The life of a project: Up, up, down, down

By | July 17, 2017

Projects have ups / downs. As someone commented on the last post (hat tip: DS),  there are definitely low points on any project. As Seth Godin is apt to mention (paraphrase), if the work is worth doing, it will be hard and there will be dips. Grit. Who likes doing easy work? As I tell my students, no one is going to pay you $100K-$300K annually to do easy work. The life of a project is not a straight line. If it involves people and expectations, there will be drama.

This made me chuckle. I saw this graphic in Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist (affiliate link). The book is filled with equally witty graphs and bits of wisdom. You don’t need to be a lifetime consultant to appreciate the truthfulness of this adventure. Austin’s blog here.

All projects start out a bit too optimistic. Happy. Giddy. Glad to have the business. Eager to show the new client the great work. This is the best idea ever.

Unaware of the potential difficulties, hidden agendas, entrenched personalities. Reality starts to hit very early on. Ok, this is harder than I thought. 

Hmm, okay, no worries.  We will adjust the plan. It’ll still be easy – just some minor tweaks. This is gonna take some work. 

No worries.  I am not afraid of work.  Just gotta motivate my team, manage some client expectations and not run out of time on the project. This sucks – and is boring.

Okay, I just need to check my attitude at the door.  It’ll be okay.  A little data-entry never killed anyone.  Some extra reformatting never killed anyone. We’ll make it work. It’ll be good to finish because I’ll learn something for next time

Okay, getting a little tired here. Feeling a little beat down. Might need to apologize to some people for being overly grumpy. It’s done, and it sucks, but not as bad as I thought.

Whew. Project is over. Client is happy (enough). Not the cleanest project finish – but still proud of the work. Time to say good bye.

Note: Someone once told me that the success in sales requires lower highs, and higher lows. Believe there is some good wisdom there. Cannot be happy/sad/happy/sad/happy/sad. That will drive you (and your family and friends) crazy.  It’s Monday friends – do good work.  Keep learning and have fun.

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