Have you ever trained or practiced something with a goal in mind, such as improving your time on your daily run, memorizing your lines for your role at the local theater, or something similar? When you do, you have to make time to work up to your goal. With no preparation, you may finish the race, but it won’t be fast and you likely will feel it in your body for quite some time. If you don’t practice those lines and really get them down, the opening night will be uncomfortable, at best. These are examples of why preparation matters.

Similarly, why wouldn’t you prepare for any important event or conversation, such as a meeting with a supervisor regarding performance, salary or bonus issues, a job interview, an important conversation with a child, co-worker, spouse, etc. If it’s important to you, it’s worth your time, and not preparing hurts your chance to achieve whatever you define as success for the event or situation.

It helps if you know what you want to accomplish in a given situation. If it’s an important conversation, knowing the message you want to communicate will increase your chances of making sure you and your position(s) are understood and you will be able to give it your best shot. Preparation will put you in a better place to communicate clearly and effectively, which can help you achieve goals or desired results. Being prepared also will bolster your reputation and what others who deal with you think about you, which is important because reputation is everything.

So prepare for those important events, meetings or conversations, and see where it gets you. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Don’t be that person!