A Plan vs. A Chance

A Plan vs. A Chance

So I was sitting on my couch last night watching NBC’s filtered version of the Olympics, and they were talking about a certain athlete of the Games who happened to be a little older than myself. So I said to my wife, Hey, there is still a chance for me!”  And her response was probably along the lines of – “You mean if they decide that ‘remote control handling’ becomes an Olympic sport?” I don’t exactly remember; I was too busy studying Bob Costas’ face for evidence of a wrinkle of some sort. The guy hasn’t put on a year in like 20 years.

Anyway, it got me to thinking that there is such a huge difference between “a chance” and “a plan”. “A Chance” would mean that I am the most adept remote handler in the US and that the IOC would realize the skill required and add it to the next edition of the Games. “A Plan” would mean that I would get off my duff, hit the weights or the gym or the bike or the pool or the – well you get the idea. I would set some goals, practice like crazy, give up Schwan’s ice cream (is there really any other kind?), give up TV, and basically reorganize my life in a way conducive to earning a spot.

Obviously neither scenario will be happening for this guy in relation to this example. But, and here is where it relates to your start up, the strategy would ring true for whatever it is we want to accomplish.  “Chance favors the prepared” or something like that is basically what I am trying to say here. You may not think you need a business plan or any kind of strategy planning/goal setting for your start up, but my guess is you won’t have the direction you need if you don’t put some time in up front.

I’m not advocating for a 30 page plan about your idea, but some short and long term goals are essential to help establish some sort of framework on which to execute. Without it, you’re on the couch admiring Costas’ face and wondering what happened to the Men’s Gymnastics team – thinking – that tumbling stuff doesn’t look all that tough, right?

Dan Beenken, Director of UNI Small Business Development Center

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