09 Jan Copreneurs: Don’t Overthink It
Early in our business lives, we adopted the mantra “Think – Plan – Do.” It has long been a reminder to us to dream big, plan ahead and execute well. In that order. But sometimes, we find ourselves thinking up good ideas, and then thinking about some even better ideas, and maybe making plans for some of those ideas and then going back and rethinking it all over again. Sometimes at the end of all that effort, we haven’t accomplished as much as we wanted to.
We don’t know about you, but when we spend too much time thinking, it starts to resemble daydreaming. And when we spend too much time planning and not enough time deciding and doing, it increases our stress. Our motivation is good – we want to do things well – but all the same, we risk overthinking our strategy and suffering from analysis paralysis.
So for now, we’re working from a new mantra: If we were planning to do something and it’s been a month and we haven’t done anything about it, we might be overthinking it. Here are some guidelines we’re using to stay on track.
- Get comfortable with adequate. We don’t have all the answers anyway, so good is good enough if it gets us moving in the right direction.
- Trust our gut – and each other’s. We’ve got a lot of experience in business, which helps us make quicker and better decisions. “Two heads are better than one” helps us do the same.
- Use our resources. If we’re stalled on a project or decision, we tap into our friends and colleagues. They have experience with some of the same things we’re going through.
- Consider “materiality.” That’s a concept Ron brings from his financial background. Especially if we’re in disagreement about an issue, we ask, “Will this issue materially change our business results or do we just need to put it aside?”
- Start the timer. When all else fails, we ask ourselves, “If we had to stop thinking and planning right now, and make a decision in the next five minutes, what would our decision be?”
As a business couple, which way do you lean? Toward Thinking, Planning or Doing? If you were to stay in one of these lanes more often, how would it benefit your business?
The Three-Legged Stool of Think – Plan – Do is a Balanced Approach to Business