“Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail” — Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s quote has it exactly right! If you have not made adequate preparations for your journey or project, you are unlikely to succeed. This presupposes, of course, that you have not identified your goal.


Start With The End In Mind

This is your inner guidance system. What specifically do you want to have happen? Decide what is truly important to you, then focus and contribute each day to achieving that end. Working effectively is very different than being busy. Once you have identified a goal, devise a plan, prepare thoroughly for how to accomplish it and then execute it. Remember, if the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall, every step we take simply gets us to the wrong place faster.

Prepare, Prepare And Prepare

Would a chef begin to prepare a meal without necessary ingredients, implements and equipment, an architect without a blueprint or even a single conversation? Athletes must train, practice and prepare their bodies, both physically and psychologically, for competition. Any activity or performance requires getting ready, warming up or practice to be successful.

Perhaps You’re A Tumbleweed

When we leave things up to chance, it’s like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind without purpose, path or destination. That’s not to say that spontaneity is not a good thing; it is, at times. While a steady diet of impulsive and instinctive actions may be fun and produce memorable adventures, it will not likely get you to a specific goal. So, remember — keep the end in mind.

Are You Lucky?

In business especially, I subscribe to Thomas Edison’s words, “We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” The operative word here is preparation because opportunity is abundant. Successful people know that their success was not an accident; it was hard work.

Are You Ignorant Or Wise?

Franklin claimed that, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” Said another way, Wise people learn from accidents and mistakes, their own as well as those of others. One of my rules in business is to always make a NEW mistake. Why would we intentionally continue to do something wrong that didn’t’ work?

Poor Richard’s Almanac

Franklin spent years writing his collection of 670 rules for himself to help learn from mistakes and prepare to become a better person. His diligence about self-improvement and commitment to the efficiency of learning inspired the founding of an institution that became the University of Pennsylvania.

Preparation Is A Choice

People in business do not intend to fail and deciding not to prepare is a choice. Thoughtful and thorough preparation does not guarantee success. However, it does require your full attention and commitment and, you can chose to learn from, and build upon, your mistakes and failures.

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly, a ‘genius’ is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” — Thomas Edison