When I was laying out this week’s topic and formulating the steps to leaving comfort, I skipped this step. Because one might expect that it goes without saying? Right? NO! But then I remembered there is a causal relationship between project failure and planning failure. Do not skip this step! If planning is done adequately, other aspects become easy.
5 things to consider in the planning phase:
- What is the desired outcome: Clarity on your desired outcome is imperative. Remember that where you are trying to reach now is your next comfort zone. What does it look like? What are you trying to achieve? Imagine entering a taxi without telling your driver the destination. In the best-case scenario, the driver goes nowhere and you remain at your current state, in the worst case, he will drive you everywhere and waste energy, funds, and time. These are resources that should not be wasted, so a succinct idea of your destination will help guide the course and optimize your resources.
- Do your research: there is so much information available in this “internet” age. It is unlikely that no one has been on the path you are about to commence. So ask google, watch that “how-to” YouTube video, look for people on LinkedIn in the roles you aspire for and research how they got there, join webinars that address your interests, read books and articles to gather information. Leave no stone unturned, research every item
- Design a plan: Here, you have to focus on how to get there. Are there certifications needed, exams to be done, skills to learn? Is there a timeline to achieve, documents to collect, associations to join? Everything that is required to meet your goal must be itemized. Next, create milestones for all the items, acknowledge the dependencies of each item, and indicate all the resources required to check the boxes.
- What is the cost: figure out what the cost will be to you, not just the financial cost but also the emotional cost, the opportunity cost, and the time cost. If you are married and/or with kids like me, you also need to outline the cost to your dependents because they have a part to play in the success of leaving comfort. How do you pay? because nothing is free (topic for another day)
- What are risks: Every journey has risks, account for as many as you can envisage, and create mitigation plans for each risk. Remember to leave allowances for uncalculated risks, they always come up.
And in the words of Captain Cold – make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plan to go off rails, throw away the plan. Remember it’s just a plan, be flexible and revise it when needed.
Join me tomorrow as we continue to explore “leaving comfort”.