Planning vs. Action

Experience is the only teacher that gives you the test before the lesson.

Not sure who said it

That’s a quote that I read recently. It rang true with me because I’ve met people on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve met people spending their entire life preparing for the test that experience will give them, never actually starting anything.

I’ve also met plenty of people who only learn by being smacked in the face by reality, after coming into an easily avoidable problems that a little research could have solved.

How do you find the right balance of preparing and taking action?

It’s not apparent there is a perfect balance, but one way to start is to ask, “What is the risk?”

If the risk is minuscule, less than an hours wage that can be made up by skipping a luxury during the week, action is the correct choice.

If the risk is medium, something like a week to a month’s wage, it’s not insurmountable to come back from in your life. It basically just delays retirement that amount of time if you don’t succeed, then perhaps it’s worth at least 1/2 that amount of time in preparation (1 month’s wages = 1/2 month preparation).

If it’s high risk, your life savings after 20 years of working, it’s likely worth as much preparation as you can do. Leave no stone unturned before starting, assuming all of those stones take less that 20 years to turn over..

Finally, if the risk is unknown, then more preparation and research is necessary. There is always risk act accordingly.