Chad Eaves International

Professional Development Tools

The Happiness Movement & Why It's Dangerous

Entrepreneurship, Motivation, PeopleChad Eaves

It is hard to pick up a  business magazine or read a related website without seeing this "happiness" message being promoted.  Sure, everyone wants happiness.  But thinking one is going to find a job in which they are happy all of the time is misleading at best.

It's important to set your own expectations on what happiness means to you.  If you still believe it's maintaining an euphoric state of bliss all day and night you have two choices.  First, if you are open to listening to others, skip to the next paragraph and keep reading.  Second, if you think you are entitled to this existence, close this window and go away.

What does happiness mean?  The good news is whatever you want it to.  Just define it in a way that is achievable.  For me, it's results driven.  Happiness is fueled by results.  For some, it might be process based (probably a better definition for employees than entrepreneurs, which is fine).  I love the creative process of making new products.  But when a product is being used by someone, that is when I achieve my work high.

Lots of work leading up to this, well, it basically sucks.  Paperwork.  Paying bills.  Dealing with potential hires that are lazy.  The list goes on.  But these things are necessary.  I enjoy completing them because they get me closer to my happiness.    

Define your happiness.  Write it down (otherwise it does not exist).  If you don't know what makes you happy, someone else will be happy to have you work to achieve their happiness.

One More Reminder: Idea Discovery: The Foundation for Your Businesses’ Future Workshop

Chad Eaves

Tomorrow (10/8/2015) at 7 PM at the Microsoft Store in Schaumburg, I will be leading a workshop on coming up with new ideas and how to use them in your business.  This is a complimentary workshop presented by Microsoft Store (Woodfield Mall) and Chad Eaves International.

Remember the last time you say an idea you had in a store from someone not you? Or when you saw or heard something and thought “I should have thought of that!” You had the ideas (or were close to them).

Maybe you are seeking new ways to advance your business. A way to get an advantage over your competition.

Businesses are propelled by profits. All profits begin as an idea. Something big. Something small.

In this one-hour session learn different methods and tools for creating and capturing new ideas. Whether it’s for marketing, a new product, or how to manage your team, the best resource you have is your brain. Join us during this creative session dedicated to you getting the most out of you.

"Chad, have filled your open position yet?"

Chad Eaves

This was the subject line of an email I received this afternoon.  A wonderful example of lazy marketing.   I don't have an open position.  And if I did, I am not going to trust some clown that emails me (with an inaccurate subject line) out of the blue.   Yet another reason people are jaded to bad marketing.  

The Story Behind Chaducci's Practice Interview Questions

Chad Eaves

I began my life as entrepreneur on  August 21, 2003.  Funny how you remember specific dates on certain things.  I was then thrust into the world of finding people to do work for my company.  Before then, I had interviewed job candidates for my employers.  

As time went on, I noticed a trend in deterioration of communication skills.  Many job seekers were unable to answer questions in a way that helped them in the job interview.  These questions included the stock "Why should we hire you?" to the softballs "What book did you last read?" or "What is your favorite movie?".

A service I offer clients is interviewing candidates for them. As more and more millennials have entered the work force, this problem, in my experience, has become one that is chronic.  

So that is reason number one I created Chaducci's Practice Interview Questions.  There are two other groups for whom I created this product.

Group number two is those who have been out work long-term.  Often these people have become discouraged in their job hunt.  Many have quit.  A consequence of this is that skills required for getting a job begin to atrophy.  Among these are interacting with an interviewer and answering questions.  With this deck, they can practice and prepare for interviews they land.  Doing so will help instill the confidence needed during an interview.

The last group are interviewers.  These people are not always ready to question candidates.  It may be a task forced upon them against their will.  But it is still a task that must done well.  With this deck interviewers can practice and use questions for when they talk to job candidates.

The hiring process is one of the most important people participate in.  It's one that has a direct impact on the quality of people's lives.  Preparation is key for job seekers and interviewers.  By preparing for an interview, these groups can do ask and answer questions with confidence in themselves.  

I created this deck for people that are looking for a way to create an edge over their rivals.

Chaducci's Game of Questions Road Tested!

Chad Eaves

Last week my wife and I went on a road trip to Cleveland with her parents to visit family.  During the road trip, we played one Chaducci's Game of Questions.  We played it in the format of one questions was asked and each person answered it.

Some of the answers were interesting and insightful - especially my in-laws' answers.  For example, my dad's first pet was a rooster.  When asked who from the past he would most want to have dinner with, I didn't hear an answer I expected (like a Thomas Jefferson, Julius Ceasar - a famous historical figure).  He answered his neurology professor from med school.

When I first designed this game, it was with the intent of helping build their confidence and comfort while speaking.  It turns out its a great game to learn cool things about family and friends as well.

Forty-Nine Other States….Stop Suffering Where You Are

Chad Eaves


One thing that frustrates me on a personal level is when people say they are unhappy with where they live and/or work. My first thought — is there really something holding you back. Besides you.

True, there can be family situations that can make moving difficult. Especially if someone is in ill health. That is a difficult period to live through.

Most people are not in this boat. There is usually only one thing holding people back. Themselves.


For me, moving is second nature. I grew up an Air Force brat. We moved every two years and lived all over the US and in the UK for four years. Every couple of years I still feel the urge to start packing boxes.

My bride, not so much. She grew up in the same beach town in Florida from age eight. When we moved to Atlanta and then DC, she asked if we should just get moving up the east coast over and move to Maine.

Ha, ha.

Here is the thing I believe most people miss. If you don’t like where you go to, you can move somewhere else or go back to where you lived. If nothing else, it will provide you an appreciation of where you lived before your move.

My wife and I went through this when we moved from Orlando to Atlanta and then DC. We decided we missed Orlando. So we moved back to the central Florida. My wife’s family lived in Florida and she wanted to be close to them again. After living there for seven years we began to grow tired of it (Orlando and Florida, not her family…just to be clear. Love you guys!). We had annual passes to Disney World. We went to the beach.

But it was getting, well, it was getting bland. Unexciting. Basically, we were done.

It took us two more years to pull the trigger and move. In that time, we visited Los Angeles and San Diego on vacation. My wife travelled to Chicago on business. Los Angeles never really made onto our list (sorry, but the city just feels grimy to me).

San Diego. That is a beautiful area. Chicago is exciting, though colder. Which we wanted. Living in Florida we missed seasons.

The Starbucks I write this post is in a northwest suburb of Chicago. It’s 25 F outside (and feels like 14 F).

And we love it here. Is it perfect? No. Do people look at us like we have three eyes when we say we moved here from Florida? Yes. But the people are great and Chicagoland has its own culture. Not one partially imported from New York. Or Ohio. Or Michigan. Or…well, you get the point.

Try something new if you don’t like where you are. Where ever you are, there are forty-nine other states to try.

A Plan B Takes Flight And Saves An Aviation Titan

Best Practices, Competition, Innovation, Lessons From Movies, Problem Solving, Project Management, Risk, TransportationChad Eaves

What is the golden ticket?  THE BIG IDEA that will turn into a money machine?  This is exactly what many entrepreneurs (and established business) pursue - that one big thing. When Boeing developed its 747 airliner, its fate was tied to its success.  Or failure.  As we know from history, the 747 has been a phenomenal success.  It first flew in 1969 and has outlasted airlines such as Pan Am (we will see this name again).  It easy to imagine that the 747 was the primary focus of Boeing at the time of its development.

It wasn't.  It was not even close.  It was a distant number two project at Boeing.

Number one?  That was Boeing's attempt to compete with the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner.  Boeing's plane was called the SST (Supersonic Transport).  It was planned to become the aircraft maker's golden goose.

Heard of it?  No?  That is because it was cancelled in 1971.  This is the problem when a golden goose dies.  It often kills its company.

While Boeing decided to try to create a competitor to Concorde, the idea of what was to become the 747 was brought to them from outside the company.  The idea for a large jet aircraft came from the president of Pan Am, Juan Trippe.

Pan Am Boeing 747_100

Pan Am Boeing 747_100

When worked commenced on the 747 it was not "THE" project to be working on.  When the SST was cancelled, it became Boeing's one chance to survive.

After signing a contract with Pan Am, Boeing agreed to deliver a plane in 28 months for flight testing.  The first 747 entered service in 1970.  This was at a time without the technical tools we have today to design an airplane.  In comparison, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner began development in the 1990's.  It first flew in 2009.

While both SST and 747 were huge projects, 747 was Boeing's PLAN B that saved the company.  It became a golden goose that spread its wings and has revolutionized air travel for nearly fifty years.

To learn more about the 747 story, watch 747: The Jumbo Revolution on Smithsonian Channel.

Wikipedia Resources

Juan Trippe

Boeing 747


What Is The Real Culprit In Declining Start-Up Numbers?

UncategorizedChad Eaves

This post is my response this post on

Entrepreneurship Doesn't Cause Per-Capita Income Growth

A thought provoking article, Professor Shane.

Aside from concerns over the relation of GDP to start-ups (such as those addressed below by  Guest1234 and others related to regulatory, political, and tax considerations), there are two important questions.

First, if there is this wealth as reflected by the GDP numbers, why are entrepreneurs and small business not benefitting from additional business?  My personal thought is the GDP numbers are hollow and lacking market fundamentals so associated productivity does not exist in the real world.

Second question: Why has there been a decline in start-ups in America?  Is it the influence of society and policies encouraging dependence on others for your life?

These are probably  causal factors to one thing that has been happening in America.  The weakening of the American dream.

And to be clear, that is the dream of taking care of yourself and being successful.

I suspect people have become too comfortable and lazy.  Being poor in America is not such a bad deal when compared to the less developed countries.  There if you don't work, you don't eat.  Here we have around 47 million people on food assistance.

People are also afraid of failing.  Shh, don't let someone know I messed up. Two words are my answer.

So.  What.

Most of the people a person is afraid of finding out they failed are too afraid to take any chances.  But we let these life cowards influence us not to try new things.  Especially those related to us.  Sorry, I will get off of my soap box.

The bigger problem is the emotional anchor of when one has lost hope that outweighs the fear of failure in trying a business.

The answer is entrepreneurship and self-reliance.  Self-confidence.  Without those things the large companies paying the salaries cited in your article never would have existed.



The Valuable Practice of Ignoring Some People Some Of The Time & Certain People All Of The Time

Best Practices, Communication, Entrepreneurship, People, Problem SolvingChad Eaves

First, all of you saying how rude it is to ignore someone, hold on a second.  When someone talks to you or asks you a question you should respond to that person, right.  To do otherwise would be rude or disrespectful. I am not advocating you ignore all people all of the time.  But some people some of the time?  Certain people all of the time?  Yes.

Here is why.

People who we like, care for, and/or need something from merit a response.  Strangers could become someone we want in our life.  These are not the people I speak of in this article.

These people are those that fall into one of these categories:

  • Takers.  All they want is something from you.  It could be something material, but it could be your emotions, time, and patience.
  • Intolerants.  One of the most amazing traits of these people is that they believe, will even make a point of telling you, that they are tolerant.  Since their mental paradigm is already bent off its axis, no good will come of engaging in any activity with them.
  • Annoying people.  They might not fall into any of the previous categories.  You might not be able to put a finger on why they bother you, but they do.  Don't let them.

If you must interact with this type of person, expose yourself to them as little as possible.

That is rude you say?  Is it not rude that they are attempting to suck time and energy you don't want to give them from your life?

You could find yourself feeling bad for these people.  Why?  Remember how you recognized them being worthy of ignoring them in the first place.  Don't feel bad for them.  Feel good for you.

And ignoring people can be hard.  It can take practice.  It's primary purpose is not to be mean, but to live a focused life.  It's worth it.


A Quick Word About Email Addresses

Best Practices, Communication, Information TechnologyChad Eaves

Email addresses.  Pretty much everyone has at least one.  Many people have multiple email addresses. Free email account domains are not appropriate for business.  What is a free email domain?

  • GMail
  • Yahoo
  • Hotmail
  • Juno

And so on.

Whenever I see this I cringe.  Using a free email account tells me a couple of things about a person/business.

  • They are lazy.
  • They are unnecessarily cheap.

The answer?  Buy a domain (web address) for your business and then an email account.  You can buy your domain at one company (such as GoDaddy) and email from another company such as Google's Apps For Work.

Here are the earth shaking costs.

Domain through GoDaddy:  $12 (approximate)

Email from Google Apps For Work: $5 per user per year (You also get a lot of additional functionality included in Google Apps For Work).

Show the world you are serious about your business (and yourself).  Stop using free email services for business.

Innovation With A Hand Drill

Innovation, Lessons From Movies, Problem SolvingChad Eaves

Lessons From A Movie: Rush Have you even been in muggy, humid weather wearing glasses?  Have they ever fogged up on you?  Of course, unless you never wear glasses or even drive a car in these circumstances, you will have experienced your glasses or windshield fogging up.

It's something that is easy to fix.  You take your glasses off and wipe them.  In the car, you turn on the defroster.  No problem, right?

3d render, formula one car concept

What if you are driving a Formula One race car in a grand prix?  In the rain?  This is exactly what happened in the last race during the 1976 Formula One season at Fuji, Japan.

Visibility was already awful.  It would be worse behind another car as it kicked up spray.  And it could be even worse if your visor fogged up.

One team came up with an idea to help on the fogging up problem.  There needed to be circulation to help the air conditions inside and outside the visor equalize, thereby minimizing condensation.  The solution came in a hand drill.

While waiting to start the race, the crew for British driver James Hunt (who won that race and the championship) drilled holes in his visor.  Problem solved.

Today race helmets have venting and other technologies to minimize condensation.  In 1976, a hand drill did the trick. When working on a problem, it's a good idea to take a step back and think of how something can be done or made better.  It could be something simple, like a small hole in a visor.

Lefty Doesn't Like Losing & Is Honest About It

Best Practices, Competition, People, Professionalism, Uncategorized, WinningChad Eaves

Losing sucks.  There are no two ways about it.  Learning from losing and to handle defeat are essential life skills in both professional and personal circumstances.  But if a person thinks losing is cool or ok (or that everyone should get a trophy for trying), stop.  Stop reading and close this window unless you believe you should always put forth your maximum effort. Ah, still here?  Good.

This past weekend The US Ryder Cup team was handed their third straight loss by Europe (and congratulations to them on the win).  It was also the US team's eighth loss in ten competitions (it's an bi-annual event for those unfamiliar with it).


During the post-event news conference US player Phil Mickelson has been heavily criticized for openly criticizing the US coach's preparation for the tournament.  When I read this I was expecting to see Mickelson standing on a chair frothing at the mouth with this title.

Phil Mickelson flies home alone from Gleneagles after Ryder Cup tirade at USA captain Tom Watson

This article felt it was also appropriate to single out Mickelson for having a Gulfstream he travels on.  Who wouldn't do so if they had one?  This just seems like they are tyring to paint him in a bad light because he's successful.  Which reinforces his comments - he doesn't like losing.

What was depicted in the title did not happen.  What his comments were was honest.  He was seated and calm.  Mickelson stated how that the last time Team USA won the Ryder Cup they followed a regimen by the last victorious US Captain, Paul Azinger.  And how he did not understand why they abandoned that practice and that they should follow it again.

By the reactions in the golfing community and press you would have thought Mickelson threw a baby and a puppy out of a moving car and then back over them in his car.

But here is my question.  Was Mickelson wrong in what he said?  The US team for three years has been winless.  Over the past ten competitions, they won only twice.  Perhaps the Euros are just that unstoppable right now.  But what was so wrong in suggesting the US go back to what did work and try that again.

Here is what I can guess is the only reason.  The US coach, Tom Watson, got his feelings hurt.  Well, that happens when you lose.

And guess what, Tom Watson?  The US team are losers for this Ryder Cup.  That makes you the head loser.  If you don't want to be criticized, then win.  Otherwise, accept your lumps and move on.

And to the golfing world, don't be mad at Mickelson for having the courage to calmly and politely state the obvious.  Be ashamed at your weak and and overblown reaction to the truth.

Has Branson Finally Jumped The Shark With His Vacation Anti-Policy?

Best Practices, Entrepreneurship, People, VacationChad Eaves


This week Sir Richard Branson of the The Virgin Group announced Virgin was instituting a policy of unlimited vacation.

Well....sort of.  This only only applies to the headquarters in the US and UK.  A rather smallish group when you consider the vast Virgin empire.  And it's all based on an assumption that people will only take off time when their work is done.

Maybe it can work in some organizations.  But I suggest they are the exceptions rather than the rule.

When is work ever really done? Who decides?  But this policy ignores one fundamental truth.  People, as a whole, will try to do the minimum required and take advantage of situations.  That is why organizations (and by extension people) need boundaries.  All parties involved need to know the rules.

Branson stated he hopes this policy can be extended to their subsidiaries (such as the airlines).  What happens if all jet engine mechanics in San Francisco take vacation at the same time? If this needs to be managed, it sounds like a policy will be needed.

A quick thought on vacations.  In the US, we (as a country) cheat ourselves regarding vacation.  We don't go on vacation enough.  We leave it on table.  Too easily people forget it is a form of compensation.  If you don't use it, it is just like giving money back to your employer.

I respect Sir Richard and read his articles and books.  He is a fascinating person.  Would he have been able to build his fortune with such a policy in place?  I find that doubtful.  But hey, he's the one worth billions of dollars.

He usually provides useful insight.  This time I have to respectfully disagree with his Virginness.   Any start-ups or small businesses that follow this advice will very likely find themselves in a pickle.

In my opinion, this one goes in the dustbin right beside calling employees intrapreneurs (sorry, if you work for someone else, you are not an entrepreneur - that's another discussion).

When leading people, boundaries is a golden word.  Abandoning boundaries is an invitation to chaos.

Managing Chaos When Meeting New People

Best Practices, Communication, ProfessionalismChad Eaves

When people meet each other for the first time, everyone is asking the same question. "Who is this person?"

Then these  three simple steps are performed:

  1. Assess
  2. Judge
  3. Act

I know there are some of you gentle readers out there claiming you don't judge other people.  Yeah, go on living the lie.  You probably judge those who say they judge people.

Carrying on, let's go through the these steps.

When we meet someone (or even observer them in public) we each have a checklist we run through in our mind.  Here are some of the common items we make consider (the order will probably vary from person to person).

  1. Is the person a threat?
  2. Is the person attractive?
  3. Is this person approachable?

Then we make judgements on these and other factors.  After we this we act.  If we think a person might try to steal our date, our job, or even hurt us we avoid them if possible.  If we find that we want to learn about him or her and feel it's safe and not embarressing to do so, we might say hello and begin a conversation.

As a sales person (and we all are) we need to be as approachable as possible.  Does this mean we need to all be wearing suits and ties to look so?  No.  But we need to look like what we are presenting ourselves to be.

  1. Dress for you job.  You write software.  More casual wear is ok.  If you work in finance, better put on that tie and jacket.
  2. Have clean shoes.  If you work outside (like a farmer, arborist, etc.) spit shining your boots is not necessary.
  3. Have good hygiene.  The rules on facial hair have changed beginning with Don Johnson in Miami Vice.  Scruffy can be cool, but be clean.  Don't smell. Clip your fingernails.  Take a shower.  It is actually scary that some people have to be told to do these things.
  4. Take care of you teeth and breath.  If you have to ask why, make an appointment with a dentist right now!
  5. Know how to talk.  Seriously, some people bumble through conversations.  If you get nervous, it is a skill that can be improved on.  If you stammer or studder, don't let that stop you.  There are plenty of people with those traits that are successful.  Everyone can practice conversation and presentation skills.
  6. Be cool.  Keep centered and pleasant.  No tempers.

Chaos is minimized when people have no or little reason to feel anxiety.  Be welcoming.  Be familiar.  When chaos is minimized, seeds for a new relationship can be sown.

Why, Oh Why, Does Chaos Monkey Love Software Updates?

Best Practices, Information TechnologyChad Eaves

Because they break.  Almost always.  It's a much better bet than Vegas. Apple released iOS 8.0.1 to fix (get ready for it) bugs in the new iOS 8.0 today (9/24/14).  This was demonstrated to be a case of breaking more stuff to fix already broken stuff.  The newly broken stuff included cell service and the fingerprint scanner.

The update has since been pulled.

One can only assume that as this fix was created a chaos monkey was perched on the shoulder of a developer.  I can almost hear him whispering to the coder, "No, no!  Delete that bunch of code.  Yeaaaah.  Now give me another banana, miscreant!"

Or something like that.  With the amount of time computers and smartphones have been around and how many times new releases/upgrades break for whatever reason (Windows Vista anyone?), people still have to be the first ones to upgrade to a new software.

Here is how it should be done.

  1. Don't do the upgrade when it is released.
  2. Let other people do the upgrade and find the bugs.  They will scream and holler while your device/computer still works (egad - even if it's on the older software).
  3. Wait about a month.  In this amount of time a stable version of the software in question should be released.

Two side notes:

  1. This is the case for any software.  This situation is not unique to Apple.
  2. Always, always, always, always (getting the drift yet?) make a back-up copy of your data.  I make a back-up of the back-up.  Paranoid?  Perhaps, but I have never lost data during an upgrade.

Chaos Monkey hates this little process, which means you should hug it and pet it and call it George .

Is That A Monkey In Your Pocket Or Your iPhone 6 Plus Bending?

UncategorizedChad Eaves

This may not be much of a story. Apple is claiming only 9 phones out of 10 million have bent.  Seems like this might story might be bent. Yep, that's right.  Those of you that slip your iPhone 6 Plus (questionable product name?) might experience a deformity.  No, not from having a radiation source next to your groin!  Apparently these devices are susceptible to being bent.

It's called "#bendgate".  Yes, you know it's serious when something has a Twitter tag (cough, cough).

People get all excited about aluminum phones, but they seem to forget soda/beer cans.  Those are made out of aluminum.  What happens to those when they are squeezed?  Of course they don't cost $600.

In all fairness, other phones will bend if enough pressure is applied.  The problem here seems to be that iPhone 6+ (is that any better than "Plus"?) does not stand up to the rigors of every day use that previous iPhones have in the past.

Or maybe its a bonus feature?  The phone conforms to the shape of your body in a pocket?

But how has this come to be?  Perhaps the Chaos Monkey was given a little opening to mess with this smart phone.  It would seem this was most likely was in design, manufacturing, or testing.  Hey, let's not sell the Chaos Monkey short, it could have been all three stages of birthing this new device!

Now Apple needs to find where the Chaos Monkey is living in its product development chain.  For a company with such a solid (can one say unbending?) history of products, it is rare to have this short of failure.

Yeah, you in the Apple t-shirt with the shocked look on your face.  It's  a failure in engineering terms when something does not perform as expected or desired.  Bending is typically not expected or desired.  Ford Pintos blowing up?  Yes.  Phones bending from normal use?  Not so much.

See here for more info and pictures of bent iPhones.

Getting Comfortable With Your Chaos Monkey

UncategorizedChad Eaves

A reminder regarding chaos monkeys.  They never go away.   It would be erroneous to believe he can be eliminated. He might be watching you from afar, waiting for you to slip up or some other mishap to occur.   But he is always there.

You could even think of him as your arch rival.  Everyone one benefits from competition.

As you read the posts keep in mind the real go is the minimize chaos in your work (and life).   It never goes away.

Everyone needs to learn how to live with their chaos monkey.  He ensures that perfect does not exist.  He also keeps you on your toes.  Accept there will be some level of chaos in your life.  It will make things easier.

After all, your chaos monkey is not going anywhere.



A Word On Complexity

Best Practices, Problem Solving, Project ManagementChad Eaves

Complexity is one of the chaos monkey's favorite things.  With increased complexity comes opportunities for your day to be ruined.  Before beginning work on something, stop (Hammer time)! Ok, it's not hammer time but it is time to plan against complexity.  It's time to make something simpler. Far too often, people get work and they just dive into it without thinking AT ALL !

There is a school of thought (using the term school here is really generous) that if a person thinks about what needs to be done he/she is:

  • Goofing off
  • Thinking about goofing off
  • Preparing to think about goofing off

This is another reason I detest cubicles, but I digress.

It has become more important to appear to be working while actually goofing off on a computer.  Like too many other things in life, people value style of substance.  This is a value largely held by a segment of the population that are called ... well, let's not offend a majority of the country (which of course you are not it).

When people get work to do it is far too common to think work must begin immediately!  Which is true, sort of.  My proposal to you are these six simple steps.

  1. Write down the problem.  It might be one sentence, a paragraph, or even more.  Doing this will help you understand the problem.  Moving forward on a task without understanding it is practically guaranteeing failure.  Hoping to be lucky with a good outcome is not a strategy for success.
  2. On a blank piece of paper (or on a computer if that works for you) write the primary goal of your work.  Then begin breaking it down into smaller blocks of work (or tasks).  Keep doing this until they become tasks that you feel you can complete.  If you still feel intimated or overwhelmed by the work, keep breaking down the tasks.  Keep in mind at some point you have to actually do the work.  While planning is essential for success, it itself is not achieving your goal.
  3. Review your resources.  Make sure you have what you need to get your tasks done.  These resources typically fall into the categories of people, things, money, and time.
  4. Acquire the needed resources.  In an ideal world, you would get everything you need to achieve your goal.  And it could happen.  As your control over getting these resources diminishes, so does your likelihood of getting everything you need.  Do the best getting your resources.
  5. Go/No-Go time.  Can you achieve your goal with the resources you have at hand?  If so, move on to step six!  If not, do your best to raise a flag.  If you work in an organization that appears to doom you to failure you have four options.  Print out your resume, try to avoid blame (unless you are at the top of the food chain or dating someone that is, good luck at that), slide off the project before anyone notices how much it stinks, or enjoy the ride down Dr. Strangelove style (but you won't be alone - chaos monkey will share the ride until he jumps off right before the end).
  6. Execute.  Get the work done.  If it is a long-term project, consider reviewing and editing these steps as appropriate.  For projects over a year, doing this once a quarter should suffice.  For shorter projects, use your best judgements - don't get stuck in perpetual planning mode.

These steps will help make a task/work more simple.  This is also a great group activity, though doing it alone is better than not doing it at all.  Note that work may not become simple as in easy, but it will become less complex.  With increased simplicity the less likely a chaos monkey will show up and ruin your project and probably your job security.

Use these steps as a framework.  There are obviously many steps with the execution step (developing/building, testing, marketing, etc.), but it's a good start.