and not being willing to budge from that strategy. We have to be prepared to react and adapt at all times. Plan enough to get started. Then, allow the momentum you create, from taking the first few steps, continue propelling you forward by evolving as needed.
You’ve got this, you can do it. You just have to start.
“Emotion without motion, is useless” -Chris Weir
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