I recently returned from Korea after receiving an International Stevie Award for my 3D business Diva Works. Getting to that podium was an uphill battle and as I reflected on what it had entailed it dawned on me that taking action was the only way I made it happen. These are five reasons why.
1. No more “if’s or but’s” make a decision and act.
One of the best pieces of advice I received early in my career came from Warren Maher of Clifton Productions during a Motor Show set up. He said:
“I don’t care what decision you make, just make one. I can always go back and fix something but right now I have a crew of 20 guys ready to do the lighting and truss on your stand and the more you delay, the more the crew lose interest and I lose money!”
His words – and his points – resonated. When you have people waiting they need you to just make a decision.
2. Action trumps all, including the perfect plan.
After that eye opener, I became less concerned about making the perfect decision and more about making any decision. Action trumps everything … thoughts, dreams and motivational posters that fill your Facebook feed.
This world and those trying to make their mark in it are falling into the Ocean’s 11 trap; they’re spending all their time creating the most elaborate and intricate plan before it overwhelms them. In that cycle it’s easy to lose sight of the most important factor – taking the first step. To move forward in any aspect of your life, you need to take action.
3. Find time to take a chance.
I had been stuck in thinking it might be nice to enter the Stevie Awards, dreaming of the day I might be an award winner. But until I got busy on a flight to Los Angeles for a conference, and wrote the actual submission, I had zero chance of claiming my prize on the podium. The only reason I was able to hold my head up high next to the top companies in Australasia is because of the powerful and simple mantra: “You’ve got to be in it to win it.” I took a chance and won an award because of it.
4. Beware the dangers of dream mode.
Daydreaming can be dangerous. Before I started my business in 2000, I had thought about working for myself for 6 months. I had been trying to decide on a name, working out what colour the logo would be and generally thinking about how wonderful my days would be with my feet up on the desk, reading Rolling Stones magazine. Until I handed in my notice, gave myself a $5K loan and hit up a client I had some rapport with, my plan was stuck in dream mode only. Passionate people know what makes them special and how they can make an impact but daydreaming about taking action is no action at all. Becoming lost in daydreams is like a quicksand of warm porridge, it’s so warm and nice that if you don’t get out soon it envelops you.
5. Take arm against a sea of troubles.
I can’t emphasis enough that taking repeated and consistent action is key to any success in life. It’s not easy. You will face rejection, disappointment and some of your hopes will be squashed. But the alternative is drifting through life being a passenger on a bus driven by others. I would rather drive my own bus, thanks to a glorious future that I create and am responsible for. If you’re the same it’s time to drive your own bus.
What action can you start taking?