I wish I had one dollar for every time I witnessed someone making some elaborate plan on how to achieve success. I also wish I had another dollar for every time I noticed somebody making a plan to do something. I just wish I had a dollar anytime somebody was planning more than taking action, because then I would be super rich and could have more time to write this guest blog for you loyal readers out there.
I wanted to give my take on action planning over just taking action. Recently we were going to hire a sales person in our office. We had him go through typical training by shadowing a fellow team member and I overheard their conversation one day. The potential new employee was making elaborate plans on how to prospect people, new ideas of calling and ways to plan for the most “effective” outcome. I’m not saying planning is wrong, but when planning impedes your ability to take action, we have a huge problem. To say the least, he doesn’t work at Grand Apps. (Grand Apps)
It is actually a huge pet peeve of mine when people think they need to write some huge drawn out detailed roadmap on how they will get to somewhere. Do you think the pioneers had a detailed roadmap? No. They didn’t. They had a goal and idea of where they wanted to go and took massive action. They might have planned out basics like supplies for their journey, but that’s it. Too many times people are stopped in their tracks because they keep planning and planning and after years pass they never even start. I wanted to give you some reasons why you should typically take action before planning.
Momentum is real my friends. Think about a huge snowball on top of a hill. When you start pushing, you’re creating momentum. When gravity takes over and it begins to roll, watch out! It is very, very hard to stop this huge snowball hurling towards the bottom due to a huge momentum that built up from your small starting efforts.
The same rule applies in the business world, or what I like to say the Hustle World. When you get some great idea about starting a business, you start to get a sense of momentum. Some little thing in your brain is pushing you down the hill saying “start it or you can do it”. But before your idea falls down the hill with huge momentum you stop it by “planning”. You sit there and think of every single thing that could happen or might happen. To be honest, who cares? You are literally stopping the idea snowball from falling down the hill by planning for weeks, for months, for years.
When people keep doing this planning they lose all momentum and their idea is dead in it’s tracks. The snowball never falls and you’re left unsuccessful because you never even started. Listen, I have been a part of a few startups in my early career as an entrepreneur and all I can say is that momentum of taking action is real. Soon as you stop planning (everything for months on end) and just start taking action, you’ll see WAY more success.
I also think part of the reason people plan so much is because they simply don’t have a clue where to start. When you start a business there is so much to do. You need to set up your paper work, you need to build a website, you must set up emails, don’t forget to buy a coffee machine and by the way, do you have a logo? This can get overwhelming for anyone including me.
When young entrepreneurs look at a long laundry list like this, they get fearful and never start. They think that because they don’t know where to start then they must plan some more. Let’s plan on the plan. Stop worrying about not knowing how to do something and start trying. Just take action.
What You’re Taught
Another part of the planning way too long stage is probably because some professor at some business school you attended told you that you needed some complex, one hundred page long business plan. Would you say I’m right? I know I am. I have had the same professors preach on writing a huge business plan before we start a business so we can see almost everything before it happens to ultimately help us reach success faster. I say don’t do that. I say skip that part.
What you need to do is write down a goal. Write down some basics. Write down something so basic it can fit on a few pages of paper, then execute these things. As you knock these items off your list and hit the goals, keep going. Before you know it, you will have that long business plan overtime. Just don’t get worried about doing it first. You will become paralyzed because you think that some godly figure will strike your business down before you even start if you don’t begin with the “business plan”.
How Do I Know?
I know all of this is true because I have lived this the last five years. I have helped scale a company from a basement of two people into the city’s largest company in the market with an office downtown that now has over ten employees. I did this in under three years.
I never started with a business plan. I didn’t over plan. I simply started taking action and tried to get that snowball starting to roll down the hill as fast as I possibly could. I’m not saying not to plan because that is foolish. The main takeaway message here is to not let planning stop you from taking action. I would rather see someone NOT plan and take action then plan and NOT take action. Action will win over all.
If you have questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.