We have seen some meteoric rises when it comes to businesses. Businesses that seemed to have sprouted overnight and gave people the impression that they were lucky in doing so. This is probably a fault with many people in this day and age – we are quick to judge on what we see at first and much of this comes in the form of over-information from social media. While we are quick to laud and show our awe at the success people achieve, we generally give little thought to what work it took to get to that point. We see athletes win fights or games with ease, or start-ups that achieve “Unicorn” status and sell for over a billion dollars after a little over a year of being in the public eye, but rarely do we hear about the journey it took to get there.
One thing that can certainly be said of successful people, projects, businesses etc, is that it will have taken them a lot of planning to get to where they are and be considered a success. What goals are really achieved without planning? Businesses who want to create the next best meeting room bookings systems will know that it is impossible to do so without planning its development. Successful businesses don’t just pick products out of thin air to sell, they plan months or years in advance in line with their goals, with the best not just following trends, but actually setting them (i.e Apple). Successful athletes who train to be the best don’t win games and medals by just training everyday, they take a deep look at what exactly needs to be worked on in order to achieve their goals.
There is an old saying – failing to plan is planning to fail – and this is often true. Aimlessly wandering through life, relationships or businesses is neither healthy nor smart. Everything we do should be with conviction and have a reasoning behind it. Would you study Medicine in college if you had no intention of working in the medical field? Of course not. You would study it because you have a plan in your head to work in that field once you graduate.
We see many businesses, especially informal ones in developing countries, that are started out of necessity rather than because they have long-term plans and aspirations to become the biggest retailer. And while we can’t knock them for doing what they need to do to put food on the table, for many this is the limit of what it can do. Vendors who wake up at the crack of dawn to sell breakfast in order to earn money to feed themselves will usually find themselves in this cycle for life. However, occasionally you get people who have a long term plan and vision to sell the same breakfast, but do so to pay for their education to give them better job prospects and eventually earn enough to have a stable life. These are the success stories.
Success is relative, but regardless of how it is judged or analysed, planning will always be a prerequisite.