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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Preparation and Doing are not Mutually Exclusive

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

There seems to be a bifurcation in the way people approach new initiatives.   There are those that get an idea, roll up their sleeves and get to work, because action is better than inaction, even without much preparation.  These are people that get in their car and go, possibly driving north to get to the South Pole.  

Then, there are those that prepare so much that they never take a risk. They try to take every uncertainty out of the equation, but never get to the point of feeling confident enough to move forward.

In a time where the mantras of Do the Work, Ship it and more seem to be at opposition with the Boy Scouts (i.e. Be Prepared), I think the reality is that you need both.

If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. But at the same time, if you prepare indefinitely, you never get past the preparation stage.  So, as a happy medium, do both.

As Tim Sanders reminded me in a recent tweet, Abraham Lincoln once said something along the lines of that if he had 8 hours to chop down a tree, he would spend 6 sharpening his axe blade (and I am hoping that he would have spent at least a few minutes making sure that it was the right tree or his neighbor could get really pissed off).  But the key element is that he had a plan for moving from preparing to doing.  If he spent 8 hours sharpening the blade, the tree would still be standing. 

Stack the odds, and then take the risk.  It’s not an either/or proposition.

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Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth