Some of those working in the tech space might have run into a commercial that hit television around a decade or so ago. It was by IBM and its catchline was: ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’.
A simple but interesting message: When it comes to business what truly matters is the ability to get down it and make things happen. Here. Not tomorrow. Not whenever. Not when things seem or feel right.
Now the subject of ‘Stop talking, Start doing’ with respect to IBM was naturally engaged in an organizational context. One that concerns the development of business ideas, the management of teams to organize the human capital, and directing their actions towards some productive end.
However the underlying point on the importance of taking action, and to minimize downtime or wasted time with respect to company resources; and effectively reducing wastage in terms of time, and ultimately productivity.
However the importance of not having people sitting (or sleeping) around “ideating”: that is to appear to do something that appears productive when in fact it is not, also applies to your life.
Whether you are a budding entrepreneur, a young student trying to make his way through college or high school, or heck even a guy who thinks he has the knowledge and experience to succeed in this field but wishes to go further, there is also something new, something different you need to have.
An extra bit of insight that can add value to efforts in small but meaningful ways. One that is critically tied to effort and application.
But what does the notion of ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’ actually mean? Well, to put it in more concrete terms: it pertains to the idea of taking informed decisions at the right time, at the place to aid your ventures in a productive way.
But how does this work out in practice? Well, we are going to find out. In this post, we will engage this and other key points that grounds the concept of ‘doing’ or taking meaningful action within an actionable framework to produce the outcomes that add value to your life.
Talk and Time
We have all run into him at some point.
It could be the guy on the school project, a team member for a college assignment, a fellow researcher at a lab or research unit.
He is the guy (or gal) who has a lot to say, a lot of ideas to share, the one with no shortage of input on any given matters, including those that are in your area of expertise. He is the person who in essence has a lot to say (i.e. talk) but when it comes down to it, has little or very little to offer.
That is the person who despite selling a big game when it comes to the task of actually delivering on his claims or worse promises, things usually turn out to be a letdown.
Now when it comes to working effectively in teams, to reach goals whose outcome rests on the collective efforts of all team members, with deadlines that come with real rewards for meeting them or consequences for failing, such characters can prove to be a real nuisance or worse.
So it is imperative that you identify these types of people early and make your preparations accordingly.
However, the challenge emerges when this problem of ‘all talk no action’ which is pretty much the same as IBM's talking point, is when happens to the best of us.
The fact of life is that NONE of us are immune to the dangers of ‘all talk and no action’. And it is a problem that manifests itself in two main ways. Let’s break each one down at a time.
Lying To Yourself
Let’s start with the most serious manifestation of this problem.
You see all of us from time to time wish we were something else. The idea of daydreaming is not exactly a problem in itself. In many ways, it is a condition that affects almost everyone. The question is to what extent.
When it comes to you specifically: as a working man, a would-be entrepreneur, or even a person who is training to go professional in a sport or technical field, there is always the urge to think big. To wish or even dream of how things could be. Even before things have actually started to happen!
And here we are only talking about the starting line.
The desire to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is doing the things that you would or want to be doing in the near future is a powerful urge. And interestingly it is not necessarily a bad one.
Dreaming is a part of living. If you don’t have dreams, you are likely to not have ambition. And without ambition little significance is achievable in life.
We have all met the person who is happy to settle for a “normal life”. The bloke who believes that doing just enough, and being able to live peacefully is a reward in itself. The person who is not concerned about sticking to the 9 – 5 cubical.
To be clear there isn’t anything intrinsically wrong with the idea of settling.
That is to lead a decent, but albeit uneventful life. Heck, if you think about it, society actually does need a lot of these people: from the local bureaucrat to the humble pencil pusher.
For these workers, despite their apparent lack of ambition, are actually doing something of value. They are contributing to society in some way. Which is a far cry from the deadbeats who sit around doing nothing and expect things to be given to them.
However, the point remains, and this is especially true for those who have been following our work, and for those who are already part of our community: A group of men and women who are working to build themselves in their minds, bodies, and careers. The kind of person who simply doesn’t settle for less.
Life is a story about learning and working towards bigger and greater things. And in the pathway towards doing so, a critical component is an ability to not dream per se, but have the capacity to think and act in a goal-oriented way.
And how you as a person come to align your thoughts about yourself, and the future in a way that is rational, goal-directed, and upward moving, in a way that never gives up is the Bulldog Mindset.
The subject of goal-oriented thinking, built on an informational feedback loop, combined with positive self-image has been the focus of top books like Psycho-Cybernetics. And the principles outlined in them, notably those which help push us towards higher things in the face of obstacles remain.
However, the trouble emerges when a gulf emerges between thought and action. When the time spent planning new scenarios and envisioning great outcomes, positive self-talk is not matched by concrete action.
With action that is aligned with your thoughts. Which in turn are aligned with your goals, followed by objectives and plans. In other words, what you think needs to be grounded in reality. And that reality needs to be moving in a certain (forward) direction.
Look at it this way. There is no point in a guy who is vertically challenged dreaming of becoming an NBA player. Whilst it is good to dream. It is more important to be realistic.
But being realistic does not mean having any aspirations. Just make sure that they are reachable within the limits of your abilities and power.
When ‘Talk’ becomes ‘Action’
To be clear there will always be time for talk. And that is a good thing.
Talk: the productive kind, either with oneself or with others who share the same or similar goals is an important part of living.
We, humans, are a talking species. It is one of the most interesting things that separates us from other animals. And talking is something we do.
In a way, we have to talk. Even people who cannot do it. Within themselves and by finding ways to engage with the wider world.
The great physicist Stephen Hawkins who was afflicted by a serious disease that affected his ability to communicate at a young age continued to produce great work throughout his life. And he did this by ‘talking’. Or talking in his own special way.
The problem when it comes to talking and action is not what you say, but why you say it, and for what reason.
Talking is a way of not only communicating ideas but also a way of generating them. Think of a time when you and your colleagues, whether it was a business meeting, or an informal coffee time chat when just threw around subjects that came to mind.
The topics that came up were not necessarily interesting, and most of them were just blabber. But in the course of these discussions: where some guy will say something interesting, another something stupid, some other guy something that sounds rather pointless, or something good. But given enough time, and provided there is some degree of oversight, good things will emerge.
Not only in terms of new ideas that could be generated, but the time it provides to build connections that otherwise may not have resulted.
To build that comradery and fighting spirit (when speaking of competitors, and missed opportunities of the past) and to develop a sense of oneness that is so critical to succeeding as a company, and also as a person.
Trouble starts when all of this positive energy, generated by new ideas, a new sense of trust and belief is not backed up by anything concrete.
Now the difference here, as opposed to the previous problem of being intellectually disingenuous, is the lack of concrete plans. Or if you dislike the word planning (as some do) then the need for a solid framework from which meaningful action toward desired outcomes can be taken.
One where thoughts can take shape, and be developed into workable goals that are achievable. This is needed at an individual and at organizational level. There is no working past this. But often it is.
As all these good talks turn out to be mere platitudes or arguments which lull a person into a sense of security that good things are happening or will happen. But they won't. Period!
Essentially, the problem with talk ‘becoming’ or being a substitute for action is that despite all the effort and time that is expended to solve a problem mentally; to come up with a new business idea, or ways of overcoming an obstacle in your personal or professional life, there is no actual game plan.
The danger of getting lost in a world of ideas and concepts, with no ground game on how to get these off the ground is a major hurdle. One that must be avoided. A task that is easier said than done.
The Answer: Becoming a Man of Action
You have heard this before, but it won’t hurt to hear it again: In life, there is no substitute for action.
You and I can sit (or walk) and think and come up with 100 new ideas. Some of them could be the best in the world. Which could transform industries, and provide novel solutions to the most pressing societal problems.
But with no plan of action, one that enables us to follow them up to the point of execution, and then to keep at it for a meaningful amount of time, where the relationship between input and outcome can be measured, it will all be for nothing. NOTHING.
And you know what, that is exactly what is happening in the world today. Too many damn people, with too many ideas, a lot of them good, some even exceptional. But very little to show in terms of implementation.
This (action) is the hard part. As the entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk (Vee) observed: Ideas are worthless without execution; execution is pointless without the ideas'.
The hard part is always action. The one that requires effort, time management, resources, financial acumen, and the will to keep persisting in the face of trial. This part does not come easy. It doesn’t. And that is the reason why a lot of people, not only give up early in the game but simply don’t try.
Do you want to be that person who not only tries but comes closer to actually achieving your goals in life? For there is a way to do it. And to do it right.
Before we get to the final part of this post, If you are a person who is serious about cutting out the nonsense from your life and getting a move on. A person who wants to turn thoughts into action, someone who wants to work towards ends that produce tangible outcomes, against which you can measure your performance and eventually success. Then we may have something for you.
You see the task of taking action, that of actually getting down to it, whilst seemingly straightforward is not easy. For many, it may seem like walking a path of dread.
Make that initial step: whether it is in your career: like starting a new job, building your first business, trying to make your existing business profitable, to develop a key skill that you can utilize in securing a high-paying job.
Whatever your goal in life is, provided of course it has a growth trajectory (No time for losers), then one way to kick start your journey, or get things going into overdrive is to make an investment.
For rather than just spinning your wheel reading and reading content on how to get your life going. The time to get started is now. And you do this by making a serious step. Not a risky one. But a meaningful one.
A different kind of investment: Not one that requires thousands of dollars a year, or hundreds of dollars per month. Rather what we are offering is affordable self-help, personal development, and business guidance, that includes financial expertise. A program to help you in your journey towards becoming a high performer in your chosen field.
This is an investment for yourself. Where you see the benefits of your time and money spent, pretty in much real-time (as you can cancel any time). We will leave out the details here. But it all starts here.
The Principle of Time
Nothing lasts forever. The time that you have on your hands now, as you are reading this is precious. A point which we cannot stress enough.
There is only that much you can do in a given day, month, or year. So the task of making it count starting now is critical for your growth, health, and success.
Make no mistake these things go together. To do well in your professional life, you need to do well in your personal life. The two cannot be separated. Don’t take this from me, take it from the top business schools in the world and advance the same truism.
So challenge for you is how you manage whatever time you have on your hands. And to do in a way that leaves little wastage.
Do you know how?
The wisdom of the great Steve Jobs that ‘Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life’, always holds true. However, getting to that stage where you are living your life for your sake (as long it is based on the right principles) is not going to be easy.
One way to make that process simpler is to learn from an expert who has been there and done that. To learn from a self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, life coach, and friend. Learn from John: