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We'd Rather Be Surprised...

by Guest Blogger, Lena West  Surprise

Why do we, as business owners, fail to make time for planning and strategy?  I asked this question some weeks ago on this blog in a 2 part blog post. (Part one and part two.)

And, recently, my work with a client has unearthed yet another reason. (Don’t you love it when – even after 10 years – your career can still teach you something profound?  That’s how you know you’re doing the right thing.)

We don’t plan because we’d rather be surprised.

Think about it.

Strategy and planning means you write down how many of X you want per week/month/year so you can work toward those goals and then you devise a plan to get there.

One speaking engagement per month. 1,000 new ezine/blog subscribers per month. $1,000 in sales per week. 500 unique visitors per month. Send 4 ezines and 2 promo communications per month….

Whatever your goals are…if you write them down, and they happen, yes, you’re grateful, happy and excited. But, dig deep. Isn’t there some degree of lackluster anti-climax - an unpolished pearl of achievement.

Well, those 2 or 3 degrees of anti-climax bump around in our minds like Peg-leg Pete.

Here’s the game we run to ourselves in our minds:

“If I don’t plan and write my goals down, the good things that do happen in my business will be like great, big surprises – as opposed to fortunate, yet still planned, occurrences. And, when the big surprises come, I can share the news with everyone and celebrate!  It’ll be like getting a gift in the mail!”

If you’ll tell the truth, that’s what you think sometimes, yes?  Somehow it feels like more of a “win”, if the “win” is unplanned.  Kinda like “trying to get pregnant” is somehow not as fun as letting the chips fall where they may. (Save the flaming comments…a friend went through this and though she was happy, it was still an emotional rollercoaster).

So, I guess the question is…now that we know one of the major things that stops us – the anti-climax – what can we do to bring the element of surprise back into planned goal achievement?

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is attaching a surprise gift for my team to each goal. So, when we meet our goals, which we KNOW we will :) we still have a surprise waiting for us.  What do you think?


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