“There are no speed limits on the road to excellence. We can’t be fined for speeding.” – David W. Johnson
Last January, Bob Bly wrote an article for ETR titled “The Best Business Advice You’ll Ever Get.” In it, he credited Joe Vitale with making him an extra $200,000 a year. The philosophy that was the focus of that article is so important that I’d like to bring it to the fore again – and weigh in with my own views on it.
I’ve written a lot about the importance of acting sooner rather than later, without waiting to figure out everything in advance. Nothing says this more succinctly than Joe Vitale’s aphorism: Money loves speed.
When I mentioned this in a recent teleseminar, one of the callers asked if I could be more specific. He wanted to know why money loves speed. First off, let me say that this is not just true about money. Success – in all areas of life – loves speed.
- If you want to buy tickets from a scalper for a big game that’s sold out, get there first. Tickets love speed.
- If you want a job that you just found out about, get there first. Jobs love speed.
- If you want to get the guy or gal who has your heart pounding, get there first. Romance loves speed.
- If you want to get the investment property that just came on the market, get there first. Investment properties love speed.
And so on. I don’t recall ever succeeding at something because I got there last.
So, why does success love speed? The answer is to be found in the dictionary. Action is defined as “the causation of change.” Whatever result you want, it’s a change from what you now have. By definition, then, a change has to take place for you to get from your present status to that result.
Following are some of the more important reasons why I believe action begets results.
1. When you do too much planning, there’s a tendency to think of one reason after another why what you’re contemplating won’t work.
Many of the reasons you come up with may be correct. But the important thing is that it doesn’t matter. Why? Because, as you move forward, circumstances continually change – and those changes often render irrelevant many of the concerns you may have before taking action.
In other words, don’t try to figure out steps two, three, and four before taking step one. The legendary Joe Karbo once told me that he ran his first ad for The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches (a million-copy seller) before he even began to write the book! In fact, he told me that the ad he wrote served as an outline for the book itself. Talk about going against conventional wisdom…
2. When you procrastinate, you tend to lose your enthusiasm.
That, in turn, causes homeostasis to set in. Homeostasis is the tendency to live with existing conditions and avoid change. You get comfortable with the way things are and allow your great idea to fade into the comfort zone of oblivion.
But when you take action, your creative “juices” flow faster, your resourcefulness kicks into high gear, and the things, people, and circumstances you need to accomplish your objectives are drawn to you almost like magic. This is not hocus-pocus. I’ve done it enough times to be able to assure you that it really works.
3. Even though changing circumstances often negate many initial concerns you may have had, they can also place new obstacles in your path.
As a result, if you wait too long before taking action, the opportunity may become less and less appealing as those obstacles start to make their appearance.
I wrote about this danger in my book To Be or Not to Be Intimidated? under the auspices of the Fiddle Theory, which states: “The longer you fiddle around with a deal, the greater the odds that it will never close.”
Time is your ally when you take action. But time is a two-sided coin. If you hesitate or procrastinate, time becomes your worst enemy. As a general rule, I assume that if I take action, perceived problems will tend to disappear – and that the more I hesitate, the more time I give new obstacles to come on the scene.
4. Perhaps the most important reason of all for taking action now is that time is finite.
No matter how proficient you are, you can only accomplish so much in a lifetime. Every second that’s wasted reduces the totality of what you can accomplish by one second.
Some people maintain that a constant feeling of urgency to accomplish more is stressful, but I find the opposite to be true. I feel more stress when I procrastinate – when I’m not doing what I know I should be doing. There’s not a worse feeling in the world than to be conscious of the fact that your finite supply of time is ticking away while you’re straightening your desk drawer.
Of course, nothing in life is perfect. There will be times when moving too fast can end up hurting you. Based on my own experience, what I gain from moving fast far outweighs any losses that result from too little planning.
That being the case, when you fall – and you will fall – simply pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take more action. Success could care less about mistakes. Success loves action. Think seriously about making this your mantra for 2008.[Ed. Note: Take a gigantic step toward achieving all your personal and professional goals – faster than you ever imagined – with Robert Ringer’s best-selling personal-development program.]