Ready, Fire, Aim

Ready, Fire, Aim

Ducks don't fly straight

I was having dinner with my friend, Betty, and was chiding her for not contributing articles to a health blog where she is a writer.

“It’s not that I don’t want to write. The perfectionist in me wants to get everything nicely straightened out before I start writing”

This is “Ready, Aim, Fire.”

I handed her my laptop and got her writing on the spot.

In business, time is of the essence. Precisely because of this “Ready. Aim, Fire.” attitude, some of us miss the opportunities that come knocking at our doors. Not so much because we were too obtuse and didn’t quite realize that it is Midas that came calling. Neither was it because we were procrastinating. For most of us in the creative industry, our Achilles’ heel is our perfectionist mindset. Even I, as an account servicing person.

We must be fully prepared. We must be well rehearsed and only then will we present to our client – with a big bang.

Sometimes, I want to scream at our design head. The clock is ticking away but until each tiny crease has been smoothened and ironed out, he simply won’t let us have the creative draft to show the client. Even after he did give it up, he would lament that it could have looked better if only he were given just a little bit more time.

Our copy guy wasn’t any better, all the “i” and “t” must be nicely dotted and crossed and every bit of research must be checked and cross referenced before he feels he is covered. Until then, the copy sits on his desk and not ours, and definitely not the client’s.

On the one hand, I am deeply appreciative and take great pride that my team is so passionate about their work. On the other hand, they can be so fastidious that it is tough to refrain myself from wringing their necks.

Finally, we reach a consensus. Get the client to give a nod on the “big picture” concept first and thereafter, they can go tweak, fix and oil everything until perfection.

If the hunter waits until the ducks fly in a single file before he “ready, aim and fire”, he probably has to wait for a long spell. The point is birds don’t ever fly in a straight line! Never.

Being prepared is crucial. Calculating the risk involved is critical. Going through each stage to ensure nothing is amiss is admirable. However, a million multiple by zero is still zero.

I like to tell you a story that happened some 15 years ago.

I met a board game designer who was just starting out. He sold all his proprietary games through the 7-Eleven chain. He showed me one of the games and casually mentioned that it will be made perfect with the next version. I was green and naive then. I remembered asking him “Why did you launch then and not wait until you got it all done up nicely?” This 30-something entrepreneur gave me a lesson I’ve never forgotten. He said the window of opportunity opened so slightly and one simply had to take immediate action before the opportunity fled. That’s how all the big companies play the game. He rattled off a string of big names including Microsoft.

Action always beats inaction. Entrepreneurs get into the game first, they will make intelligent decisions for the present moment, make corrections and adjust their sails along the way. They subscribe to

“Ready, Fire, Aim”

Recently, I read Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind which so overwhelmed me that I attended 3 of his seminars in a short 3-month span – Millionaire Mind Intensive (Nov 2007), Life Direction (Jan 2008) and Train a Trainer (Feb 2008). In this best seller, he said

Poor people don’t trust in themselves or their abilities, so they believe they have to know everything in advance, which is virtually impossible. Meanwhile they don’t do squat! In the end, with their positive, “ready, fire, aim” attitude, rich people take action and usually win.

In the end by telling themselves, “I’m not doing anything until I’ve identified every possible problem and know exactly what to do about it”, poor people never take action and therefore always lose.

Rich people see an opportunity, jump on it, and get even richer. As for poor people? They’re still “preparing”!

Until now, I have had to remind myself constantly not to adopt the perfectionist attitude. I repeatedly tell myself

” I focus on opportunities over obstacles”
” I get ready, I fire, I aim”

For those who’s keen to know about T. Harv Eker’s, you can either check out his book or his Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar.

After Note #1: Bokjae and Calvin Warr have always asked me to share what I learned from Harv Eker’s seminars. Calvin suggested that I should share my “Aha” moments here. That was a great idea and I decided to start an entrepreneurship series to share what I learned. Sharing is learning.

After Note #2: Betty used my laptop and churned out an article on distilled water within 35 minutes. That’s the spirit of “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

Read more on my sharing of T. Harv Eker’s programs:

Successful People Act In Spite Off 

[tags]Harv Eker, Millionaire Mind Intensive, Ready, Fire, Aim[/tags]

16 Replies to “Ready, Fire, Aim”

  1. Hi Vivienne,
    That was a great article!! I am your typical planner and this was a good reminder for me to just get started!

  2. Yes, many people let fears hold them back and are caught up with preparing but not doing! As Nike put it so well: Just Do It! Reminds me of my army days where we have a term called “Fall in as you are!” which means that you get together as fast as possible without having to dress up. For example, if there is an emergency such as enemies are attacking your camp, you got to rush to grab your machine gun, there’s no time to get dressed!


  3. I quite agreed with your concept and i shared the same as well. in addition to that, i believe the window of opportunity will always open when you are not really prepared, it will take a great courage to take the giant step at that moment

  4. Hi Vivienne!
    I too suffer from this Ready-aim-fire syndrome. I always feel until I’m perfect on the given topic, I never wanted to start writing. The perfectionist in all of us makes us unduly more scared of imperfection or a not-so-intelligent attempt.
    I think this post is a perfect antidote to me to learn to be like those rich people who jump on the opportunity; not like the poor who wait until every problem is anticipated and solved.
    I await for the entrepeneurship series of yours and thank you for the important jolt!

  5. Hello there! This is THE Betty that could not start writing and when she finally did, at the last count, more than 500 people have read the short post. She even attracted quite a few comments. After all, it was a controversial topic – water. Click here and see for yourself: From now on, I am most definitely practicing “Ready, Fire, Aim!” like how T Harv Eker has taught us.

  6. It may all be about taking chances, but one cannot take a chance when one doesn’t know what his doing. Perfectionist have a this challenge to overcome: learn the extent to witch carefull preparing has to go to. I mean, you need to bare in mind the crucial points that need work, and learn to seperate the not so important ones. The concept for instance must always be unbeatable, and making a acompromise with it or with a head, might lead to a disaster. but the sketch might be a little rushed (not too much though). Afterall, if you rush to jump on an opened window, you could fall. Opportunity might knock when you are not ready, but if you miss it because you did everything in a rush, the next opportunity never come. Reputation can suffer the most for a mistake such as this.

  7. I do agree with you however when we are READY,we might not have enough round to FIRE. Then we take AIM only to realise we have used up all rounds.

    Suggestion: Ready, FIRE a few rounds;test market and take AIM;full burst of FIRE.

    Slogan: READY,FIRE,AIM and FIREeeeeeeee

  8. Great post vivienne! The real life entrepreuners without fail jump into the window of opportunity thats opened and do not waste any time. I guess they will fine tune their “Aim” a bit later! However it is the conditioning of their minds that they can respond this as compared to someone who is totally ill prepared!

  9. Hi Monica
    Nice of you to visit. Plan and then FIRE right away. :)

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    Hi Bruce
    Nice analogy. Can’t imagine what will happened if soldiers take time to dress up when enemies attack.

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    Hi Moshood
    Windows of opportunities seemingly always pop up when we weren’t aware. The only way is to stay alert and tune in to stuff that’s important and relevant to us.

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    Hi Solomon
    I really, really look forward to checking out your own blog soon.

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    Hi T. Betty
    I congratulate you for your success at NurtureYourOwn. The comments you generated for your maiden post is indeed very encouraging.

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    Hi Mary
    I believe the next opportunity will come, eventually, it’s just that the nature of the opportunity be somewhat different from the previous. I hope to see you around soon.

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    Hi Rick

    Your suggestion of “Ready, FIRE a few rounds;test market and take AIM; full burst of FIRE.” is indeed practical. I hope you will stick around here and let us tap your wisdom more often.

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    Hi bokjae
    You’ve hit right on the nail. It’s the correct mindset that entrepreneurs have that enabled them to fire first and take aims again later. Amateurs tend to over prepare.

  10. I, too, am eager to have my own blog. It is great to have one; to have all our friends share their learned opinions there. Bokjae,our great friend, takes the credit for it, besides yourself!
    Like here as Bokjae said, fire at once and fine tune later – seems to be the way forward. That goes to say -ACT! Isn’t it Bokjae?

  11. This was good…

    But my approach is different being an entrepreneur: I aim, I get ready, I fire.
    In other words I find the direction that I am going. I do the necessary steps to get there and then I fire. It works so much easier…for me.

    But what you wrote is great and insightful…but I am giving you my views…

    It is great.

    Keep up the great work!


  12. Hi Solomon
    Let me share with you something I believe: When you go out to find friends, you end up with none. When you go out to be a friends, you’ll find tons. Have fun making lots of friends at blogosphere.

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    Hi Roger
    Do whatever serve you. What you have shared is equally insightful because we do need to have a purposeful direction to make life fulfilling and rewarding. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Thank you for the post! It leads me to Betty’s post. I know the importance of good water. I am drinking bio energised water from the bio disc. amazing health benefit for me & my family!

  14. Thanks for this post Vivienne. Its a good and timely reminder for somebody like me – a true blue Virgo with an irritating perfectionist streak – to take more chances in life. One of the things which got my goat is waiting for that perfect flash of brilliance before I put pen to paper but maybe I should do what Harv has espoused. Starting from today!

  15. First question I have is did you get your laptop back after she was finished (grin) . . .

    Perfectionism is a funny thing. Personally I believe in STRIVING for perfection, but realizing you (and others around you) are probably NOT going to get there.

    In other words, do the best job you can, but cut yourself (and others) slack if and when you turn out to be less than perfect.

    I too agree that if we sit back and take to long to take action, we’re never going to get anything done.

    Some people have a tendency to keep thinking and thinking and thinking, just because the act of thinking “feels good”. Somewhere along the way you have to stop thinking and start doing, otherwise you suffer from “paralysis by analysis”.

    However, I suspect I’m preaching to the choir here.

    Take care and keep up the good blogging.

    Stanley Bronstein

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