“Experience is one of the best teachers as long as we are humble enough to accept the lesson and take responsibility” -Laura Gilbert
It’s all well and good to get all energy high, pumped up on positivity, shouting from the roof tops “Yes! I. Am. Ready!!” going all out and jumping off the building cheering and punching the air but without heeding the 7 P’s you are setting yourself up for a world of pain.
Wanting to jump head first into the deep end with the full on intent of smashing the shit out of your goals is awesome, I admire you for it. But jumping in with not much more than a splash of “Let’s Do This”, a sprinkle of “Asking The Universe” and a dash of a “Law of Attraction” without having removed the rose tinted glasses for just long enough (by all means put them back on again afterwards) to address the 7 P’s makes you a bit of a lemming – a happy, positive, smiley lemming for sure – but as many of us remember from that popular nineties Nintendo game, they’re a little on the kamikaze side, which tends not to be good for business.
Picture the scene from the movie ‘The Other Guys’ where The Rock and his partner leap from a building in pursuit of the bad guys, full of confidence and determination however totally unprepared for the landing and generally being a bit thick – which is putting it lightly. Well, that could be you if you don’t go into 2018 prepared. Not suggesting you’re “a bit thick” or indeed a “lemming”, the best of us make some pretty dumb moves from time to time, my clients have and I have on several occasions which resulted in many… learning curves, some steeper than others.
Ok, stay cool, this post is not out to discourage you from jumping, actually I admire and encourage you for taking action and “jumping out of the aeroplane”. However, without; planning, skills, knowledge, experience, advice and ideally a damn fine coach, you my friend will be free falling, gaining momentum towards a less than enviable ending and inevitably face planting the concrete below to the sound of “splat” – proverbially speaking of course. How would I know? Well, I have hit the tarmac a few times myself, ouch.
If you are going to jump and not go “splat” you are going to need to adopt the 7P way of thinking and become a “paranoid optimist” – a quote I love from JT Foxx’s book ‘Millionaire Underdog’ which is a fantastic tool to add to your arsenal. Being prepared and learning to think in more and more detail about the possible eventualities, how you will structure your approach and achieve the best results will enable you to make the leap and create a successful landing – and go deep, no deeper than that…yep there.
The only blockade with preparation and getting deep down and dirty with the detail on how you will go about being awesome is that age old adage “analysis by paralysis” and it’s a real success killer. The important thing to understand if you are trapped in the cycle of perpetual analysis paralysis is that it mostly engages itself when you/the individual involved is scared of something. You are no longer aware and being pragmatic about planning and implementation but are stuck in the downward spiral of “omg omg omg, what if, but maybe then, oh no I can’t, it’s not good enough, i better just” etc.
Analysis is good, paralysis is not. If you are set up for the jump, have your parachute on, check for hazards, then put your big boy or big girl pants on, take action and jump – holding your coaches hand on the way down, if you have one.
A great coach is like getting an upgrade on your parachute ensuring you arrive safely, intact and having a smooth enough ride down that you may have even been able to take a moment to enjoy the view.
By all means jump, I encourage it and if you want to jump in head first without looking then feel free, go for it, after all experience is one of the best teachers as long as we are humble enough to accept the lesson and take responsibility. Learning only by experience is, however, also a long and slow process as well as a harsh teacher instilling some painful lessons along the road. So, if you are going to be ridin’ solo or jumping blind then be prepared to take some hits, break some bones, accrue some scars etc. on the way down. And when you do land crumpled up but able to crawl, if not, hobble away from the scene a little black and blue, stroking your bruised ego with your head held at half-mast. Then you be assured that you will have learned a heck of a lot, so lick your wounds and get cracking on failing forward.
Learn and grow. If you make enough mistakes then you get better and better at avoiding them, you learn how and where to look for problems before (critical point) they become problems and if you do make any mistakes on the way down (because you will, it’s inevitable) you’ll at least be able to “fail forward faster” which basically means you will be able to save your own ass quicker moving on-wards and upwards propelled forward by the lesson/s learned and the new strategies you will implement and decisions you’ll make, rather than allowing them to dampen your spirits and drag you down.
So, even if it is a painful lesson as long as you use it in a positive way then you should view it in a positive light.
If, however, you are adverse to getting your ass kicked black and blue by life and business spending days, weeks, months and years tending to your wounds and learning how to “fail forward” without drowning yourself and your sorrows in wine or whisky every night (something I have never done….ever…..maybe….ok, once….perhaps twice 😉 ) then I strongly suggest you resist the urge to jump off the building without first:
- Having the skill set – what are you good at now? What do you need to be good at to make it work? How do you acquire that skill set?
- Knowing your topic – all too often I am seeing people making career changes, calling themselves experts and they don’t know what the heck they are doing. Learn enough to be of value and serve people to the best of your ability and while you are continuing to learn and grow do not practice beyond your competencies. If you can’t do it and need to do it, hire someone who can.
- Having the right people and contacts – hiring under pressure is a bad move, do your due diligence and make people prove that they can do what they say they can. Do not make assumptions based on someone’s website, get testimonials or references, anyone can cover a turd in glitter…
- Having the right plan – one that actually matches with your target audience. Of course you think what you’re doing is awesome, if you didn’t then why the heck are you doing it… but conveying that message so that someone else gets it, that requires some thought and some tactics.
- Planning the process – diving into the pool when you can’t swim, brave yes, but also daft. Have a plan and then make sure you and your business model is flexible enough to adapt.
- Having considered preventative planning strategies – things go wrong, really wrong. Ask yourself “what would a paranoid optimist do?”
- Acquiring a coach or at least a mentor – someone who has been there and done it and is skilled at relaying that information to you in a way that accelerates your learning and roadway towards successful outcomes.
So, what are the 7 P’s…?
I have heard a few versions but this one is my favourite:
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
If you are thinking about jumping out of the aeroplane in January then maybe spend a little time before the end of the year checking your parachute first to ensure you have a kickass year and accrue a few less battle scars along the way.
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