Plan, Prepare, Perform
“It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.”
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee
“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”
- Abraham Lincoln
I recently returned from my annual winter getaway to South America, where I soak up the summer sun of the Southern Hemisphere and map out my plans for the coming year.
Like planning, preparation is a key driver of success. When you plan your day beforehand, you know what you need to do. Preparation, which is the next step, gets you ready to actually do the work. In general, the more you prepare the better you will perform.
Preparation normally requires more time, hard work and sacrifice than planning. The most successful professionals prepare before they perform—athletes, teachers, and trial lawyers to name a few. As a long-time musician myself, I’ve spent countless hours practicing and preparing before concerts and gigs. Preparation can and should extend to as many parts of your life as possible.
One of the amazing things about preparation is that it makes you more aware of potential opportunities—this is critical for us as real estate investors. As the Roman philosopher Seneca put it, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
For real estate investors like you and me, more preparation normally translates into better results and higher profits. For example, in order to make a smart purchase offer, we have to do research and due diligence on the subject property. If we’re dealing directly with a property seller, our preparation must include tactfully asking probing questions to understand the seller’s individual circumstances, so we can craft a win-
win transaction that satisfies her requirements as well as ours. Without that preparation, we’re flying blind and are more prone to making costly mistakes.
I hope you’ll join me when I reveal my most profitable real estate negotiation strategies at my 3-day real estate investing workshop, April 17th–19th at the Empire Meadowlands Hotel, located at 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ.
So after you plan, how should you prepare?
The first thing you’ll need is clarity—be crystal clear about what you are preparing for and what you are trying to accomplish. Focus during your preparation. Break bigger tasks down into smaller pieces and zero in on what you’ll need to do to accomplish each sub-task. Work on these sub-tasks until you feel good about where you are—this progress will increase your personal confidence, which is key to performing at your best.
Although you should always do your best to move forward and avoid procrastination, preparation isn’t all about seeing how fast you can complete a task so you can move on to another one. It’s more important to focus on doing things well. This may mean going over one particular area many times in an effort to get it “right.” That’s okay, this is precisely what prep time is for— smoothing out the rough edges.
Keep in mind that preparation doesn’t guarantee success, it just vastly improves your odds of being successful. During “the moment of truth,” even if you’ve prepared, you may still be faced with a situation you hadn’t anticipated. That’s okay—do the best you can given what you know and how you’ve prepared. When you finish, look at your results and then go back and update your preparation routine. Incremental progress literally moves mountains—if you don’t believe me, take a look at the Grand Canyon!
Your moment is now! Plan, prepare, and then perform—put it all out there. No regrets. This is your life and your time to be great. Good luck. Onward and upward!