We were getting close to crunch time with an RFP we were striving to make and as the time drew closer to the deadline, people were stressed and rushing… except me. I gently hummed k-pop tunes and continued plugging away at my particular tasks here and there.
Across the table, someone worked furiously on wording and editing for a particular section. We started to talk and it was brought to the surface again that winning this particular RFP was important and we could not afford to lose on this one. There would be a chain of negative consequences: people could get fired, revenue would not be made, quotas would fall short. In sum, it just wasn’t a good thing.
I took all of these things into consideration and started to smile. I waited a moment or two and then asked a question: what if we won, though? They looked at me in shock and said, “Don’t skin the bear before you catch it.”
Later that day, while doing pricing and other pieces, they were doing analysis and actually had to work things out based on winning. It dawned on the one I had spoken to earlier and she looked at me for a moment before crunching the numbers and all of this and I had to smile again. It was a whole new world for everyone and the atmosphere in the room changed. We thought about how things would go, what resources would be needed, where we would travel, who would lead or support or contact or…
Well that’s cool and everything, but how does that apply to me?
Well, let me ask you this: when you are in the middle of some of your most stressful projects which require your greatest focus and attention to detail, have you ever thought about what would happen if you project succeeded?
When you make your plans for your business, you take risk into account. You do not (and should not), however, plan to fail. It’s hard to have a future if the largest, most well thought out parts of your plan involves not having one.
Maybe I am a dreamer/visionary type and that’s what makes my job (analysis/support) delightfully ironic. We should take reality at all points into account, but giving your best efforts to something requires you to believe that the task before you can, in fact, be done…
Sometimes, that’s scary. It’s easier to plan on losing or not getting to your goal that it is to plan to make your target in spades. It’s easier to be afraid or hold back or play it safe, but that’s not a good way to get your business to thrive, relationships to grow, or otherwise live your life. If you’re going to go into the game at all, plan on winning a little more. Risk a little more. Live a little more.