There's a nice old adage attributed to Robert Benchley that says the following: "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't"… Obviously, there are way more than two types of people for anything.

But paradoxically, I must say that I do find that there are two stereotypical types of people we often see pursuing a new business or life venture. There are the JUMPERS who jump right into running their business and marketing their products and services with little or no planning.  Jumpers thrive on energy, enthusiasm and improbable luck. They like the "intuitive" side of it all and kind of make it up as they go along. Often they are great optimists, sometimes very charismatic and hard to challenge because they will often put you in the corner as "negative".

And then there are the PLANNERS- they who plan a strategy — and a service or product design — before they ever dream of offering it to the public. Plan and Plan and plan, that's what you often find them doing. It may be on the most insignificant of details but there they are, analyzing and debilitating which way to go, why and how can we be sure…with these dear folks one can sometimes forget that the business is not about planning but the reason we plan is to be able to be successful in opening the business itself.

So, which way to go? I have found that a certain amount of planning is really important in order to get you moving, especially if you’re starting a new business or launching a new product or service.  The time you spend with research and working through possible alternatives and scenarios, as well as the time you spend thinking about how you might handle them, will reap huge rewards later on. And by doing this work and going through the process, one gains confidence and motivation to do what one has set out to do.

On the other hand, over-planning is a great way to get into inaction, and to get stuck real quick.  Have you ever encountered the phrase “Analysis Paralysis” ? It's a great one — the inability to move forward on a project because you feel you don’t have all the facts, and the unwillingness to move forward until you’re 100% sure of success.  Every entrepreneur, or "aware individual"  for that matter, will tell you that there’s no such thing as being 100% sure of anything.

We need the Jumpers in business or in life in general— they allow us to see how flexible things can be and they are great creators of  enthusiasm and passion.  Jumping allows one to be 85% sure and then go for it.  Good jumping is action, combined with knowledge, courage and trust.

I find that Jumpers are at their best when some planners have been with them for some time- perhaps a consultant, a coach, a colleague or a family member.   Jumping is a great way to go if you have come clear with yourself what your financial foundation is, how you are going to get your first validation, testimonial and early cash flow. If you have that in order, go for it…and take out that plan from time to time to make sure you are on the map.  

In the end we need both- the Jumpers and the Planners to make things happen. Once again the "middle way" rings true.

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