The hardest part of a project

At some point in your academic life, someone of a higher authority who had the ability to make your life at home a living hell had forced you to do a dreaded pro-longed version of homework. It was called *drum roll* a project! And while being in 7th grade and having accumulated a rainbow of swearwords to associate with your teacher’s name, what you didn’t realize is that school projects actually do you more good than bad.

Okay that may seem obvious. But the reality is that school projects teach you a very important lesson about life and that is how to follow through a plan an execute.

There is nothing harder in any project than getting the actual shit done. Graduate students have performed prolific studies on team dynamics and project management to address why humans have such difficulty getting things done. This disease, affectionately named the hope creep, does not discriminate. It gets the best of us and all a successful entrepreneur is someone who managed to beat the hope creep in one aspect of their life (I say that because chances are that entrepreneurs have a vast list of things they wish they could tackle, but hope creep ends up eating that list). The only way to be good at executing and following through is to do what everyone does if they want to be good at something – practice.

Practice by engaging in small projects with your community. Practice at school by taking arbitrary research papers to real scientific-method research (okay this may be only for the business students who have to write ‘white papers’ that are purely based on anecdotal research and hold no real statistical value in terms of generalization and conclusion). Practice at home by turning an old piece of furniture to one of your artistic masterpieces. The important thing is that you practice. You’ll become better at making things happen and those around you will notice.

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Waiting is for Waiters

Clichés are to the world of business as red underpants are to Superman, they’re inseparable. I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus here but if you go to any corporate office, entrepreneurial networking event or business class and you’ll see pant suits touching base, giving 110% and thinking outside the box for an action plan to pick low hanging fruit in order to add value and create win – win situations.  I could go on forever with business clichés but it’s a slippery slope. So for the sake of time, I will move forward and get to my story.

One particular cliché caught my attention and got me thinking about the truth behind it as it applies to business and life, in general: “All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait”…

…I call Bullshit.

This particular string of worldly advice only rings true for life’s teeniest pleasures. like having to wait the extra 90 seconds for your Microwave Pizza Pop or when the bartender has to change the keg on your favourite draught brew.  Otherwise, on the larger scale, the “all good things come to those who wait” saying is a huge load of bologna.

I realize that the sayings focus is patience, so take this with a grain of salt and realize that waiting and being patient are two very different things.  When it comes to life, waiting will get you nowhere.  Life is all about experiences and it’s experiences that drive stories of success.  Here is an example:  there is a certain popular television sitcom where the premise is a dad telling his kids a sequence of stories leading up to how he met the children’s mom.  Each episode is fill with hilarity and clever Canadian content.  But imagine the show quality if each episode were simply about him waiting? Ratings would plummet. Total Fail.

Same goes for the business world.  The entrepreneurial spirit in all of us drive us to continually take action to make whatever we are doing a success.  If you find yourself waiting for success, it will probably never come.  You have to take action, garner experience and create the success you are looking for.  If you’re trying to build up your portfolio of clients – get out there and network.  If you’re trying to bring your new product to market – showcase it at a tradeshow.  If you’re looking to crowdfund to raise money – let the world know what you’re doing and ask them to chip in a couple bucks.

At the end of the day, if you want to achieve a goal (whether it’s a goal for your business, school or life in general) – don’t wait. Take action and make things happen.  If you wait, opportunity may pass you by.

In a nutshell, it’s time to get your feet wet.  Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t get stuck between a rock and a hard place.   The ball is in your court so step up to the plate, be proactive, strike while the iron is hot, swing for the fences and knock it out of the park.

But don’t take my word for it.  Ask anyone who has tried, failed, tried again and succeeded.

Angry Ninja