IF NOT UP, THEN WHAT?

UP isn’t for everyone, so here are the pros and cons of a few alternatives you could consider.

For each option we recommend you estimate your expected costs and benefits, expected value, and/or return on investment. You’re essentially comparing the amount of value you can create and capture for yourself with your current life plan (or lack thereof) versus with an UP-based life plan versus with a non-UP-based program. Use your imagination and math skills as best you can. A back-of-the-envelope estimate is likely much better than your gut (or avoiding coming up with an answer altogether). 

If you don’t regularly do this when making important life decisions, you might use this decision as a good opportunity to start practicing.

Pros: No learning curve, less financially expensive upfront, less time-consuming upfront, more privacy

Cons: Very unlikely to achieve as much success, significantly more likely to become derailed, more financially expensive over time, far more time-consuming over time, more dangerous

Summary: This makes sense if you don’t believe in UP’s design principles, you deeply dislike working with others, you are deeply resistant to making substantial improvements in your life now or you currently have no discretionary time or capital to allocate.

Note UP can be designed to limit your need to work with many people (i.e., your UP Coach could be your single point of contact for your UP Team). It will also likely help you obtain more time and capital, but it sometimes takes considerable effort to make this happen. If you are “too busy to get unbusy” then that’s usually a strong reason for doing an UP. You’re almost certainly wasting time we could plausibly help you recover. Consider a Max Mode UP in this case.

Choosing your “business as usual” option means you will very likely underperform, waste a lot of time and money, and lose out on a lot of potential value over your lifetime.

Pros: Less financially expensive upfront, more privacy

Cons: Very unlikely to achieve as much success, significantly more likely to become derailed, more financially expensive over time, far more time-consuming over time, more dangerous

Summary: This makes sense if you currently have limited discretionary capital to allocate or you deeply dislike working with others. You will hopefully make progress on your own, but it will likely be limited. Running an UP is far harder and more complicated than it seems and is usually a team effort. You’ll likely “recreate the wheel” and underperform, which means a lot of wasted time and money and missed value.

This option is analogous to an Olympic athlete “going it alone” to win gold (i.e., no coach, no teammates, no judges, no support crew, no fans, no externally-rewarded financial incentives, etc.).

Pros: Less financially expensive upfront, more privacy

Cons: Unlikely to achieve as much success, more likely to become derailed, more financially expensive over time, more time-consuming over time, more dangerous

Summary: This makes sense if you believe you won’t benefit from UP’s accumulated experience or infrastructure. Or if you are resistant to coaching or unwilling to sometimes defer to experts or data.

This option is analogous to an Olympic athlete going for gold by self-coaching, building a support team from scratch, and setting up incentive structures that you can easily change yourself (e.g., if you fail to reach a goal, you can opt to not punish yourself “just this one time”).

Through experience we have found that if you’re able to think and execute at a level to actually create an UP, then co-creating an UP with an UP Coach and using the UP infrastructure often makes sense given our comparative advantages and flexible pricing models. We’re happy to analyze this option with you.

We’re also very happy if you do an UP on your own and just keep us abreast of your results.

Pros: Potentially less financially expensive upfront, potentially less time-consuming upfront, potentially better evidence supporting positive outcomes, potential cohort effect

Cons: Unclear whether you will achieve as much success, may ignore significant life areas in need of upgrading, may have less customization

Summary: This makes sense if you don’t believe in UP’s design principles or you prefer significantly more established programs. Note UP can be designed to have a significant experiential or cohort element. And note that any existing commercial program may be subsumed into your UP. In fact, a substantial part of UP is helping you decide among the thousands of programs and tools available and incorporating the most valuable ones for you given your unique situation.

This option is analogous to a physician assessing a patient and then developing and prescribing a treatment plan. We just take it several steps further and rigorously attempt to ensure you adhere to the plan (i.e., we may hire someone to live with you and ensure you eat well and take your medications). Very few commercial programs offer this.

Because of our differences and because of our philosophy we see our approach as complementary, not competitive.

Pros: No learning curve, less financially expensive upfront, less time-consuming upfront, more privacy

Cons: Very unlikely to achieve as much success, significantly more likely to become derailed, more financially expensive over time, far more time-consuming over time, more dangerous

Summary: This option makes sense if you have a very short lifespan or don’t believe in self-development, UP-based or otherwise.