In life we often expect we should plan out everything and stick with the plan. Planning is great, don’t get me wrong, but life isn’t like some highway project where you know everything in advance. In life, you pave the road as you go.
We all know planning is important, and we all know sticking to a plan is important too. The success gurus all tell us that. Then those same successful people have the unmitigated gall to tell us something completely different.
I listen to about a book a week, and I’ve heard time and time again successful people say that when they are given the option of performing a task they don’t know how to do, they accept it and figure they will discover how to do it along the way.
It’s actually a smart idea. The fact is, most of what we do we learn along the way. You want to have it all laid out, but you pave the road as you go.
Why? Because things change.
Ice Cold Reception
As the team who created Frozen were creating their formulaic Disney movie, no one was excited. It just felt… cold. The hero, ice queen villain, the standard love interest: it had all the makings of a typical Disney movie. And that was the problem.
The audience’s desire for a formulaic movie had changed. The team didn’t even enjoy it. It wasn’t until they changed the villain from a two dimensional shrew into a misunderstood human who was loved that things started to take shape. The movie was changed and the rest is history.
You Pave the Road as You Go
The fact is that things change a lot. We create a plan, then adjust as needed. That’s why successful people don’t mind taking a task they don’t understand. They know even with tasks they do understand there will still be a lot of learning and changing as they go.
It’s what we did with Zombie Goals, our upcoming app that makes building habits like playing a game.
It started out as a simple goal setting app and things weren’t coming together. Then we realized we really needed to make the app immersive, just like playing a game. We wanted to have people build strong, positive habits, almost without realizing it.
In fact, there were many facets of the app we’ve changed. From a change in our in game character expressions to an updated marketing direction.
We headed one way, but we also knew that you pave the road as you go.
It’s Okay to Not Know
Let’s be clear – we have plans out the wazoo: marketing schedules, social media timelines, 3 months worth of content, coding sprints, and timelines, timelines, and more timelines. We have planned this sucker even more than AweVenture, our custom scavenger hunt adventure app.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to changes, rethinking, or retooling. The fact is, if you’re looking to do something amazing, you won’t know today what it will look like tomorrow. You pave the road as you go, and that’s okay. It makes the whole thing a wonderful adventure.