It is beyond mortal discretion to comprehend how much can be accomplished by executing a task after adequate prior preparation. It is surprising how common people do not appreciate the importance of preparation in life. They allow themselves to perform important tasks without adequate preparation. Executing a task without extensive preparation is a recipe for failure. An attorney who goes before the jury unprepared can cost a client millions of dollars in a lawsuit. A student who takes an exam without proper preparation or planning can only blame her own ineptitude for second-rate results. A business executive who meets with shareholders without preparing for it only serves to invoke the scorn of the shareholders. In all fields of activity; social, political, economic, and spiritual, preparation is the glittering golden thread that weaves through all successful behavior.
In a business negotiation, the prospect can tell if the negotiator is not ready. In an interview the interviewer does not need exceptional insight to conclude whether the interviewee is prepared or not. Lack of preparation can cause irreparable damage to her reputation and professionalism. It is unequivocally advisable not to perform a task for which you are not prepared.
When tackling any type of job, if you spend enough time preparing, a relatively small amount of effort and time will be required to get it done. Conversely, if preparation is not well thought through, more effort and mediocre results can become inevitable. It’s amazing how most people go ahead and execute without proper advance preparation. Try to remember how frustrating it was the last time you tried to do a job or make a sales presentation that you weren’t prepared for. Remember those quizzical looks and abrupt retorts, not to mention the stutter. You can save yourself such ridiculousness by taking the time to prepare. The preparation brings with it extraordinarily impressive results. Proper preparation propels you to greater heights.
When you prepare for any encounter, be it a job interview, a marketing presentation, or an exam, the massive sense of confidence and psychological advantage you gain allows you to perform at your best. When you take the time to study your customer, understanding what they want and why they want it that way, your numbers will quadruple and you will certainly leave your competitors in the dust. Analyze trends in your industry. Find out why some commodities are going down in price while others are going up. Look at the figures, analyze your competition. Understand the needs of your client. Polish the words you will use in front of the prospect and avoid the temptation to say the wrong words at inappropriate times. Break the barrier that causes prep time to be labeled “down time.”
Preparation separates the winners from the losers. When Toyota wanted to get into manufacturing luxury vehicles for the US market, its research team was sent to live in luxury and learn about the tastes and preferences of its potential customers. They lived in Laguna Beach, California for several months just to get an idea of what their clients wanted. A billion dollars was invested in the project and from there a powerful LS400 was born. Needless to say, the venture was a considerable success. If you develop the habit of preparing for any task, you are guaranteed to swim against the current all your life.
It is as true as night follows day that if you continue to live on the planet you will have the next ten years. The question is what plans have you put in place for those ten years? What have you planned for your life in the next twenty, thirty and fifty years? The prudent divide them into smaller periods and evaluate their progress gradually. This helps determine if you’re making progress toward your goals or falling off track, allowing you to make any necessary adjustments. If you don’t plan your life, you will continue to live, but the question is how? What kind of lifestyle will you lead? This is the period when many people are finalizing or have already finalized their New Year’s plans or resolutions. Instead of focusing solely on 2010, I urge you to broaden your horizon and stretch further into the next five, ten, and twenty years. When time moves on, as it surely will, you’ll find yourself ready for what life has to offer.
Some say that luck is nothing more than preparation for chance encounters. No matter who you are or where you come from, if you spend enough time preparing yourself for what you have to do in an excellent way, you will develop a self-propelled upward spiral. Do not rush to implement before you are sure enough time and resources have been devoted to preparation. Take the time to prepare for what you want to be in the future. You don’t have to wait for the future to start preparing. Start preparing now and the future will find you prepared.