Trust, Don't Tweak

Trust, Don't Tweak
We've all been there... in the moments when real-time decisions must be made. Big or small… in the moment they are always seemingly tough decisions... the kind you wish other people would just make for you. The kind that we think have the potential to make or break our days, our romantic lives, or our careers, or whatever it may be. It could be that final walk-to-the-register decision on which dress to buy at your favorite boutique. It may be inside the last nervous hour leading up to a much anticipated date when you can’t decide, for the life of you, what to wear. Or within the waning moments before a meeting with the big boss when you find yourself endlessly changing one sentence or graph. No matter how much you've prepared your mind, these last little moments are the crossroads when we often second guess our approach and the decisions we thought we’ve already made. Anxiety has a way of creeping in... just to add to the chaos banging around in our heads.

As you can probably imagine, a photoshoot requires that a lot of decisions be made. The major components seem pretty simple - bikinis, models, photographer, beach. That sounds easy enough, but when you really start to think about it, you may realize it's bigger than you initially thought:

How many models should there be?

Who exactly are these models and what types of contractual paperwork do we need for them?

Which styles should they wear?

What colors or color combinations should the styles be?

How do we accessorize the models ? Bracelets? Necklaces? Sunglasses?

What vendors are those accessories coming from and who is selecting the specific pieces?

Based on how many models we need, what amount of accessories do we need?

Do we want to shoot to be on a beach, and if so, which one?

How will we get there?

And where do we all stay?

What will everyone eat?

Who is the photographer and what communication do they require?

How will these models be made up?

How do we do hair and makeup and get everyone on location intact and energized?

When we get on location, what are we going to take pictures of and how does that fit in with our operation or marketing strategy?

Which models and which bikinis and which accessories need to be in which pictures?

What is our contingency plan if it rains?

And on and on…

It all gets pretty hectic pretty quick. You've probably figured out that all of these decisions (and so many more) have to be made by someone, and ideally, well in advance. And in a company our size, there’s not too many people around the room to delegate to. So you do your best thinking, and get a good plan together, and then you cross your fingers that it will all go smoothly. But shoot time is an animal in its own right, and carries with it the obligation of making a plethora of decisions just to pull it off successfully. The shoot is that big event for us. And when it’s go-time, there's so many things happening at once that it’s kind of surreal. It's in that flutter of activity, in that pseudo-controlled chaos, that you start to feel like you are forgetting something. And you want to fix it.

It’s that impulse to tweak at the last minute that makes me wary. As humans, when crunch time comes, rather than defaulting to our original plan, we sometimes opt for actions based on split-second decisions. The logic in that just doesn’t add up for me, especially if you’ve invested time and energy and put a lot of thought into an approach. I believe the lesson embedded here is to have enough confidence in ourselves to trust, and not tweak. In these situations, it is challenging to trust in our natural instincts and in the decisions we’ve already made. But doing so will undoubtedly keep us from getting distracted on tangents that will, if left uncorrected, eventually upend your goals.

Our recent photoshoot was proof of this. On location, we worked our plan from shot to shot to shot until we were finished. But if you've followed our photoshoot tweets, you would know that a pretty spectacular storm rolled in at the end of the day and abruptly put an end to our fun on the beach. If we had gotten off track just a bit, and succumbed to those split-second impulses, we would never have completed our shot list. That would have been not only extremely disappointing, but also a huge waste of time and money.

I recognize that I am generalizing a bit, and that in these situations, all last minute adjustments are not always detrimental. But let’s face it, when it’s really crunch time, your brain will inevitably get worn out from just working through the moment. And while preparing for a photoshoot may not be on your agenda today, I believe that this lesson-learned is applicable to all those life situations we face every day. Plan in advance for what you want, and when the time comes, get after it.

Trust, don’t tweak, and don’t look back…

…and hope to god that you made a good plan.

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