Remember the saying we heard as children; actions speak louder than words? At least in my house, that was a common one. As a kid, I’m not so sure that it meant much other than clean your room now and stop telling me you’ll do it later. Mom liked us to take immediate action and not give her lip service about a future time we’d like to be cleaning.
I recently heard this saying when I was meeting with a sales manager of a large real estate office. He and I discussed how overwhelming it is for many of the agents he works with and coaches to take action. He tells me that one of two things generally happen, either they just freeze and take no action, or they take action, massive action, starting a bunch of great things, but don’t stick with them to completion.
He and I agree that what was missing was focus, that there is really more to taking action than, well…..taking action. What we all must remember is to take FOCUSED action.
Here’s a simple solution that I shared with him that is used with my students when we’re in a coaching session:
Next time you attend a conference, read a book or listen to an audio recording, webinar, or meeting, take lots of notes, then compare those notes to your written goals. It’s easy to get excited about a new idea, but if it’s not aligned with your dreams or goals, it should probably be eliminated. Next, pick just ONE thing. The one you’re most excited about and believe will help you the most with accomplishing your goals. Give that one the attention and devotion necessary to get it going, track the results of it, and later, after you’re happy with those results, add another one of those great ideas you’ve gathered through your studies, and repeat the process.
Keep a journal or notebook with all your ideas and notes; refer to them as you plan for something new. Don’t get overwhelmed and freeze or spin out; just add one thing at a time and keep doing what you’re already doing that is working.
Taking action is like getting in the car and driving West, hoping you’ll eventually find California. Focused action is like buying a plane ticket, first class, and getting there quicker, easier, and in style.