Until yesterday morning, we had “all our ducks in a row,” as my mom used to say, preparing for next week’s trip to Victoria, British Columbia.
Dig out the passports. Check.
Confirm flights. Check.
Make plans for house and dog sitters. Check.
Launch new product (http://www.wallyconger.com/TakeYourFirstStep). Check.
Everything was comfortably in order.
I was actually pretty damn smug about it, too.
Then Deb made an emergency trip to the dentist, and now we’ve squeezed a root canal into our already tight schedule.
In their new book Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson write, “Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses. … Now you can stop worrying about them as much. They just aren’t worth the stress.”
That’s certainly true in life.
And it’s especially the case in business.
Writing down business plans only makes you feel like you’re in control of stuff that’s really out of your hands — the economy, the marketplace, your customers, your competitors.
You move forward with your plan clutched to your chest and your blinders stuck firmly in place.
And every unplanned incident smashes you to your knees.
It knocks the wind out of you.
And because your plan doesn’t allow for sharp turns right or left, your recovery time is…well, it sucks.
So why not skip the elaborate business plans?
Think about the future, but don’t fixate on it.
Allow yourself some elbow room. Choose what needs doing today, not next month or, worse yet, next year.
That way, you’ll be able to take advantage of more opportunities that suddenly come your way.
I love this from Fried and Hansson:
“It’s OK to wing it. Just get on the plane and go. You can pick up a nicer shirt, shaving cream, and a toothbrush once you get there.”
Which reminds me — I gotta finish packing.