Here’s the Secret to a Good Plan
I recently finished reading the book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. As the novel is wrapping up, the “good guys” are developing a strategy to take care of the “bad guys.” One character suggests something that utterly disgraces them. But Maurice pipes up saying:
“A good plan isn’t one where someone wins, it’s one where nobody thinks they’ve lost.”
I read the line a few times and realized it’s actually pretty sound advice. Although I modified the quote a little to make it slightly more appealing.
Developing a Good Plan
As it is, the quote implies that somebody loses, but they don’t realize it. It implies a bit of trickery (which, if you have read the book, is what Maurice is all about despite his character change at the end). In order to make the quote something that you would want to live by, I changed it up to read like this:
“A good plan isn’t one where there is a winner and a loser, it’s one where everybody comes out ahead.”
A subtle change, but it changes things so that everyone benefits, not just one party or the other. No matter if you are applying it to your personal life, to your business life, to your professional life, or to you extra-terrestrial life, it’s something that can be done to ensure a happier humanity for everyone.
How to Implement a Good Plan
My business, Sery Content Development, is founded on the notion that every small business deserves a strong online presence. It stems from the Bible verse Philippians 2:3 that talks about serving others and considering other better than yourself. Every client that we take on we consider how both of us can win with the agreement.
Our goal is not to take their money and leave them wondering why they hired us. We want to make sure that if they spend $1 with us, they see $3 (or more) in increased revenue. We win because we have steady work that helps pay the bills, and they win because their business grows.
Because of this, we have clients that I have turned down because we simply wouldn’t be able to help them. They would be spending more money than it was worth, and I didn’t feel right taking their money and they wouldn’t get the biggest bang for their buck.
So how do you ensure that you are developing a good plan? Ask yourself these questions before any agreement:
- How am I benefitting from this?
- How is the other party benefitting from this?
- If the roles were reversed, would I still feel good about the plan?
- In my gut, do I feel like I’m being selfish?
That last one is important. If it doesn’t feel right, then you’re never going to feel good about it. Instead of wasting your time, the other person’s time, and having someone end up losing; adjust the plan so that everyone comes out ahead.
Are You Developing Good Plans?
Take a look at the agreements you have made recently. Are you developing good plans? Do you need to adjust your methods of doing business so that you aren’t taking advantage of others?