5 years, 1 month, and 25 days. Fools rush in, don’t be a fool, plan first.

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My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:

Everyday, I’m reminded of the adage that fools rush in.  I see and hear evidence of it everywhere.  A nearby restaurant opened to nonexistent customers of the type of food it sells.  A woman, thinking she knows everything, rushed to open on her own a company in one corporate form only to subsequently find out she wasted a significant amount of money to comply with the requirements of that corporate form when a good lawyer would have told her about a less restrictive and more economical corporate form which would have better suited her needs.  A man opened a storefront to sell commercial equipment in a predominantly residential area, then complained about having no foot traffic and little business at the location.  Fools rush in.  How do you think their efforts ended for the above?

Don’t be a fool.  ALWAYS TAKE TIME TO PLAN, GATHER EVIDENCE, ANALYZE THE EVIDENCE, AND FIND THE MOST EFFECTIVE PATH TO ACHIEVING YOUR GOAL. Let’s call this entire process “planning”.  Also, it is a reiterative process and you must stop occasionally to reexamine the data during execution to update the plan as necessary.

The steps are simple, but their execution can be challenging.  Often, people rush these steps, thinking they’d reach their goals sooner if they went faster.  However, more often than not, by failing to plan, they ensure failure and often must go back and redo many of the steps they had rushed through.  Thus, ultimately, their journey to their goals — if they reached their goals at all! — would take longer than it should have because they rushed and failed to plan properly.  Go slow to go fast.

More often, though, circumstances deprive us of the time we need to do a thorough job of planning.  But, if so, it is what it is, and we do the best we can under the circumstances.  If time or opportunity permits us to revisit the project, then we learn from our experience and do better next time.

In the planning process, be sure to gather hard facts and data (e.g., documentary evidence, studies, etc.) as well as get input from relevant stakeholders.  Despite the adage, perception is NOT reality.

For example, during my many years as a professional, on average, I sleep only a few hours per night.  Often, I wake up long before the sun rise and use the quietness of those hours to write, conduct research, and perform tasks that are challenging to perform during business hours because of constant stream of client phone calls, e-mails, crises, etc.  Even after I cease to hold those lofty positions, for years, I find myself continuing to wake up during those unGodly hours.  That was my perception.

Recently, I purchased a machine to track my sleep pattern.  Lo and behold, it appears I now average 5-6 hours per night, instead of my usual 3-4.  There still are nights when my slumber is limited to a few hours (as in the last few nights) and I still wake up in the middle of most nights for a chunk of time, but the reality is I have finally adjusted to my reduced schedule and am getting more sleep.

Perception is not reality.  Always take time to get stakeholders’ perceptions (because you also need their buy-ins to your resulting proposal and they won’t buy into your solution unless they were engaged in the planning process), but also get hard data.

Once you have gathered the necessary data and have spent sufficient time studying the audience and problems standing in the way of your goal, use your critical thinking skills to find the most effective solution.  Don’t rush.

For example, a man owned a plot of land next to a thriving wedding planning and hosting facility.  The owner of the latter sought to expand and sought to purchase the adjoining plot of land owned by the former.  The landowner asked for the price of X.  The wedding planner declined.  A while later, the wedding planner again approached the landowner about his lot.  This time, the latter increased his price to 2X.  Angrily, the wedding planner left.  A while after that, the wedding planner approached the landowner the third time about his plot of land.  The latter increased his price to 3X.  The wedding planning angrily declined and said he’d never approach the latter about the land again.  The landowner, wanting to sell his lot to the wedding planner, devised a simple solution to achieve his goal: he commissioned and installed a large sign in front of his lot, stating that a funeral home will open at that location.  Shortly thereafter, the wedding planner paid 6X for the latter’s plot of land.

Fools rush in.  Wise men plan.

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My sons, remember to set your goals then plan carefully on how best to achieve your goals before setting out to do so.

All my love, always,

Dad

 

 

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