Episode 8: Why Your Preparation Will Be Futile Without Consistent Practice

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Preparation is the basic and most essential element of business success. However, in most cases we find it hard to act out our preparation, to create a mark that will speak volumes of our preparedness. What impedes or hinders us from making a difference even after the much preparation? Perhaps, there is already an answer to it.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
— Stephen King

Preparation Is Prerequisite For Success.

Preparation is getting ready. We become a better version of ourselves by preparation. There is no magic to it, there is no abracadabra; preparation is simply the most essential element of success.

Preparation precedes success

As algebra precedes calculus in mathematics, and crawling, walking in the developmental stages of a child, so is preparation a prerequisite for success. The prepared person will win if he shows up. The prepared, will always have an edge over others. They are at an advantage even over the most talented of men because they have mastered their skills and sharpened their saws through deep commitment and devotion to the learning process.

The next time you walk up to an event in which you are one of the participating players or presenters, one of the many questions that silently linger in your heart would be, “am I really prepared for this?” This again proves that preparation precedes success.

Preparation is a very important factor for any real success. You need to be actively present in what you profess to represent. Are you an entrepreneur businessperson, a business coach, an athlete, a scholar?

“The best way to succeed in business is to be in business”

You’ve Been Prepared Mentally

This series has centered on preparing you to be able to take on whatever business idea, career or craft you wish to pursue. It means to help you find and utilize your opportunities.

Opportunities come to us in many ways, but sometimes we don’t even recognize them and consequently we miss our big chance. Preparation opens your eyes to opportunities. It helps you see beyond the normal. However, this is not just about recognizing opportunities but utilizing it.

The ability to recognize and utilize opportunities is more of a mental exercise, and from the very beginning, we’ve focused on building that exceptional mentality for success.

Some of these mental preparations are as follows:

All these, prepare you mentally and set you in the right mindset for action. They inscribe the basic principles of success so that you win mentally and when you win mentally, you are already a winner.

Preparation Vs Practice

Preparation is getting something or somebody ready in advance. Nevertheless, preparation and practice is sometimes mistaken to mean the same thing but this is not so.

Practice means the act of repeating something to get better. It is the performing of a task so that a person gets accustomed to it. Practice is the continuous repetition of an activity, a consistent participation in a craft in order to get better. It involves the activities a person does, in respect to his jurisdiction that makes him a better artisan.

In other words, a prepared person denotes a ready or set person whereas practice involves all the activities after which a person or a thing is certified set or prepared.

Going back to the maxim, “preparation is prerequisite for success.” It can also be said that “practice precedes preparation which in turn is prerequisite for success.”

Before attaining the state of preparedness, one must have practiced repetitively whatever be his craft. Practice is the successive realization of set goals for the basic purpose of getting better and preparation is the state at which practice accounts for a mastery in the said skill or craft.

Does Practice Have To Stop?

However, the problem with some of us is that we are too fast to assume the state of preparedness. It takes time to get prepared; more than we even conceive. Preparation costs practice and indefatigable commitment.

A football team spends days practicing for a 90 minutes match, the same way a speaker will spend several hours for a 30-minute speech. Consistent and unrelenting Practice is the cost one must pay for attaining a state of preparedness. However, when you are truly prepared, success is not farfetched.
Even after reaching a state of preparedness, practice is just too precious a thing to let go. We tend to forget about perfecting in things and areas we’ve already been awarded excellence.

Statistics shows that only one-third of adults finish an entire book after their last graduation. This proves that our teachability drops rapidly immediately we attain erudition in a given profession. Why does it have to be so? Why do we have to stop practicing?

When you stop learning or practicing, your preparedness dwindles. You become less and less competent until you are back in a pit you once triumphed. The Mathematics professor will always say, “Friends, if you leave Mathematics, Mathematics leaves you.”

It will all be for nothing if you do not practice consistently or participate actively in your craft. If you hope to build a career in singing, writing, marketing, or entrepreneurship and you do not find a way to sing, write, market or find new business opportunities respectively, every day, then there is absolutely no way you can get to success and remain at it.

Success is not a one-time achievement of a predetermined goal as many people see it. It is a gradual and systematic acceleration towards that goal. What this means is that every step you take, and every action, can lead either to your success or to failure.

Here is the bottom line. No matter how good you get in your business or profession, find ways to practice every single day and even when you attain erudition in a profession, keep practicing.
Here is a simplified progression flow.

Practice always

Writers, write; investors, invest; businesspersons, build businesses; athletes, participate in sports. Every single day, in the very best way you can, always practice and you’ll be surprised how good you’ll get.

As you begin to figure out ways you can start practicing your craft, note that a couple of things can always hinder you from practicing.

#1 Friends

Friends are great tools for success as they can be an inhibition to growth. The friends we keep determine most of our actions and that is how it is. When a writer has a friend whose center is pleasure and entertainment, you can imagine how impossible that combination is. More often than not, the writer will certainly be dissuaded from embarking on a project he has at hand perhaps due to a party that will be held at some place after the next two or three streets.

When you discover a friend who inhibits your productivity, perhaps that’s not a good union and I think there’s an obvious action to take — Keep away. This is because friends are important determining factors of our success rate. You think you're the boss of your life, well that’s only partially true. Your friends subconsciously rule you and since they do, it is an unarguable fact that you need better friends.

#2 Your Boss

Many people work for money and not for passion. Some of these persons are innocent about this because they never did have a choice. People take on roles in organizations or positions in business premises mainly due to frustration and the unavailability of a second choice. Thus, they work for money and not for their passion. Their day-to-day actions are inconsistent with what they actually want to be or do. Therefore, they don’t practice their craft because their busy-ness does not align with thier core values.

Your bosses push you away from the activities you really care about, and then they allot you some stuff that is irrelevant to your craft and profession. The point is that if in your place of work, you are not delegated to activities that concern your career or interest, your boss may be trampling on your practice environment.

Do you suffer from a tight schedule at work? Are you delegated to do things that are incongruous with your career? Then maybe you are spending precious time under the wrong boss.

#3 Your Environment

The environment plays an enormous role in the making of a person. Whether you emerge a winner or a loser, your environment has the major answer. Many a time, we tend to be the eagle that dwells amongst chickens. We tie ourselves to a strange environment and as such, we are greatly affected. We undermine our potentials and tend to put up with the flow of things around us. However, we consequently live a life whose potential talents and fortune lay waste on an island of no return.

If you dwell among wolves, you tend to act like one; the eagle raised in a chicken’s pen thinks he is a chicken and acts as such. Therefore, until you break loose from your hallucinations and move to the right environment for your craft, you may never soar like that eagle did.
You may be spending time in wrong place all this while and that might just be the reason you cannot practice. Your environment plays an important role in making you the success you want to be. You can’t be the eagle that dwells among chickens. That’s insane.

#4 Family

I do not want to talk much about this, because there is no avoiding it. My advice is that you figure out the perfect timing so you can practice your craft and still get back to family. Family time is fabulous time — don’t mess it up.

For instance, a writer may decide to write within the hours of 3am to 4:30am then she wakes by 5am in order to attend to the kids and get them early to school. However it applies to you, make sure you find time and practice.

Here are a few things you can do to create the best aiding environment for practicing your craft.
  • Change your friends. Speaker Joe Larson says, “My friends did not believe that I could become a successful speaker, so I did something about it. I went out and found me some new friends.” You too can do the same. Nothing should stand in your way to success; it is just too costly a mistake to make.
  •  Be Always at the right environment — don’t be the eagle in a chicken pen.
  • Change your boss — of course, you can. Find yourself a new boss who understands the importance of working in a position that is consistent with your craft and interest.
  • Schedule your practice time so it does not coincide with family time — respect family)

You may be a professional athlete but if you do not show up on the event day, it won’t matter. You may be the most sophisticated investor, but if you do not start investing, how will you discover? You may have gathered all the financial education on business building, but if you do not build a business for real, it just won’t matter.

Revisit the action plan; get to work with it, research opportunities where you can practice your craft, for it is in practicing that you get prepared. Being a practitioner in the field is the only way you can get better. Your ideas will remain an illusion until you show up and become a real practitioner. No financial education will compensate for your inaction. You may not perform very well in the first few months or years, but trust me, the exponential power of action will soon catch up with you.

Always look for means to practice your craft for real. If it means changing all your friends, do it. Even if it requires leaving your current geographical environment, board a flight immediately and if you cannot afford one, use a taxi. Whatever it takes, however much it will cost, be a practitioner.

The lessons taught in this series, will not matter if you do not keep practicing them. Remember the quote by famous Roman philosopher Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” And the only way to be truly prepared is to practice constantly. You have a choice to start today and smile tomorrow.

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Are you actively practicing what you profess? Share in the comments below.



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Leo Smile is a Nigerian Writer, blogger, and Online Entrepreneur. He has hosted many online courses in financial education and career advice. Leo is also currently working on revolutionalizing the business world especially in the area of startups. He is popularly known for his online course, How to start a business with little or no capital.


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