I’m a doer. I like to get things done. I suspect most of you are doers, too. That’s why you visit my blog. You want some insight on how to get things done.

Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States) once said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” I agree.

I imagine most people who get into business, or politics, or positions of leadership, or even athletes, would agree as well—or at least they start out wanting to work hard at work worth doing. They would have to, don’t you think? “Doing” is what made them successful.

But something happens along the way. People stop doing. I wish I knew why for sure. Maybe, after achieving so much, it’s fear of failure or fear of losing a good thing. Maybe it’s complacency or apathy, or maybe the fires that drive simply begin to fade with time.

Whatever the reason, there’s a message in there somewhere for business leaders, political pundits, and John and Jane Q. Public who these days seem more than content to sit on the sidelines and let things happen rather than to make things happen.

Roosevelt also said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

What are you doing to seize the personal and professional opportunities that come your way? What are you doing to CREATE opportunities for yourself and for others?

Don’t let fear of the unknown or complacency govern your actions. Do something because, as I said in a blog I wrote nearly two-and-a-half years ago, “it’s your move,” and no one else is going to make it for you. Here’s that blog again. Enjoy!

It’s Your Move

(Originally posted on August 2, 2011)

What do you do when times get tough, personally or professionally? Do you curl up in a ball and try to ride it out, hoping for the best, or do you take action?

This King Monkey believes nothing’s going to happen unless you make it happen. Just as the military teaches soldiers to move when attacked, to initiate movement or face defeat or capture, so too do we “civilians” need to prepare and take action when the time comes.

Faced with a business or personal dilemma, however, many of us suffer from analysis paralysis.  Faced with a need to take action, we instead mull over every move, every possibility, and every bit of minutiae to the point where we take no action, succumbing to our fears of “what might happen.” That’s no good, especially not in the business world where standing pat and failing to react to changing market forces can be the death knell for a company or business opportunity. Fearing what might happen ensures that nothing does happen—at least nothing good.

Life, in general, is like that, too. Inertia is the tendency of an object at rest to remain at rest, or an object in motion to remain in motion. As business leaders, and even in our personal lives, we simply can’t afford to stand still. We cannot act like deer caught in the headlights, or monkeys stuck on a branch afraid to search for that next handhold. Fortunately, we have the benefit of history—of knowing what’s worked for us and for others in similar situations—and the ability to learn from past  mistakes and respond accordingly.

But will we seize those opportunities? Will we overcome our fear of taking action and boldly go? Will we remain stubborn and repeat past mistakes, or will we adapt, learn, and take steps forward with confidence?

I’m not suggesting taking action for the sake of taking action.  But taking action should be part of your everyday vocabulary, part of the monkey chatter. New clients and new opportunities aren’t going to come through the door (whether that door is virtual or bricks and mortar) unless you initiate some sort of movement to make it so. Likewise, that proposal, marketing plan, or new product or service idea is not going to complete itself. It’s up to you, the business owner, the entrepreneur, the head honcho to make something happen.

It’s your move. What’s it going to be?