Better RFP Responses & Management
The Last Minute

The Last Minute

Date certain

That was the title on Seth’s blog today. Even nose deep (and sinking) as I am in my last last proposal — or maybe exactly because of that — the title catches my eye. Is he talking about what I think he’s talking about?

This is very different from “someday.”
Choose any date you like, as far in the future as you like.
But a date, circled on the calendar.

Yup, it sure ’nuff looks like it. A hard, drop-dead, date-certain deadline.

By that date, what will you have implemented?
What will be in place?
Where will you be, what will you be doing?

Well, in Proposal Land, by that pesky date we will have implemented a proposal.

A small miracle (*Can* miracles be small?) of creativity, teamwork, sticktoitiveness, and plain willingness to work too hard will be in place.

And we’ll be at the finish line, doing exhausted, giddy, relieved, too tired to be proud, really, and justalittlesaditwasn’tasgoodonpaperasitwasinourheads (pretty sure that should be a word) (and pretty sure it is, in German).

Date certain.
Way more powerful than someday.

Well, he’s right, comme d’habitude. And it’s true: assigning a date to an activity is *way* more powerful than not. That’s why no customer ever released an RFP that said this: “I tell you what. You know what we want. You know what you have done and what you can do. Put together a little something on how those fit together in your minds, send it over, and we’ll take a look.”

If it weren’t for the last minute,
nothing would ever get done.
– Another citizen of Proposal Land

It continues to amaze me what proposal teams can get done, given those dagnabbed deadlines. So feel free to sing along with Seth, and grab a little piece of that magic for yourself in another application. Give yourself the gift of a last minute.


And if you’d like to read Seth on deadlines, check this out: How not to miss a deadline.

And this interesting companion piece on how to handle it you do: How to miss a deadline.

The applications to Proposal Land are obvious.


  1. Carla

    Oftentimes holiday departures are my last minute. Besides proposals and holidays, I’m certainly working on giving myself that gift.
    Now, back to my current last minute.

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