No Data, No Plan

I would like to offer an analogy to compare career and life planning with business planning. I realize that most of you are business people and could never imagine trying to help a client or start a project where you were given no data about the client/project’s history. In other words, they were unwilling to give you any data for you to analyze and all they really wanted from you was a crackerjack marketing plan. Wouldn’t you say that’s a rather impossible task? The same would hold true for any consultant. For example, if you are a CPA or a financial consultant, how could you ever create a financial forecast if you are not able to study the historical financials?

How old are you? Let’s say you are 30. Say you are a 30 year old company. How much data do you have on your company?  The idea here is that it is virtually impossible to help somebody build a career plan and life plan without very carefully analyzing the history of this 30-year old person. To whit, how much data could you come forward with if I asked you by tomorrow to bring all the data on You, Inc. and organization that was incorporated today? If you are like most people, you could come up with virtually no data!

In this case, as with business planning, if we have no data, there can be no analysis, and no business design and therefore no plan in effect. Both you and this mythical company are stuck.

So the difficulty here is that with no data, there can be no plan. What everyone ends up with then is pure and unadulterated emotion. When asked "what should I do" – I am stuck, frustrated, angry and feeling very blocked. Emotion, here, is our enemy.

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