The Charge: Change

The Charge now goes on to the question of change.

This is probably the crux of the whole “comfortable” lifestyle; step one of moving from comfortable to charged (or from surviving to succeeding) is to change things. And there are some very good tools here. One of the most useful ones in this chapter is the notion of chaining habits – “when I do this, I will do that.” I use that technique frequently.

Basically, the way this works is to take an existing habit and hook the next habit onto the back of it. Like if you want to go to the gym, he suggests you set things up with “I will take the kids to school (an existing habit), and then I will go to the gym (the desired new habit).” This is a powerful technique, and can easily add new habits into your existing routine.

Another useful technique he covers is focus – instead of thinking about what might go wrong with your new habit (what if I don’t lose the weight?), he recommends focusing on the good things about the habit – envisioning yourself having success, instead of failure.

There is, of course, the question of reality. You can’t just pretend everything will be great; one of the biggest problems people hit in their efforts to change is risk management.

I think that’s something we haven’t covered very well in our change management instruction over the years – inevitably, no matter what you do, things will go wrong. In project management (and pretty much nowhere else), we actively study the question of risk mitigation, which is where you essentially make a list of “this is what could go wrong, and this is what I am going to do about it.”

If you do this properly, you don’t have “I am going to write a book.” You have “I am going to write a book. Because I may not find a publisher, I will self-publish it on Amazon. Because the book may not be very good, I will have people I trust review it before I publish. Because the book may not sell at all, I will conduct a marketing campaign to generate interest. Because the book may not sell well at this price point, I will make a contingency plan to release at a lower price on the Kindle. Because the book may not be of any interest to Amazon customers, I will make an additional contingency plan to release it in PDF format as a WSO on the Warrior Forum.”

Now, if the book doesn’t sell, you don’t have a crushing defeat that leaves you without options. You have a next step. What could go wrong, and what will you do? If you map that out far enough, and well enough, you never end up with crushing defeat.

In my recent product release debacle, I didn’t do proper risk assessment or mitigation, because I was assured the major risk was not a risk by people who had legitimate control over the risk. Specifically, when I said “affiliates may choose not to promote the product,” several high-profile and influential marketers said “I will absolutely promote your product.” I never did a risk mitigation strategy for “what if my friends are lying to me.”

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