Don’t Wait for Everything to Be “Exactly Right”

Because we live in a less-than-ideal world and usually fall well short of being omniscient, it is usually not feasible or realistic to wait until all the facts are in before making a decision or launching a new venture or project.

Perhaps Napolean Hill, America’s original positive-thinking guru, said it best: “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

WHAT IT MEANS: Last month, a friend of mine left his full-time job to pursue his eBay sports memorabilia business full-time—something he had been thinking (and agonizing) about for several years. What made him do it now? I wondered. “Because I finally realized that it was now or never,” my friend replied. “There was never going to be a guarantee of success—nor was there much chance of me being able to do everything right.

Sooner or later, it just comes down to taking a deep breath and doing it. You can plan until the cows come home, but until you actually do it, it’s just a dream.” My friend had come to realize what many successful managers already know: you usually don’t have all the right tools or information or perfect plan to do what needs to be done. The challenge is to get things done anyway—maybe that’s why it’s called managing. Don’t get bogged down by the idea of perfection. It doesn’t exist. Take action now.

ACTION PLAN: Think about two or three places in your business life where you’re waiting for things to be “just right” before you take action. Consider what can be done to make progress in those areas. It is always reasonable to consider the risks of any endeavor and strive to minimize them, but “paralysis by overanalysis” can delay or prevent you from implementing the changes your business needs to grow—and that’s also risky.

EVEN BETTER: Don’t be a perfectionist! As a manager and a human being, you will rarely if ever have all the resources you need (including information) to make easy, foolproof decisions. There is a difference between making well informed and fully informed decisions—and the latter can be a lot more unrealistic and unnecessary than you might think.

Reprinted from “Rick Frishman‘s Author101 Newsletter”
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