The difference between being good at what you do and really stinking the joint up in most cases is preparation. You know the art of being prepared.
At my companies we constantly talk about preparedness. If you are not prepared then you are winging it, and if you are winging it then most likely you are dead. The thing about being prepared is that you are either fully prepared for the task at hand or you are not, and let’s face deep down inside we always know if we truly are fully prepared or if we are not.
Just like many other things involving success, being prepared takes discipline and it takes work. So you need to ask yourself, am I doing my job, what does it take to be successful, or am I just winging it. If you are winging it then you are like 80% of the schmucks out there. Yes I said 80%, and that is giving the general population a little more credit than they probably deserve. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that most people are not prepared. They do not have the discipline to do the work required to be prepared. They think they can just wing it and everything will work out ok. This kind of thinking will never lead you to finding true success. Successful people do the work that other people are not willing to do. They put the required time and effort in to get the job done right. People who wing things do none of this. They basically do enough to get by, and just getting by is not a principal of success.
So think about this, if you went about each week at the start of the week and determined the most important opportunities you had to achieve success during that week. In other words you defined the meetings, proposals, discussions, presentations, work, etc that would define how successful you were for that week and maybe for that year then you are way ahead of the game. You would now know what to truly focus on for the week to achieve success. You will also find that over 80% of the stuff you do in a week really does not get you closer to success. It is just busy work that we do to feel good about ourselves and to make our boss feel like we are working hard, but this an entire article for another day.
So here is your success move, once you have the list of key task or what I like to call money makers, take the time to get prepared to do them right. Create a list of what you would need to complete each of the tasks to perfection and work through your list. Your list should include the following:
- What is the ultimate goal for this project or task?
- What are the key points to achieving success on the project or task?
- How much time do I need to allocate to the project or task?
- What do I need to do to be totally prepared and ready to go or task?
- What resources do I need to complete the task or task?
- When do I have to be ready and prepared for the project or task?
Thorough preparation is critical to success. If you just spend a small amount of time getting prepared for the task you have at hand, you are 80% ahead of most of the people out there. So now think about this. If you are fully prepared and have thoroughly done the preparation work required, how much does your chance of acing that interview, winning that sale, doing a great presentation, conducting a great training, etc go up. Let me answer the question for you, A TON!
No matter what it is you have to do, get prepared, start your day off being prepared to perform the best that you can. There is no excuse for not being prepared, that is unless you like being like 80% of the schmucks out there, and if you do enjoy being an unprepared schmuck, I highly doubt you would be reading this in the first place. If being prepared was easy, everyone would be doing it, but they are not. So take advantage of everyone else’s laziness. Get prepared, and get the job done! You will watch your performance go up and your level of success as well.
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