Select Page

The Heroik Hour Podcast #205 – Overestimating Capacity & Underestimating Effort Required

The Heroik Hour Podcast – Episode 205

Avoid The Fatal 1-2 Capacity and Effort Error Combo

On This Episode-

How to Slip, Dip and Dodge The Fatal 1-2 Punch That Every Business Owner Must Learn to Overcome – Big time errors when calculating work capacity and the effort required to get things done.

The Problem: One of the most common problems that I see in clients in my consulting practice, in fact probably the NUMBER 1 problem is the nasty habit of overestimating the capacity for work,  and underestimating the effort required to get projects across the finish line.

Work capacity– all the time, energy, attention and resources you can commit to a project

Effort Required – the resources ACTUALLY required to complete a project with consistent, and desired quality.

There are 2 gaps that create an exponential errors

  • There’s a gap between what you think you can do, and what you can realistically do – your ego inflates your work capacity here.
  • There’s also a gap between what you think the scope of the project is – and what is actually required. Again, your ego might be making molehills out of mountains to inflate your confidence in delivering on the job.

So what happens when you combine these 2, and screw up all your estimates?

-Plans are off by miles

-Which mean your schedule is useless

-Other projects and plans are thrown off and deemed useless.

-Someone will be unhappy with the result – might be you, your team, your clients and customers, someone somewhere in the chain will get the short end of the stick.

– The quality of your work suffers – in fact you might focus on doing a good job on one project, and tanking the quality of work on all your other projects

– Things escalate and snow ball quickly, customers complain, good team members leave, people lose faith in your leadership, you start getting bad reviews, and ultimately this can drive you out of business.



How the heck do you convince yourself to trust such bad calculations in the first place –


Here they are:

1.The belief in unlimited capacity – That you can do it all, have it all, be it all, all at once, at any time you want to.

This pisses me off – people seem to confuse abundant living with balance and entitlement to everything all at once – that you can be a brain surgeon, astronaut, run a non profit, all while being a great parent. THIS IS A LIE AND A FANTASY YOU ARE USING TO COPE WITH THE LIES YOU ARE TELLING YOURSELF. DON’T BELIEVE FALSE ABUNDANCE FANTASY – ELSE YOU ARE DOOMED TO BE DISAPPOINTED.

Trade offs are real. They are the spice of life -trade offs are why the decisions we make are so important. People who dismiss trade-offs and claim they can have it all / do it all/ all at once – probably have a lot of credit card debt, neglected loved ones, and a garage full of things they barely touch – trying to “have it all” – SPOILER ALERT – THE HAVE IT ALL VERSION OF ABUNDANCE IS JUST A PLOY TO CONVINCE YOU TO BUY MORE CRAP BY CONVINCING YOU THAT YOU CAN FIT MORE CRAP INTO YOUR LIFE.

And when it doesn’t work – they sell you things of how to balance your lifestyle – That’s an issue. It’s all based on the same lie. Trade-offs exist – you have limited capacity and resources and time. Cherish it and prioritize it appropriately so you can enjoy it more.

2. Easy Buttons Exist –

Seriously, when is the last time a solution marketed as the EASY button worked in your business. Guess what – business in the information age is complex. If you want to grow and thrive as time marches on, you’ll need to learn how to be sophisticated and discerning. There’s no way around the issue. If you’re delegating all the important strategic work in your business YOU ARE JUST A PROSUMER – A PROFESSIONAL CONSUMER – NOT EVEN REALLY A BUSINESS OWNER, JUST A SHOPPER WITH A BUSINESS RATIONALE AND EXCUSE FOR SWIPING THE CREDIT CARD.

In the Heroik work, we do not promise easy buttons, we’re all about the deep dives and DTFW – DOING THE FORMIDABLE WORK – To build the world-class business empire that you want. It’s not cheap and it’s not for everybody. But we don’t claim to be either – we only want to work with winners and established owners who want to dominate their market. We don’t speak small. And we don’t aim for mediocre results – which is yet another different problem that owners need to address but different topic for a different day.

3. There is ONE thing, Only this ONE thing that holds you back…and when you address it, your problems will disappear.

This is yet another lie most owners accept right off the bat – why ? It oversimplifies the problem – it creates a mystical fantasy scenario where you are but one problem away from making all your dreams come true. This is utter BS. I can tell you – when we dig down, and get under the hood, you may be 1 problem away from realizing what the root issue causing a crapshoot of other problems in your business. You can unlock that – but you’ll still have to address all of those issues, starting with the root, and moving forward. IT IS FORMIDABLE HARD WORK – And that’s what we’re all about – getting you – the owner, mission ready to DTFW – Do The Formidable Work.

Alright so these 3 lies –

  • The belief in unlimited capacity in the first place / the idea that you don’t have to make trade offs
  • The belief that easy buttons exist
  • And that there is only one problem holding you back from greatness.

These lies lead you to really screwing up your thinking in business and life. All of them exist to get you to buy more crap that doesn’t address any root issue.

But how do you know if you’re already struggling with these now? What are the symptoms?

Here are 7

  1. If every project is a sprint – then you have a problem.

Either you’re not really sprinting, or the time crunches you think “just happen” cause you to reactively sprint. There is no time crunch ferry – you are not estimating the scope of work or your capacity to deliver correctly. That’s usually the crux of it.

  1. You experience frequent burnout and overwork with yourself and your team.

DON’T BUY THE HYPE OF HUSTLE PORN. If you attack a problem or a wall with just brute force, 10X, massive effort, that’s fine if the wall is made out of styrofoam but if its made out of brick, you’re going to get hurt. Unrefined massive action is unsustainable and leads to burnout and overwork. THE MOW BLOW AND GO GURUS who promote this strategy and the cameras that follow them have already taken your money and left town long before you find this out the hard way.

  1. You are constantly shopping for easy button solutions, systems, workshops, conferences, and other flavors of funnels and hustle porn, that you never fully or correctly implement – but keep cycling through.

Congratulations you are a consumer, not a strategic business owner. There is no quick fix or kool-aid there is the hard work that needs to be properly assessed, measured and executed. DTFW – Do the Formidable Work

  1. You’re constantly generating tons of ideas with no anchors in reality- that you pass on as projects with – no earthly idea of time frame and no required resources attached to them. These are fantasies on top of fantasies assigned to teams with unrealistic expectations, and completely set up and poised for failure.
  1. The team is flooded with projects based on unrealistic expectations. Good people don’t stick around for bad managers. When they do, they cut back their effort to fit the quality of leadership managing things. Good people become mediocre when mismanaged. You can get mad, tune out and blame others as a leader. Or you can tune in, take ownership and make the choice to improve. It starts here.
  1. You constantly scapegoat “planning” and “meetings” as a waste of time. Hearing an employee, manager, owner or leader claim that meetings or planning sessions are the problem is like nails on a chalkboard to me. This sounds like the same excuse a kid would make for bad grades by blaming it on his pencil. It’s not my fault I got bad grades, it’s this stupid pencil. Pencils don’t cause bad grades. Meetings and plans don’t cause poor execution. Poor leaders do. Time to step up your game, dig in and DTFW – Do the Formidable Work. Stop HIDING.
  2. Blaming everyone else but the person most accountable – There is a difference between blame and accountability. Blame in these terms is about assigning responsibility after the fact. Good leadership ensures that for each project, a plan spells out what each person is to do and who will be held accountable for what. This isn’t just about crime and punishment – this is about problem solving and optimizing the effort. If you’re instructions and projects are poorly defined and vague, you are accountable first and foremost. Your team is not a bunch of mind readers. And the amount of time I see with owners issuing false blame and punishment is insane. It cripples the business and chases out good, hard-working people.

In my consulting practice, we work on growth engines with our clients, and it is a collaborative effort full of work that owners cannot dodge. We put agreements in place to ensure that the appropriate party is held accountable when the ball is dropped. If we’re waiting on a client to do the work, and we send several reminders, we keep records. We know what is holding up the project and keep it clear. Then we look for ways to course correct and move on – or not.

These 7 symptoms are all expressions of a common root problem that owners routinely face but no one talks about because addressing it requires facing the formidable work. It is the habit of owners, leaders and managers, to overestimate their work capacity at the foundation of work, and simultaneously underestimate the effort and resources required to achieve the goal.

If you fast-forward things 5 years, and look at operations struggling with these issues there are some grim realities you need to understand:

  1. Many businesses will be out of business or for sale at a huge loss. That’s right – a little known statistic that the mow blow and go gurus won’t tell you is that 96% of businesses go under before their 10th birthday. They don’t overcome these issues among others and it kills them. Don’t let this be you.
  2. Of the 10% I’d say are still operating 5 years later, they are way behind the competition and struggling to hold on to any percentage of their market.

This is the result of the FATAL 1-2 punch of self sabotage – that most business owners will face. Things snowball quickly – as does the stress and pressure. It all piles up along with your schedule as it continues to be impacted by all the bad math and rotten estimates. But it’s not sexy if the problem is with these estimates, and it’s simple and straightforward to address. It’s not easy, but it is simple to refine your estimates and smooth out these operations but where’s the fun in that?

What’s the opposite of these problems? It’s growth.

And if you’re ready to DTFW- Do The Formidable Work to avoid or course correct these issues,  there are game changing perks to be had.

  • Your schedule isn’t swamped because you’re no longer in reactionary mode – no more constant sprints. When you sprint it’s strategic choice.
  • You know how to scope your work and budget resources appropriately, and include a white space factor on every project.
  • Your work products become consistent which allow you to optimize your efforts and improve the overall quality of the work product
  • Elevate your brand and reputation in the process
  • Increase your opportunities
  • Conduct meetings, plans and projects that actually get done and take you towards your targets
  • Decrease your stress – increase job satisfaction and retention of good team members
  • Stop operating in all the lies and start running with the truth

If this journey sounds like something you’d like to do, head on over to our website at check out our 90 Day Growth Engine BluePrint, and apply for a free business assessment to see if it’s a match for your business.

That’s all for this episode -we’ll catch you next time.

You May Also Like…

The Heroik Life Podcast #301 – Notion Mastery With Marie Poulin

The Heroik Life Podcast #301 – Notion Mastery With Marie Poulin

The Gist:

Marie Poulin is a Notion Pro, Host of Notion’s Office Hours, and creator of the Notion Mastery Course, built entirely on Notion of course. In terms of importance, Notion + Marie’s Notion Mastery Course are part of our Every Day Carry (EDC), which means mission critical for the day to day.

read more


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *