“You are what you do…not what you say you’ll do” – Unknown Author

If you look at that trajectory of your life, you’ll notice a pattern. That pattern is that your most important accomplishments are preceded by being proactive and taking action. Whether it’s getting your college degree, accepting an offer for your dream job or starting your business… there was an origin to that occurrence. That origin is when you made a decision and took action to move in the direction of your goal.

That action step might have been as seemingly insignificant as visiting a website or ordering the brochure for the University you attended, or registering the URL of what was to become your new business on GoDaddy. It doesn’t matter what it was… the point is that you took action and but the wheels in motion towards achieving the goal that is now bearing fruit for you today.

It sounds easy, but it’s not of course. Many important decisions require thoughtful consideration, as they’ll impact the trajectory of your life. Just like a slight turn of the steering wheel has a slow and steady impact on the direction that your car takes, so do your decisions on your life trajectory. Therefore, it’s prudent to make ‘wise’ and informed decisions with full consideration of the consequences, both short and long term. With that said, most people never take decisive action because they get too caught up in the details, otherwise known as ‘analysis paralysis’. They get stuck in the need for ‘perfection’, and as a result, nothing happens.

In my 30+ year career as an entrepreneur, corporate team leader and now executive coach, I have come to recognize that the most successful people make fast decisions and are quick to take action. Below are a few traits and characteristics of those successful people.

  • They follow the 80/20 Rule, knowing that 20% of their work will yield 80% of their results.
  • They recognize that ‘perfection’ is an unrealistic expectation, and don’t delay their start, or in taking action, in order to try and achieve it.
  • They take action quickly, and put things in motion to gain momentum.
  • They ‘pivot’ quickly when something isn’t working to move the needle in the right direction.
  • They “pressure test” their idea frequently to see where the holes are, and move fast to plug them.
  • They leverage trusted peers/mentors/coaches early in the process to gain insights and get honest feedback.
  • They measure their progress frequently using KPI’s (key performance indicators) to make sure they are on track.
  • They are not afraid to fail. In fact, they purposefully try to ‘fail fast’ so as not to waste time and resources going down the wrong path.

Recognizing that your biggest and most important successes in life were preceded by the decisive action you took several (fill in the blank, Days/Months/Years) ago, and that your crystal ball was broken at the time so you couldn’t accurately predict the future, what action are you taking now for your next BIG success? And if you’re not taking action, what’s holding you back, and what do you need to do in order to get out of your own way?

The bottom line is this… don’t wait! Your next big success down the road depends on the action you take TODAY!

By: Troy Jacobson, CRO of Catipult.AI