As March begins, my hope for spring and summer is that the 2015 Cardinals baseball season lives up to my expectations. Even though media reports from spring training are basically the same every year (albeit with some new cast members), I’ve been reading, watching and listening every day lately. When the season finally begins, will it make me as happy as I am anticipating it will?
We’ve all experienced events that were better in the anticipation stage than in the actual execution. Personal stuff: meals, parties, trips, concerts, etc. And in business endeavors: not just specific tasks, but also meetings, pitches, partnerships, conferences, etc.
How can we make reality equal anticipation in our lives?
The best way is to be proactive. Don’t just sit and dream about how great things are going to be. Do everything you can to make sure your hopes are fulfilled.
Carefully monitor processes that are underway. This can range from giving frequent feedback to designers, builders and developers to securing funding, recruiting talent and expanding your network.
Check and double check. Don’t presume something will happen because someone told you it would happen. Simply reconfirming appointments can save time and trouble.
Study the work of competitors (or others who share your occupation). What are they doing right and wrong that can inform your actions? Can a friendly competitor provide tips?
Solicit input from friends, family and others who are pulling for your success. Candid feedback from customers, prospects and other business associates may be able to help point you in a better direction.
Constantly reevaluate your progress. You may even need to revise your definition of success.
Remain optimistic. I’ve seen Cardinals teams that looked lost and hopeless in early August go on to win the World Series. Will 2015’s reality equal my anticipation of another championship? Stay tuned.