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The One Thing That Will Determine Your Success


This one is a little long and has no pictures, but it’s IMPORTANT!

If I had to choose one quality that increases a person’s chances at success more than anything else, it would be TAKING ACTION.

ACTION is THE KEY to SUCCESS. Absolutely nothing is more important than being proactive.

No amount of positive thinking, studying, reading books, attending webinars (although these things are important) will EVER substitute your taking action.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m big on self-improvement and person development.

I constantly get caught in cycles of over-learning and under-doing. You don’t actually gain any real knowledge, perspective, and insight until you actually TRY the things you learn about. Then you can begin to build an applicable understanding of the subject.

If you are serious about being successful, never let a SINGLE DAY pass without you proactively getting your message out to your target market.

Do this CONSISTENTLY, day in and day out. Consistency in taking action is the dominant reason behind success in any business or skill.

ACTION TRUMPS EVERYTHING.

While almost everybody is looking for the next magic bullet, the next shiny object…the DOERS just keep on DOING.

If you do nothing else but focus EVERY DAY on getting something done to move your business forward, you wont be able to stop your eventual success.

The ability to JUST GET THINGS DONE supersedes intelligence, talent, and connections in determining the speed of advancement in anything.

Despite the simplicity of this concept there is a perpetual shortage of people who excel at putting ideas into action RIGHT NOW.

Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect for you to take action, because they will never be. Something will always feel off, and your subconscious mind will always justify complacency. You must BEAT your subconscious into SUBMISSION.

Practice doing things rather than learning about them. Like this article…this article took me 25 minutes of thinking to even open up my laptop and begin writing. THAT IS TERRIBLE. I finally realized that I need to be WRITING SHIT rather than THINKING about doing it.

The longer an idea sits in your head without being acted upon, the weaker it becomes. After a few days, details will start to become hazy. After a week, it is forgotten completely, and will likely never be touched upon seriously again. If you would have taken action on that idea, it could have ballooned instantly, bringing you instant success, fame, riches, but you will never know now because you did not take any action. You will only have a memory of having a decent idea, rather than the ability to test, experiment, learn, and grow with that idea.

Ideas alone do not and can not bring success. Ideas are important, but they are only valuable after they have been implemented. One mediocre idea that’s been put into action is infinitely more valuable than a dozen brilliant ideas that you’re saving for “some other day” or the “right timing”. If you have an idea that you really believe in, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Unless you take action, your idea will remain WORTHLESS.

Once you are in action, implementing ideas, it is hard to stop. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, and you want to use that to your advantage. After you get the ball rolling, you’ll build confidence and things will continue to snowball and become easier and easier. Kill your fear by taking action and then build on that.

If you wait for inspiration to slap you into action, your work sessions will be few and far between. Instead of waiting, start your creative motor mechanically. If you need to write something, force yourself to sit down and write. Put pen to paper. Brainstorm. Doodle. By moving your hands you will magically stimulate the flow of ideas and begin find inspiration in yourself, where it truly exists.

Focus on what you can do in the present moment. Don’t worry about what you should have done last week or what you might be able to do tomorrow. If you speculate too much about the past or the future, you wont get anything done. Tomorrow or next week  turns into never more often than not.

Get down to business immediately. When I opened my laptop to write this article, I went around and sat on Facebook for 15 minutes, went through some emails and RSS feeds, and checked my to-do lists (as if something changed). Why did I do this? What a complete and utter WASTE of my time. I should have been writing this article to bring value to you! These distractions will cost you serious time and money if you don’t learn to bypass them and get down to business immediately! By becoming someone who gets to the point you’ll be more productive and people will look to you as their leader.

It takes real courage to take action without instructions, permissions, or support. Perhaps that is why initiative is a rare quality that’s coveted by managers and executives everywhere. Seize the initiative. When you have a good idea, start implementing it without being told to. Once people see you are serious about getting things done, they will want to join in. The people at the top don’t have anybody telling them what to do. If you want to join them, you should get used to taking MASSIVE independent action, with absolutely no support (or often, negative support).

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Great things seldom happen on their own accord.

Force yourself into accountability. Set it up so you will look like a complete and utter FOOL if you do not succeed. Tell people that you are going to do something and it will be very difficult not to do it, as you will not want them to be disappointed in you, and you will not want to see your reputation damaged.

You can’t think yourself out of procrastination.

Over-thinking is quite a nifty trick that you can play on yourself. It tricks you into believing that you are on your way to solve your problem. It keeps you protected against the perceived dangers out there in the world like failure, rejection, and embarrassment by keeping your actions, and thus your exposure and risk, to a minimum. It feeds your ego and tells you that you know more than others, that you are a clever person that has things all figured out in your brilliant mind.

You must find a way to force yourself through the artificial barriers of procrastination and over-analysis before they eat away all of your potential. Sometimes your thoughts will be babbling about something you think is important, or your emotions will somehow hold you back. There is always something that will be holding you back internally. You must find a way to break past thing and ACTUALLY MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

In most cases, what feels unbearable is suddenly fun and exciting when you begin doing it. Trust me, I did NOT want to write this article. I am currently on vacation in Italy getting ready to go on a cruise ship for the week! I wanted to sleep in, have a nice relaxing bath, maybe some food, and then head over to the port just outside of Rome – BUT I DIDNT! After 20 minutes of going back and fourth trying to convince myself I didn’t need to write that blog article, that I would do it first thing when I got on the cruise ship, that I would do it the next day, that I would think of awesome things to put into this article until I actually wrote it…I finally just told myself to shut up and whipped out my laptop and started. Now, 1,300 words in, I feel the exact opposite! I am upset that I will have to wrap this up at some point now!

You are not your thoughts, and it is very important to understand that. You are the one observing your thoughts, the thoughts themselves are merely something that moves through your mind. It is not you. When this close identification with your thoughts starts to break down and you realize that they are often just ramblings that spin around endlessly, it becomes much easier to identify yourself with your actions. It is also very liberating to realize that you don’t have to obey or act in accordance with your endless thought loops or emotions.

Take control of your thoughts and emotions, before they take control of you.

by Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the StartupBros About Page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

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46 comments… add one

  1. Well said and well written. Couldn’t be truer.

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    1. Appreciate that thanks

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  2. thanks for taking the time to sit down and write this article. it’s so simple but so difficult a lot of the time to JUST DO.

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    1. Couldn’t agree with you more Phil – I struggle with that every day :)

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  3. DO IT DO IT DO IT – did you Phil?!

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  4. I am printing this out and putting it on my wall right now – not tomorrow, but right now, so it will be there for me to read as I am getting stuff done. Thanks.

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    1. Awesome! Nothing would make me happier :)

      I signed up for Citirush Media’s email list – good luck!

      Reply
  5. Really glad I came across this post. I completely agree, getting things done is the #1 trait of all the successful people I know. One thing that has helped me a great deal as an entrepreneur is http://www.thesecretweapon.org which combines Allen’s “Getting Things Done” with Evernote’s technology.

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    1. Wow, I am checking out that site now and love the concept. Installing Evernote now, thanks for sharing

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    2. Thanks Phil! That is so badass! Love their manifesto… going to have to give this thing a go

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  6. Spot on bros! Love it. TONS of tangible nuggets o’ business and life wisdom in this entry. Mahalos.

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    1. Thanks Jake, appreciate it as always :-D

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  7. Glad you like it. I was really pumped when I found that system. All of the real effort is in setting it up which really wasn’t that hard. After that it’s just a little bit of maintenance. My productivity is waaay up and stress is down plus I have more leisure time for friends/family. Hope it does the same for you.

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    1. Phil! I love your TwoMile Quinoa business. That stuff makes the world go round. You’re branding and product are beautiful!

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      1. Thanks Kyle. I just came across startupbros.com, and I think it’s great. Yours and Matt’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is authentic and it really makes this site stand out from others. Keep it up :)

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        1. Psst- his name is Will! The coolest part is connecting with people like you while talking about things we give a shit about. Let’s keep connected!

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          1. Oops, sorry bout that Will. My bad. (Egg on face).

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            1. I’ll forgive you, but only because you showed me “The Secret Weapon”…

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  8. Very well written rant. I can tell you truly wanted to enjoy your vacation in Italy so we thank you for setting an example for us.

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    1. Thank you! Haha, it’s alright I had a good time anyways :) That’s the thing about it – being productive seemed much more daunting in my head than it was in reality…

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  9. Nice article, very motivating

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    1. Keep going Preston!

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  10. Will, I really enjoyed your post on ‘Action’. I totally agree, as the best intended plan is just that, an intention. It takes action and execution to see that intention through to reality or LIFE. In busy times there are always excuses to not see through with, or delay the action part, we need to decipher what is really important and become possessed and fixated on executing our plan. Keep up the great vibe…I am a fan of Start Up Bros!!

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    1. Thanks for reading Jamie – Youre spot on, as they say the first step of deciding what to do is often the most important one…Hope everything is going well up in Canada :)

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  11. You are so right! I like to call people who Get things done, your Go-Getters! Taking the initiative and being assertive always will make you new money.

    Mr.makingUsmile

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    1. For sure! It’s so important to just DO THINGS rather than sit around and fall victim to the anxiety and distraction that is killing our society.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  12. Well communicated bro!! This is by far the most easily understandable website for rising entrepreneurs. You got a regular visitor to your website from today bro!! Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks Adeel, glad to hear you liked it! Were trying our hardest to make it easy for entrepreneurs to grow as fast as they can – I’m glad somebody noticed :)

      Talk to you later,
      Will

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  13. Great article, I totally agree!

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    1. Thanks Rachel – I assume your comment is short because you’re too busy taking action :-D

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    2. Thanks Rachel! Do you make all those toys!?

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  14. Better named: “How to not be a wantrapreneur”

    Awesome, awesome, awesome article. Thank you!

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    1. Haha, yea that probably would have been a better title for this one. I wasn’t too great at writing headlines and blog titles back then :-D

      Glad you could look past my spotty titling to see some value – thank you!

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  15. Excellent article Will! I, too, tend to get bogged down in all the learning and forget that the doing is what makes it all happen. It’s so easy to get distracted and just do what we need to do.
    Thanks for taking action and writing this great post!

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    1. Thanks Joe! 2013 is the first year I haven’t gotten, like you say, bogged down in all the learning. I’m sure every year will get better for both of us, as long as we keep taking action! See you on the other side Joe :)

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  16. Thank you so simple true and inspiring. Now to implement..!! 8)

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    1. Good luck Tania, let me know if I can help! :)

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  17. I have been looking for this type of information for a little while now, confusing myself in where too start and how to start, but ive found what ive been looking for and need to put in into action now, but need to learn more about ebay, alibaba etc, once i get my head around those i should be able to kick start things off, thanks so much for your useful information Will, hope you do well.

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    1. No problem, I’m glad I could help! Taking action is definitely key, it’s really where all the magic happens. I find that I don’t permanently “know” something until I’ve put it into action. Unless it’s concrete in my memory, I forget it within a few months/years without reference…

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  18. Will – I would like to thank you and Kyle for assembling such a robust blueprint for success. My wife, and business partner, have been running a successful technology / service / advertising company for over 10 years, but times they are a changin. The “app” world is moving in on our service based business and we’re on the hunt to expand our portfolio. In August 2013, we started a medical equipment supply company and it’s generating amazing bottom line income. We’re now looking to get deeper into product supply, which landed me on your site at 8:30 this morning. It’s now 8:00 PM and I literally have a blueprint for success – it is truly amazing. We spent years working our asses off and executing many of the practices that you’ve outlined, and detailed, in your writings. With several tabs, browsers, computers and a robust spreadsheet full of potentials, we’re off to the races. I know that we’ll be generating positive cash flow in no time. Again, Thank You to taking the time to be so thorough and keeping the cost right – FREE! Kudos to you both.

    Reply
  19. Thank you for useful information for me. And I will try to study the benefits that I received it.
    I would say that your web site is very useful.

    Reply
  20. Excellent vid guys!

    Something you may wish to consider is the idea of “compounding” (something I’m sure Kyle can explain much better than I) – in that your results will continue to multiply on top of each other.

    Undertaking that which you’re scared to do over & over does not yield linear results, it’s my experience that it yields exponential results. For example, if you talk to someone you’ve never met before, and end up finding some common ground, the mutually beneficial opportunities which will arise will not detriment the ones you currently have – they will ADD on top of them.

    This means if you do things you’re scared of, not only do you get the opportunities which occur when you do that new thing, but you also get the benefit of the previous things you’ve done. And the great thing is “taking action” can be as simple as reading this blog.

    When you think about “taking action”, what you really need to consider is the cost of NOT taking action (cliché, but true). Like a ripple on a pond, things spread & although you might not see instant results (you’ll generally never see “instant” results of any value), the ripples still go out anyway; for EVERYTHING you do.

    The best realize that if you work it correctly, your ripples can create more ripples (exponential increase), whilst the short-sighted just focus on the same thing that generated the first ripples; hence why most people end up on the “treadmill”.

    You’re correct in that it all starts with “taking action”, which is just a synonym for “email someone, write something, read something, or LEARN about something” :)

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  21. Thanks for writing this inspiring blogpost. Made me rethink what I am doing at the moment. Will definitely put it into ACTION!

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  22. Totally love this article. Thanks so much for sharing… new subbie!

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  23. I should read this article once everyday, along with putting into action the many ‘brilliant ideas’ that i have no matter how small they are.

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    1. Not a bad idea :)

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