I met a guy on Sunday who told me, "you should always have ten projects on the go".
I an currently working six day weeks and can barely keep my eyes open at the best of times. I looked at him dumbfounded... which I'd like to think was because what he said was so shocking but, in reality I think it was because my tiredness had resulted in slower reaction and comprehension times.
Ten projects, I thought to myself. I can barely deal with life and I have no projects going on. There was so many questions running around my head - Where do you find the time for ten projects? Where do you even find ten projects? Why would you even want to do ten projects? How are you supposed to do anything else like sleep or eat or breathe?
I can only assume my dumbfounded look had tripled in its levels of dumbness looking because he said to me unprompted, "the reason you have ten projects is because it increases your chances of achieving one of them". In other words, he was the jack of all trades and master of one and his ten simultaneous projects had become an insurance policy for success. He had been dealt his hand and like blackjack doubling down on the 10 increased his chances of being a winner. Let me assure you he was definitely winning - he was a classically trained pastry chef who worked with Gordon Ramsay, a business owner, food truck owner, author of multiple cookbooks, restaurant consultant, and just an all round god damn achiever.
Every part of his 10 project theory sounded unachievable to me yet, there he was achieving and proving that it was achievable. I thought to myself, I need 10 projects.
The brainstorming began... and, it turns out I'm really bad at coming up with projects. I mean really bad. I mean, I only came up with two projects - 1, keeping myself alive and 2, finding eight more projects. I was drawing blanks. How was I ever supposed to be a life achieving project manager when I didn't have any projects to manage? I felt like a failure. How was I ever going to succeed in a project when I couldn't even think of a project to succeed in.
I felt bad until, I realised the 10 project theory has a 90% failure rate! In fact, the failure rate is actually probably higher because there is no guarantee that any project will in fact be achieved. I was so caught up in the idea of winning and achieving that I totally missed the fact, that it's not the achieving that makes you a winner it's the perseverence. It's getting knocked down 9 times and getting up ten. It's about backing yourself and knowing when to double down when things are going good. '