The best laid plans… often take longer than you expect.
I was invited to be part of a Mastermind Group with some smart, motivated, successful folks that I admire very much. The purpose is to have a group of people that serve like your own personal board of directors – helping you along your personal and professional journey and holding you accountable for the goals that you set.
Our first meeting was very productive and we set some rules for our group and some goals for each of our members. One of the rules of the group is keeping it all “inside” the group, so while I won’t go into great detail I will say that this month shone a huge great spotlight on one of the biggest hindrances to my own success – not accounting for the unexpected.
I know how long it takes for me to do any given task – I’ve done this job a long time. I know my resources and I know the flow of my day – and even my month. I know, for example, that I function best in the mid-morning when I’m doing administrative tasks. I know that mid-day is my best training time (I’m quite verbal and sharp!) and I know that I’m virtually useless from 3-7pm. If I’m doing something creative I am a programming rockstar from 8pm-3am. Yep – all nighters, with caffeine, no people to distract and a boatload of cheesy infomercials.
My goals with the Mastermind Group this month were specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive.
And I missed EVERY single one of them.
Of course, they don’t know my business all that well and I could have bluffed my way through it. But that’s not the point. The point is to learn something about myself and how to overcome the challenges I face – to make myself a better leader and my company more successful. So, rather than sweep it under the carpet I spent some time this afternoon going back over my day-by-day and discovered that like with most budgets, whether time or money, it’s the unexpected things that killed me.
Here’s the takeaway. Rather than look at these as an excuse, or even a reason, I drilled through each of the unexpected items to see if I could have planned for them (nope, that’s why they’re called “unexpected”) or how I could have managed them better. In the end, I learned that while my goals were realistic – my definition of reality needed to change. The reality is that I do have a couple of diverse clients that need me to fix their computers (which I don’t do, as a general rule) and I need to build in some possibility of those things happening. I also need to re-visit priorities more often and not just do the thing that presents itself.
So far, an excellent exercise in self-analysis. A little course correction and I’m back on track.