Stop Thinking, Start Doing!


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
– Abraham Lincoln


Wise words about the importance or planning and preparation. Especially if you’re dealing with sharp tools and falling debris.

But equally important to note is that Honest Abe wasn’t just thinking about sharpening the axe.  Or meticulously considering the numerous potential methods of axe-sharpening.  The details are important, but they also drag us down.

Stop Thinking!

Well, no, not really.  Don’t stop thinking.  That would be bad.  But stop spending so much time doing nothing but thinking.  Or planning.  Or re-planning.  This is something I constantly struggle with, knowing how to walk the line between “good” and “good enough”.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the threads of every tiny little decision, that your desire for perfection instead serves as an obstacle to achieving your goals.  A paradox of striving for excellence that cripples your movement.  The more effort you sink into it, the further behind you are.

Have you been planning to launch a new business, just as soon as you have your web site ready to launch?  But you can’t launch your web site until you have that email form working smoothly.  And you can’t get that email form working until you choose the right email marketing service.  And you can’t choose the right email marketing service until you have time to conduct more research.  On and on it goes.

Start Doing!

If that resembles any of the paths that you’ve travelled, then it’s time to take a step to the side, stop, and act.  Put yourself out there. Make mistakes.  Fix them.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Using the example above, the answers are simple.  Choose Mailchimp.  Launch a landing page.  Work out the rest later.  Don’t like Mailchimp?  Try something else next month.  Almost every software service these days has some sort of trial period.  So try it!  Don’t sign up for it, look at it and imagine what it would be like to use it.  Sign up, implement, go.  Didn’t work out like you planned?  Change it.  Worried about making a mistake in full view of your customers?  Aside from mistakes in billing or payment (which should of course be avoided at all time), don’t be afraid to take some risks.  Let your customers know you’re working on improvements and value their feedback.  Ready (or not).  Set.  Go!

Action moves you forward; thinking about action leaves you exactly where you are



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