Tips for Success: Tip #5 Seize the Day & Take Decisive Action!
My fifth tip for success: Taking Decisive Action covers Where to Start, Baby Steps to Success, Analysis Paralysis, why you should Seize the Day and how to Keep Fresh. I am going to show you how using these theories will help you achieve some of those seemingly impossible goals.
“Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve.”
~ Tehyi Hsieh
Where do you start?
No matter how big your goal is, or what you want to do, ask any successful person and you will find they will agree that the best place to start is at the beginning! Jokes aside, taking the first steps is really what differentiates people who achieve big goals and people who don’t. Your thoughts and dreams only become plans and goals when you take action in achieving them. Define your goal with a “What by When” and then share it the people closest to you. For example, in February 2006 I had a goal to hold a concert with 5 bands in May 2006 to promote racial harmony.
“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Should I do it this way or that? Have I got the right tools? Am I doing the right thing? Do I know enough to pull this off? Am I the right person? Where do I start? If you find that indecision and uncertainty is getting in the way of taking action on achieving your goals you are probably suffering from analysis paralysis.
Analysis paralysis stops you taking action and is a reaction to your fear of: failure, success, looking bad, being inadequate, being unprepared, being unpopular, making the wrong choice, not getting what you want and not knowing what to do. None of this is rocket science because most people have similar fears. The thing to note however is that, the difference between people who are successful in their endeavours and everyone else is that successful people take the next action despite their fear. As Susan Jeffers so aptly coins it; they “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”.
With my music concert I had no idea how to do it, very little time spare time in which to organise it and no finances in which to set it up…. It was not an industry that I knew anything about and I didn’t know who could help me.
This for some people would be enough reasons why not to start, but I was passionate about seeing it work and I took action because I wanted to see the goal fulfilled. So, I started to speak to everyone I knew about the plan for the festival, including complete strangers at the pub. One night I met Alex and Gordon at a gig, I told them about the project and they said “how do I join?!” Suddenly I had a team and we set to work on figuring the rest out.
Baby Steps to Success
Consider this… What separates where you are right now and where you want to be, is a series of actions. Every goal you have is achievable by fulfilling all of the actions necessary to have the goal realised.
Sometimes however the actions are not clear straight away, and in these instances all you can do is take the actions you know to take. With the music festival I knew I needed a venue, bands and people. But that was about the extent of my thinking in the beginning, what happened then was that every conversation I had with people expanded the idea and opportunities further. For example: I rang my local radio station, explained what I was planning to the station manager and asked his advice on how to approach radio stations to help with marketing. He responded that he would love to be involved and would broadcast live coverage of the event. I contacted the venue that I wanted to use for the festival, and told them of my plan for 5 bands, and they offered to help with 4 stages and a budget for 20 bands. My concert had turned into a festival in 2 phone calls!
What this made me realise was that every action created opportunities far greater and more interesting than my original goal was! But I would never have known that if I had not taken action and called the people who I wanted to involve.
Within 6 weeks of unstoppable action taking I had sponsors for a venue, 20 bands, staging and marketing, a core team of 7 people, partnership from the local radio station, a compilation album underway and a feeling that anything is possible if you are really take action on achieving your goals. I started to toy with the idea that perhaps 1500 people would come to the festival and this was an exciting prospect!
Seize the day
For the first time in my life, I was genuinely acting on every one of “should do’s” that were on my list and the experience was magic. I was completely open to creating something huge and I was unstoppable in finding what we needed to make it work. It’s an incredible way to spend life, and generates an enormous amount of positive energy.
I had chosen to seize the day and take action on something massive despite every logical reason why it was impossible and July 30th 2006 was the day I had been preparing for.
I arrived to the team nervously setting up and wandering around, after double checking everything and briefing the volunteers, we all waited. The empty venue suddenly seemed so massive, but it was too late to go back, or to do anything differently.
But our hard work had paid off… It was the day of all days! The bands played their hearts out, the people danced and sang and shared the love, the venue was over the moon with their biggest day ever and by the time the last band on the last stage finished and the calls for encores subsided it was counted over 8000 people through the doors.
This whole process gave me first hand experience that anything is possible if you really go for it and as a result I resigned from my job to pursue my passions. It is funny to look back on this and notice that I was probably running nearly entirely in the mindset that anything was possible and for this reason it was. It was all fresh because I had no idea how to make it work, so I was at the mercy of taking every action I knew to take to turn out the event.
I notice that if I don’t keep fresh and take these types of actions all of the time, I will fall back into mindsets of what is logical and “possible” and the results of those actions are more logical and realistic… BORING! To combat this I am constantly searching for new challenges that require me to Keep Fresh the notion that anything is possible if you take the actions needed to achieve it.
So get moving!
“The great end of life is not knowledge but action.”
~ Thomas H. Huxley
If you have been reading this and a little voice has said “maybe you should start doing something about that thing that you want to do/have/be” then now is the time! If the only thing standing between you and your goals is the actions you need to take, then you better get moving. There is really no time like the present and if there is something you really want to achieve you will never find a better time to start.
Take the first action towards your new goal and tell me what you would like to achieve and what actions you will take on the path to achieving it! Go wild!
Business Coach – Serena Star-Leonard – Star Coaching
I have always had a healthy belief that if you really want to do what you love for a living you can find a way to make it work for you (and done right make it work really well for you!). My coaching practice is designed to guide people who understand that there is something more to life than working 9-5 and who are driven to do something about it.
Recently I noticed that many people were trying to use the internet to create alternate sources of income but made the same costly mistakes time and time again. So much so that I partnered up and created Grassroots Internet Strategy, a small business resource that helps people understand what they really need to know and plan for.
If you have a burning desire to either start or expand I would love to hear from you…