I want to talk with you today about a moment in time – specifically the “moment of truth.”
We refer to the “moment of truth” as the moment we actually find out if something is going to work or not. And today, I want to talk with you about the faulty premise in that line of thinking.
I realize it’s just a phrase but I was having a conversation with my neighbor the other day about a project he was working on and he didn’t know if it was going to work until he got to the last step.
I do know that sometimes, there’s just no way of knowing whether or not something is going to work out or not until we try it. But, I also know there are a lot of things we can, and should, know ahead of time.
I mean, why invest huge amounts of time, energy, money, and other resources into something if you have no idea whether it’s going to work out or not?
Sometimes the reward is worth the risk. For example, I had no idea The Order of Man was going to work out but I was willing to take that risk – and it’s paid off.
But, I wonder how often we just wing it, or dabble in something, or just throw it all on the wall and see what sticks.
And, I wonder if there’s a much more effective and efficient way of doing it.
If we’re all holding our breath for the “moment of truth,” is to too late?
And maybe, more realistically, can we bump up that “moment of truth” a little sooner in the process?
I think we can.
So, what I wanted to talk with you about today is five strategies I’ve personally used in my life to ensure that I don’t waste a bunch of time, money, energy, and other resources, only to find out something’s not going to work.
DISCLAIMER: NONE OF WHAT I’M GOING TO SHARE WITH YOU SHOULD EVER COME AT THE EXPENSE OF ACTION. IT’S SIMPLY TO ENSURE YOU’RE TAKING THE BEST ACTION POSSIBLE.
I say this because every single day I see and hear from men who have taken what I’m going to share with you to unhealthy levels and use these strategies as an excuse not to launch.
If anyone said it best, it was General George Patton when he said, “A good plan violently executed today is better than the perfect plan executed next week.”
So, with that said, let me share some of these strategies with you.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
First, get a Board of Advisors. When I say, “Board of Advisors,” I’m talking about people who have done what you are planning to do and know what to look for and what not to look for.
If you’re considering getting engaged, men who have successful marriages should be on your Board of Advisors. If you’re starting a business, others who have started successful businesses should be on your Board of Advisors. If you’re getting back in shape, healthy men should be on your Board of Advisors.
The goal of having a Board of Advisors – or Band of Brothers – is to speed up the results process but letting you know of any blind spots and ways to accelerate the success of whatever journey you may be on.
Next, you better adequately plan your journey. Again, there’s no way you’re going to know it all but, if you enlist the help of your Board of Advisors, you’re going to have a lot more knowledge about what it will take and what it won’t.
You’ll also have a realistic expectation going into the thing. You do not want to be caught off guard and, having a plan in place, will mitigate some of that risk.
Hope and prayer is not a strategy. I believe in God. I believe in prayer. But, I also believe in the power of being strategic with my resources.
Sometimes we only have one shot. We have to know what we’re getting ourselves into.
MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE
Third, measure twice, cut once. We’ve all hear this adage.
I can’t tell you how much material I’ve wasted because I’ve been too anxious to “make the cut.”
Yes, we want to be quick. Yes, we want to be deliberate.
But having no plan and not using this amazing mass between our ears we call the brain, leads to guaranteed failure.
Take an additional pause, go back to your Board of Advisors, review your plan, then, and only then – make the cut.
Next, be strategic in your commitment. You don’t go “all-in” right away. I know the “gurus” like to talk about going “all-in” and “burning the ships” but, what’s fascinating is that when you ask them how they did it, they’ll tell you they took their time on building a business, or committing to a marriage, etc.
This line of thinking is what I call making “strategic strikes.” You’re going to line up your targets by priority. You’re going to see if it works before making huge commitments.
If you’re considering asking for a woman’s hand in marriage, it might be a good idea to get to know her parents. It might be a good idea to have some serious talks about major life decisions like children, where you’re going to live, politics, religion, world-views, etc.
If you’re going into business, you might want to come up with what has been referred to as a “minimum viable product” to test before throwing thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions at a project.
You might even consider pre-selling your offering to see if anyone is even interested. Again, this is about strategic strikes so you don’t lose all your assets in the first battle.
And, last, make sure you’re doing an After-Action Review. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to fall short. You’re not going to get everything right even with all the planning and regardless of how great your Board of Advisors are.
It’s okay. Those shortcomings are not the end of the world. They’re simply a learning experience for you. But, you’re not going to learn anything unless you have a very clear After-Action Review process.
I’m not going to get too much into this one for the sake of time but I do have a worksheet you can download at www.orderofman.com/afteractionreview which will walk you through the 5 questions you should be asking yourself after every engagement, interaction, project, conversation, etc.
Gentlemen, remember, if you can move the “Moment of Truth” up a little sooner in the timeline, you won’t have to wait until you’ve poured all your resources into a project or relationship that may or may not work for you.
Again, the steps are:
- Bring on a Board of Advisors
- Adequately plan
- Measure twice, cut once
- Engage in Strategic Strikes
- Complete an After-Action Review
If you want to learn more about these steps in depth and work alongside a “Board of Advisors,” I encourage you to join our elite brotherhood, The Iron Council. In the coming weeks, we’re going to be working on our Twelve-Week Battle Plans by identifying some key objectives in four domains in our lives, the tactics we’ll need to implement to reach them, and the accountability needed to stay on target.
If you’re interested in what we’re doing there, you can head to www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil.
Gentlemen, until next week, take action, bump up your “Moment of Truth,” and become the man you are meant to be.