A conversation I had recently with a client reminded me of a similar one I had many years ago when I was starting a new business – a seminar company.
A friend had asked me when I was planning to launch the business and I explained that I wasn’t quite ready as my marketing materials were still being developed and my time was being spent writing a brochure.
Several months later I ran into that same friend who asked the same question and received the same answer. I will never forget his response.
He explained to me that if I waited until all my material was completed to my absolute satisfaction before starting my business, I would most likely never get started.
He also pointed out that three months had passed since our last conversation and I had made no effort in that time to get my business going because I was too busy waiting until everything was perfect. Perfection, he explained, was an illusion and I had traded three months of opportunity for three months of unattainable expectation.
Perfect Is An Illusion
In the years between that conversation and the recent one with my client, I have had many similar conversations with people who keep putting off getting started because they just don’t believe they are ready.
They need to complete one more course, read one more book, redo their website, rewrite their elevator pitch or simply find some other reason to confirm their unreadiness, thereby validating their decision to further delay getting started.
For years experts, gurus, celebrities and talking heads have reminded us that “knowledge is power” thus making it easy to understand why we should wait until our education is complete before launching any endeavor.
In my opinion, the notion that knowledge is power is just plain wrong. One of my favorite poems “Persistence” by Calvin Coolidge, contains the line, “the world is full of educated derelicts” and these words long ago convinced me that power does not come from what we know, it comes from what we do with what we know.
This tells us that as important as it is to know much, it is even more important to take action even when we may not know quite as much.
An old Chinese proverb tells us that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. This is a clear reminder that taking action today, rather than waiting for that elusive day when we think we may have sufficient knowledge, is necessary if we are truly committed to our future success.
Do It Now!
Not for a nano second am I downplaying the importance of education and knowledge. I am simply stating that we can accomplish much while we are still learning and, in fact, constant learning should be as much a part of our lifestyle as constant action.
My friend from years ago explained it best when he said that if you spend that your life learning and leave no time for earning you will end up with yearning.
And who wants that?
Till we read again.