Preparation (noun) – the action or process of preparing or being prepared for use or consideration; an action taken to become ready.
The word preparation comes from the original Latin of praeparare, meaning to make ready before. Throughout the centuries the meaning of this word has changed very little, partly because the axiom that preparation yields better outcomes is universal and has many forms. As my father puts it, “the definition of success is when preparation meets opportunity.” The importance of preparation applies to all aspects of our lives, including work, relationships and religion. So as many people around the world begin to think about resolutions for next year, we thought to expound on the virtues of being ready.
An old lawyer told me early in my career that there is no greater quality in advocacy than to be prepared. He taught me that this was the only way to reach the best result possible for the client, and our experience has proven him right every time. To that end, our mission at Campbell Teague is to be relentless in preparation and to prepare every case for a jury trial from day one. When the opposing party knows that you are ready and willing to try the case before a jury and continue fighting on appeal, the dynamics of litigation change dramatically. We also view this mindset as a distinct advantage for our clients because they have carefully thought through all the possible outcomes before litigation ever arises. Our clients understand how things will ultimately play out in any dispute, and that allows them to make better business decisions.
Speaking of which, preparation is just as vital in business. Every successful business person knows the importance of preparation. Would you ever launch a marketing campaign or a new product line on a whim just to see what happens? Nope, because you would quickly go bankrupt. Yet contrary to popular belief, great entrepreneurs are not in business to make money–they are on a mission to solve a problem or make the world a better place. From this mission comes a vision for a solution, a strategy for its implementation and a structure to support it. What separates the doers from the dreamers is the relentless preparation that goes into the construction of the vision, strategy and structure. Good operators will have considered every possibility, but a great entrepreneur will be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable by remaining nimble and eschewing any strategy that involves the risk of ruin, no matter how seemingly small the probability. Preparation for adaptability will allow you to handle anything.
How have you prepared for 2017? This is a great time to prepare to make a habit of relentless preparation in your business. One of our professors at Furman (an Army Ranger) said it this way with his 7-P Rule: proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. So in your business, relationships, spiritual practice and all aspects of life, prepare relentlessly, for you never know when opportunity will come knocking.