Think, But Don’t Overthink 

Have you ever heard of the 5 P’s? I’m sure that you have. It goes something like this, “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” Over the last few years I’ve heard people from different parts of the U.S. and in multiple industries quote different renditions of this phrase. It is a powerful thought and works well when a manager is trying to enforce accuracy and perfection from his team or an individual is attempting to stick to their workout commitment. It is effective and safe for most normal tasks and jobs. The problem is that I’m really not too interested in being normal and if you’re reading this I suspect that you aren’t either. I wholeheartedly agree that planning is essential to the success of any goal or idea and there should always be some thought put into the proper way to execute and advance your cause. There’s a catch though. While planning is critical to effective growth and development, too much planning can be dangerous. When you have a big idea and are trying to be the first off from the starting line in implementation, over thinking can slow momentum enough for you to lose your advantage. It may cause you to stop all progress to rebuild the foundation that you have already laid and make you come to an absolute halt in hopes that you’ll find the perfect formula to guarantee your success. Over thinking could even cause you to doubt the power that your initial concept had in the first place and give up hope with the thought that it was all just some “stupid idea”. If the idea excited you enough to make you want to make it available to others there is a good chance that people would be excited to have it available, and they may even pay for it. As Reid Hoffman from Linkedin shared, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Now don’t pin me with responsibility if you can’t make a winning idea succeed because you didn’t put any consideration into structure or development. I can’t stress enough the importance of balance. I’ll equalize the previous quote from Mr. Hoffman with another from him, “Good ideas need good strategy to realize their potential.” With any innovation, whether it be a disruptive new startup venture or a different way of problem solving in your current business there must be sufficient strategizing. You shouldn’t just go willy-nilly after every idea that you or a partner dream up. But those that really stoke your imaginative fire, the ones that you can’t stop thinking about deserve the respect of at least trifling planning and organization. If the idea can stand up to your beginning “what ifs”, it meets the qualification that other people find it interesting, and you can develop the market for your product or compete in the existing market then it is probably time to set the foundation for blastoff. You will find that if you put it off, others will begin to close the market gap that you noticed first. Don’t delay for the sake of a perfect business plan or website to the cost other people to stake their rights on your original idea before you do.

I suppose that I would like to see the 5 P’s changed. Let’s try a different letter altogether, maybe something like the 6 S’s. “Sufficient Strategizing Sustains Swiftly Sprung Schemes.” I like that a little better.

Time is precious