Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finding motivation when things go wrong.

Sometimes things go wrong.  It is inevitable.  Sales tank, launch fails, something breaks, something does not happen that you hoped it would...  The problems REALLY compound when we let it "de-motivate" us and send us into a tailspin.  How then do you keep your head up when the chips are down?  I have an answer, and it may surprise you: Give up.

Or rather, consider giving up.

This idea is based on Principle AND Logic, here is how it works:

  1. Construct a NET PRESENT VALUE of the current opportunity.  (NPV = the time weighted value of future cash flows... in essence, how good is the opportunity from today->on)?
  2. Imagine giving up on the current opportunity, and what you COULD be doing instead.... then calculate the NPV of that.
  3. Be sure to weight NPV according to risk.
  4. Compare the NPV of Giving up, with the NPV of Continuing.
  5. Which is higher?
  6. Now, Give up, or don't....  if you decide NOT to give up, you'll have a good reason why!
Is this harsh?  Maybe, but did you notice something?  We DID NOT COUNT THE PAST!  Past investment, past success, past failures, and past pain/time/etc... all IRRELEVANT.  That recent screw-up/failure should have NOTHING to do with the NPV of the future.  Seperate it.  Evaluate.  Take action.

Sometimes, Giving up is harder to do than continuing.  Sometimes, it is entirely the RIGHT thing to do.

Remember, the World Needs you, so spend your time on that which can generate the most Value... as you see value... according to your principles.

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