04 Aug 2010

Over the years I have worked on and developed many project plans. In groups I often end up being the one who asks the questions that help us outline a strategy. It is something I do well, BUT, it is something that if you start with the ten easy steps listed below can be accomplished by anyone or any committee. To me its all about acknowledging that every project has pitfalls and many possible outcomes and then addressing them in the planning process. It’s about understanding how to take “calculated” risks.

10 Steps to taking calculated risks!

  1. Get clear in your mind what the project is you’re about to undertake. Sometimes it’s easier to write it out and re-write it until you’re satisfied that you’ve got it clear in your mind and in your head.
  2. Do your homework. Find out what you can about the experience/project/venture from others who have first hand knowledge of it or check it out through Google before deciding that “Yes!” This is for you.
  3. Write a description of the project, including all the positive things that could come out of this new endeavor.
  4. Do a worse, worse, worse case scenario. The kind where you end up losing your home and sleeping in the street without your beloved dog.
  5. Know that the worse, worse, worst case scenario is not going to happen and remind yourself of this when you’re starting to make excuses.
  6. Make your plan. Set deadlines and if you’re undertaking a larger project set interim deadlines. Note: When you hit the interim deadlines, give yourself a little reward.
  7. Make a list of all the people, resources, information and things you need in place to make your venture happen.
  8. Systematically go through your list one item at a time.  Prioritize what needs to be done first. If this involves making telephone calls, make a note beside everyone you were not able to contact and a date and time for when you will call them back. Leave this information on their answering machine.  If you are sending e-mails, make a note of when the e-mail was sent and when you’ll follow up if the person has not gotten back to you. Follow-up will help you move up.
  9. Tell no one about your plan or choose to tell only one person who you are 110% sure will support you in this new experience. The less people who know the less likely someone will say something negative.
  10. Go to it!

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