Head to the Beach

"A good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow." -- Proverb

Have you ever been sitting around with some friends wondering if you should go to the beach, the park, or the lake? Often the weather is an issue, and everyone has a different opinion as to what the best course of action should be. “It might rain, let's stay home.” or “It won't rain, let's go.” What to do?

I believe the proverb is correct in that the plan that you have right now, the one based on the less than total information, is better than the plan you will form some day when you have all the information. The point is that it is not about the plan, it is about taking action. Lean forward and move your feet. That is the right plan.

What if you are wrong? What if you go to the beach and it rains? I suppose that you will get wet. Is that the worst thing that can happen to you? Is it best to live your life focused on avoiding the things that could go wrong? How does that benefit you? How does that benefit your customers?

Think about it this way, over time the big moves forward for you come from very few situations going your way. Let's say that in the next ten years you will have one hundred pivotal moments where you can either head for the beach or stay home. You can either go for it or wait and see. That is ten times each year, over ten years creating one hundred opportunities to get it right or get it wrong.

What if the big success in your career over the next ten years will come from one or two big moves forward? That is how it has been for me and many people I have met. They tell a story of one or two big breakthroughs and then an entire new world is opened up based on those events.

Let's say that you either mostly lean forward and head to the beach, or you mostly stay home. You have one hundred opportunities for something big to happen. If you mostly stay home, you will have less than fifty opportunities to win. Much less than fifty. Alternatively, you could lean forward and take all one hundred opportunities. Who will have made it further over ten years? It seems to me that the people who get up and do something, regardless of the weather forecast, seem to be making a bigger difference.

Adjust your sense of success and make getting rained on at the beach a positive outcome. If you define positive as taking action, being rained on means you must have taken action. You are not trying to have all one hundred opportunities work out; you only need a few. The goal is to be out there so that you at least have an opportunity to win. The more times you get rained on, the more opportunities you have to be in the sun. A lot has to go right that is out of your control so there is no guarantee of success. Do not let the stuff that is out of your control keep you home on the couch. You control leaning forward and moving or leaning back and waiting. Lean forward.