Money loves speed. – Joe Vitale, author and self-help speaker
In order to make money, you need to take action.
And if you really want to get serious about your business, if you really want to make more money this year, if you really want to lose weight or find love or become famous… then you need to make the commitment toward doing something about it and then, do it.
As I’ve often said, “Imperfect action beats perfect inaction any day of the week.”
What I mean is that if you’re trying too hard to be perfect and never take action, you’ll lose.
This type of approach toward life is tough for perfectionists. Perfectionists have a habit of over-analyzing everything. They create dozens of “what-ifs” in their head as they try to perfectly find the one perfect method that will give them their perfect result.
Perfection is overrated.
Every successful entrepreneur I know and every successful business leader I’ve read about have one thing in common: they didn’t wait until everything was “perfect” before they shipped.
That means that although there were some unknowns to their idea or business plan, they didn’t wait around to figure everything out. They took action. They pulled the lever.
If I had decided last year to not update this blog on a regular basis without a six-month editorial calendar, I never would have done it. Seriously. My life is very busy and although I do create business strategies, I realized that for this blog, my ideas for the posts would come organically.
I read an incredible amount of information on a daily basis. Many of my ideas for this blog come from reading something I found interesting and thought could be helpful for you, my reader.
In this case, it would be difficult if not impossible to map out specific topics for six months. So I didn’t and I still don’t.
So what happened as a result of taking action on updating this blog on a regular basis?
More people signed up to receive my newsletter. And a few new clients came my way.
Dan Kennedy, in his book, “No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy,” says this (italics mine):
You’ve undoubtedly seen, in many movies, the guns with body-heat-seeking technology that make the person trying to hide appear in neon red or green, as he moves in the dark jungle, generating body heat. You’ve heard of heat-seeking missiles. There’s a similar effect with action and wealth. Wealth seeks movement.
Over the years, I’ve found that just about everybody has at least one really good idea, skill, or talent that could translate to prosperity and success.
I once briefly dated a divorced mother with three young kids, working in a low-wage factory job, barely staying one day ahead of bills. I discovered she occasionally found time to paint— and my jaw dropped when I saw the paintings. I own racehorses, and there are several artists who have become famous in the racing industry as horse portrait artists. People routinely pay them thousands of dollars to paint portraits of their horses. Several sell their original paintings for tens of thousands of dollars. This woman’s work was as good or better than any of those established and successful artists.
As a marketing pro, without breaking a sweat, I was able to lay out a plan for her to enter this world, first locally, then nationally, and easily, quickly, make more money in a month than she was currently making all year— and achieve her stated number-one goal in life: to be a stay-at-home mom, there for her kids. Giving such free advice is almost always futile, as it was here. In fact, she had already thought of many of the things I suggested. But had never acted on those thoughts. And never will.
The world is full of people with good ideas. But those who succeed are the ones who act upon those ideas. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more talented or smarter. It just means they took action when the vast majority of people don’t.
How can you make sure you don’t miss out on your own success?
Learn to love sketches and whiteboards
I recently installed a white board right behind my desk. I had a smaller one that really wasn’t worth much and rarely used it. But as soon as I hung the 36” x 21” board on my wall, I immediately started to fill it with ideas. Having those ideas so visible reminded me that I needed to do something about them.
Some people sketch their ideas on the back of paper napkins or they have a special notebook for such things. I also have several notebooks filled with ideas. I keep my main notebook on my desk and have another notebook I carry with me wherever I go (you never know when inspiration will hit).
When you have an idea, you need to store it somewhere. So whether it’s a white board or a notebook, make sure you jot down the idea so you don’t lose it.
Act upon your idea within one day
Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. And it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking.
Just do something. The whole point of taking action within a day is that you’re setting things in motion.
If you have the idea to write an eBook on a particular topic, then create a mind map within a day that sketches out possible chapters for the book. Mind maps are great for creating an outline. For many people, it is less intimidating to fill out a mind map than it is to create an outline. Mind map software (I use XMind) will then take the map itself and translate it into an outline after you’re done. Brilliant!
If you want to market yourself, make a decision to do one thing each day. It could be to send an email to someone, participate in an online discussion, make a phone call, save an interesting article you’ve read online and send it to someone—it could be a lot of different things but the point is, you’re staying active. You’re reaching out to your contacts or making yourself known. The more you do this, the more business you’ll attract.
Just ship it
Marketing expert Seth Godin is a big believer in shipping. Even if you’re dealing with a service, there comes a time when you have to let go and deliver what you said you would deliver.
This is after all the work, all the tinkering, all the revisions.
There comes that moment when you just have to hit “send.”
I know how challenging it can be. Believe me. I’ve written thousands of sentences and many of them could have been written better. There is always room for improvement.
But if I had waited until I deemed something “perfect,” I never would have shipped it.
One of the most important aspects of having an email list is creating the email (or newsletter) and then hitting “send.” Getting to that point is hard work. But hitting that button to let it go is perhaps harder. It’s when all the doubts you have about what you’re doing will come at you like a pack of wild dogs.
Don’t be distracted, dissuaded, or diverted.
Just hit send.
During your lunch break, watch this video. Seth Godin explains what happens when we face the question of shipping. It’s good stuff.
And remember: this week take action. Especially if it’s for an idea that you’ve had for a very long time but never did anything about it.
Quiet your lizard brain and go set the world on fire.