Stop Playing, Start Doing

Almost three years ago I learned the hardest lesson of my life.

I had always thought of myself as an entrepreneur. When I would get together with my friends, I would talk about my great ideas and problems I could solve with them. They would be intrigued and I would feel cool.

Then I would go back to my real job working as a cog in a big organization’s machine. All the while the aggravation of no results was building up inside me.

Finally I had to be honest with myself and it was the toughest pill I ever had to swallow.

I wasn’t an entrepreneur. I was just playing the part.

Sure, I could say all the right things. But it’s one thing to say things from your comfort zone to people that aren’t knowledgeable enough to tell you you’re wrong.

It’s completely another thing to take actual risks and talk to customers that could laugh you out of the building for rambling on about the wrong things.

When I was finally honest with myself I realized it was fear keeping me in my comfort zone. I was afraid that customers would want a little less conversation and more action from me.

And I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to deliver. So I kept talking and playing the part until the aggravation pushed me to finally face my fears. I thought, you know what’s cooler than cool ideas? Cool results. And you only get results through action.

So I interacted with more customers. That lead to clarity on what actions to take. Clear actions built more confidence and eroded away my aggravation. All it took was me closing my mouth and facing my fears.

I still haven’t gotten all the results I want. But I have stopped pretending and started doing. That’s how I got a satisfied me.

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