Og Mandino said it best:

“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action. I will act now.” (The Greatest Salesman in the World p. 93)

It’s the season for business planning and plans are great — unless that’s where you stop. After all, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Whether man, woman, mouse, or something else, planning a thing does not make it so.

Don’t get me wrong, I think planning is important. A failure to plan frequently is a plan to fail. But it’s telling to look at industry leaders and see that the real common thread among them all is action. The plans differ, the approaches differ, the personalities differ, but all of them move. They’ve learned the indispensable truth: it’s easier to steer a moving boat.

Motion vs. Direction

The right plan might help you hit the ground running, but for many people, it can be hard to get started, no matter your plan. If the lack of a plan serves as an excuse for not getting moving, then ditch it — it’ll come more easily if you’re already moving. Momentum matters. Getting going tends to lead to further action and more mobility. The ability to get in motion even without clear direction is a valuable skill to build.

Once you’re moving, you’ll be able to better diagnose what you need next. Planning on the go isn’t necessarily ideal, but if it means you get more done than if you slow down or stop in order to plan, then embrace it. Without action, your plans mean nothing. If you can’t figure out a direction, get into motion and find out where you need to go.

Action Beats Perfect Planning

If you don't act now, then when?

I’ve seen agent after agent who didn’t know their next step but still pulled in well over six figures in commissions each year. Their plans need work and help, but their action is absolutely netting results. With those agents, their movement meant they were ready for a better plan. They put themselves in the best possible place to be impacted by better planning. 

The inverse doesn’t work: planning and planning without the right kind of action won’t get you those kinds of results. Are plans enough? Absolutely not. Is action? At the very least, it’s an incredible start. A balance of the two is your best bet, but if you can’t find the right ratio, I suggest you start with the action side.

What are you waiting for, really? Is it going to be any easier tomorrow or next week? Next month? The best time to act is now. And if not now, then when? Listen to Og Mandino and make “I will act now” the mantra for your business in 2023. From action flows every future you want to create.

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