Beginning Without the End in Mind

Ah, yes. Steven Covey.  A name that is near and dear to many of us in theory, and to fewer of us in practice.  Proof positive that a horse can be lead to better habits, but will often instead, choose to drink.  Here I am again, then. Round 3,755, maybe.  I lost count in the 90s, but there is certainly a multibillion dollar industry in self-help and reinvention propaganda.

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This year, I made this kind cool plan that was centered around starting a media company.  Some people I talk to say, “Wow, man, that’s so totally flippin’ awesome, man.”  Other people are not so interested.  And then there is another group that thinks I haven’t defined my goals enough in order to be successful.  I grouped them in teams, gave them all statistical calculators and told them to find the T Statistic for sharpness in cheddar cheese flavors by brand. The group who said my goals needed more defining won this challenge…although I can’t really prove it because the first two groups shrugged their shoulders and walked away, and the third group calculated a value that I can’t verify because I don’t know statistics.

As a result, I redid my 2013 plan. After that, the same group said there were no details behind the high-level plan, so I created some specific tasks to support the plan.  After that, the same group said my plan and my tasks did not support a clear enough goal.  After that, I changed my plan so that my top level goal was to build an epic death ray. I don’t really care if I build a death ray, but it makes the top level goal very clear for those who care about a top level goal.

But it begs the question: Is a top level goal required in order to be effective? I have a recast plan that ends with the production of approximate 20 teams, each with a specific purpose that supports a combination of sustainable housing technology, media production, and technical systems that not only glue together my business model but can likely be shrink-wrapped and resold.  The sustainable housing is for Project Sahara. The media production is for the media container, with a focus on entertainment production.  The technical piece is not only for building the systems with my two entities, but there should be some components that can be packaged and resold.

I’m pretty stoked about it.  However, if you look closely, the “end in mind” is more of a beginning than an end.  Sorta like we are beginning with the beginning of the next set of projects in mind.  Sahara will need these systems, CamAm, Sring, Pajorka and all my other containers will need these systems.  Containers I don’t even know about yet will need these systems (and the people that helped create them).  I guess this means I am either beginning with the beginning in mind, or beginning with the middle in mind… since the end is malleable in this case.

For some people the end is clear.  For me the journey is shaping the end. As new information becomes available, I renegotiate the end: I might stop at CamAm.  I might drop it and lock step on a venture I never even dreamed about. What’s important is that I progress from where I am today.  That’s my take on it for now, anywho.  We shall see – maybe I will change my mind soon.



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