I have a good friend who’s been talking to me about launching a business for now 9 years. That’s 108 months. 469 weeks. During that time, I never saw a single product come to life. Not even a miscarriage, for nothing attempt was made at creation.
And you know what? You’d never hear him characterise the period to date as one of mere ‘talk’ or ‘inaction’. After all, he’d say to you that he carried out an inordinate amount of work: countless days of research; meeting up on weekends with potential co-founders; building models in Excel to forecast cash flows. In fact, I believe he even prepared half a dozen business plans along the way. In his view, all that work constitutes pure entrepreneurship. And as such he considers himself a true entrepreneur.
I have a different name for it.
Professional pencil sharpener
Personally, I would argue that he’s more of a pencil sharpener than entrepreneur. See, for many, meeting up with friends to chat about startups and bouncing ideas off each other is what they truly enjoy. You can’t blame them. Coming up with ideas and imagining the market you’ll capture, not to mention the money to be made, can be great fun. Walk into a Starbucks and chances are you’ll find a live example.
The tough part, however, is executing on an idea. That’s when the real work begins. The pain. The sacrifices. The risks.
Unsurprisingly, lots of people fear moving past the idea phase. They unwittingly delay it by engaging in various forms of pencil sharpening, ad infinitum.
Action. It’s all about action
This video is about taking action. It was inspired by a conversation I had a with another friend who has wanted to write a book for years. Sadly, he has yet to write the very first word of his very first draft.
Just like my other friend who yearns to become an entrepreneur, he is stuck in the quick sand of the pencil sharpening phase.
I say to both of them, don’t be boring and take action. Make mistakes. Learn. And grow.