Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Your Plan Will Go to Out the Window


Yesterday David posted about Annual Planning for Entrepreneurs. In the post, he made this comment:

Why do entrepreneurs love planning? Easy, because it’s an opportunity to dream about the future. Entrepreneurs love scheming up the next big thing.

MudpitTotally agree. Planning is fun. I’ve been doing some planning of my own lately and have really been struck at how relaxing and fun planning is. I even tweeted this on Monday:

Working inside your product (wireframes, etc) feels like reading a book on a rainy day. Reality is more like fighting a war on the same day. -@Johnson_Cook

I get the same calm, in-control feeling when creating budgets, future cap tables, fundraising scenarios, and looking at OTE plans for future and current sales guys.   Oh baby, and those bottom-up sales forecasts:   At $1000 MRR per deal, if each rep closes 1 deal per week, we just add one new rep each week… Voila, it’s a magic unstoppable snowball of money!!!

It’s fun to live the fantasy where deals are closed because you make the spreadsheet say they will close.

Obviously, per my tweet, building a company is never as simple as a spreadsheet says it will be. An entrepreneur friend of mine laughs at my love for spreadsheets and says: The best battle plans go immediately to hell as soon as the first shot is fired.

We laugh because it’s true. The best way to overcome this is to think about the fun part being the actual battle. Accept and appreciate that bringing spreadsheets to life is messy and sloppy and we love it. That’s what we live for! We love waking up cold, wet, and sandy. We love war.

Enjoying the journey is great and all…just don’t imagine that the journey is like a walk in the park smelling flowers. The journey is flat out war.

Now grunt, scratch, and go kick some ass today.




Category: Action, Gumption
  • lance says:

    I don’t disagree that plans go out the window before they are finished. I have found using common size ratios very helpful to manage in such situations.

    Not too sure if the war analogy is appropriate though. I have been involved in lots of startups. Never had anyone shoot at me. Totally different. War is war, and it’s not pretty. Which reminds me of a great book. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:00 am
    • Johnson Cook says:

      Aw, sure they are. Things are shooting at you every day! Competitors, apathy in the culture, the general economic climate, your energy to get up and fire or hire somebody… it’s all an uphill battle to be excellent and most people do not win, or even choose to fight.

      Use whatever analogy motivates you the most. Some like to be motivated by sports, some by racing, some by war, some by flowers. Just be great.

      December 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm
  • dangennari says:

    Reminds me of when Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

    December 19, 2013 at 9:48 am

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