Thursday, 11 February 2010

#8: A speaker of words and a doer of deeds.

Throughout Jan/Feb I've been posting the "12 entrepreneurial lessons I learnt from 2009" series.

Installments so far: Introduction,
Lesson : #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7

It is very easy to possess intent.

I, for example, intended to post this installment on Friday 5th. I intended to learn Hindi last year, and I intend to get 8 hours sleep tonight. For all that it matters I may also intend to run a marathon next year despite being, at best, a 10k kinda girl. That's the great thing about our day to day goals and decisions, as long as they sit clogging up our mental 'to do' lists, they needn't obey the pesky rules of time and space.

Our aims can be unreasonable, unachievable, you may wholeheartedly intend to do the impossible. It's for exactly that reason that good intentions can, all too easily, become a dangerous form of self deception holding us back. Intention protects us from dealing with the action and most of us 'intend' too freely.

Intent doesn't climb mountains or build businesses. Actions do.

An entrepreneur is a do-er above all else. Even the word "entrepreneur" derives from the French 'entreprendre' which means 'to undertake'. Everybody has ideas, lots of people talk abut them, entrepreneurs act on them.

I'm not saying it's simple, despite my intentions the facts are: I'm uploading this on Thurs 11th of Feb, meri Hindi kucch khaas nahi hai and I haven't come close to 8 hours sleep in a single block in... well.. a while. My actions mismatch my intent. It's something I am actively working on, but it is still, literally, 'easier said than done'.

The hardest thing to do is to bridge that gap between intent and action. Harder still if you're setting yourself unreasonable goals.

Setting realistic goals and acting on them is a far more satisfying and worthy endeavor than perpetually speaking about achieving the near-impossible. Just look at some of the most admired people on the planet; people who achieved magnificent, heroic acts of justice, triumph and overcoming adversity but did so day by day, action upon action. I doubt they set out intending to become heroes, rather that each small action was simply heroic.

I defer to Homer on this one (no, not the yellow one) and the 3rd Pillar of the Heroic Code as told to Achilles by his Father In the Iliad:
“be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds."

Don't just tell me you're an entrepreneurial superhero. Show me.

1 comment:

Ben Matthews said...

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory" - Friedrich Engels.

Great post, Amanda, and a good reminder that it's the small day-to-day actions that build up successful businesses.

Though sometimes that's hard to remember when you've got a ton of emails to respond to after a busy day!