Editor’s note: Veteran entrepreneur, blogger and author Joe Procopio offers his thoughts on what you must do in order to succeed. If you want to succeed, you’ve got to prepare.

DURHAM, N.C. – Forget Goals. If You Want to Succeed, You’ve Got To Prepare

There you go. There’s some of my best advice, right there in the title and subtitle. If you want to stop right here and just go and execute on that advice, go nuts. I won’t hold it against you. Get started.

In the rest of our time together, I’ll explain why I’m giving that advice, so you’ll understand that I’m not just putting words into neat sentences to make myself seem smart.

I’m not a believer in New Year’s resolutions. For that matter, I’m not a huge fan of locking into any goal and putting blinders on to get there. Yeah, I know, you hear this kind of thing all the time — in sports in relation to championships, in academics while striving towards a big test, in the workplace barreling forward to the end of the quarter or the fiscal year.

But this advice is not for you, it’s for the drones.

A good coach tells his or her players to march forward with blinders and earmuffs and keep chopping and grinding and all sorts of cliched useless platitudes while keeping eyes on the prize with one heartbeat to shock the world.

But the coach is not marching to those orders. The coach is constantly monitoring and reassessing and changing the game plan based on perpetually incoming new information.

The coach knows there’s no direct route from the beginning of the season to the championship. The coach is working his or her butt off to lay new path just ahead of the team and building walls on either side, while telling them that this path was there the whole time and they should just focus on that newly laid piece of path that he or she just put down.

In life, you’re not the player. You’re the coach.

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