Thursday, October 7, 2010

All Foam, No Beer

In thinking more about the two events I attended last week, an old saying came to mind:

    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice... but in practice there is."

In other words, there is a huge distinction between talking about problems and solutions vs. actually taking action.  Even harder, executing the right actions which lead to successful outcomes.

Personally, I spent two decades of my professional career talking about the greatness of "stuff" without having to worry about the execution.  Yep, sales.   Baddabing.  Baddaboom.  A lucrative career from making promises on which other people had to deliver.

Several years ago, a true snake oil salesman visionary convinced me of the value in the theory of this great new thing.  A thing which could change the world.  He offered me a "sales gig" with promises of grandeur.  I bought it hook, line and sinker.  I made the most significant career move of my life.

But there was no thing.  I had to create the thing.  And then sell it.

Then, I had to figure out how to actually deliver it and make sure it worked.   Not just sales... but product development and execution.

My new mantra became, "Shoot me. Shoot me now."

Luckily it all worked out and the thing has become a resounding success.  Never you mind about all that blood, sweat and tears.  Okay, no blood.  (Well, maybe almost.)  But it was worth it. 

Even better, I now get to work with an amazing team of people who also saw the vision in the thing and worked (are still working) their arses off as well.  They totally rock.

The point is, it takes work to get beyond the theory.  It takes action and energy to make a difference.

Whether it's a personal goal or starting a business; talking about how much we believe in something or even want to do it, won't make it so.

Remember my P90X quote from Tom Kinsman:
     "Successful people do the things that people who aren't successful won't do."

The reason why not everyone does the work is because the work is hard.   It's a lot easier to talk about that great new exercise program or an inspiring theory or a cool self-help book.   

Basking in theory is even more fun in groups. "Hey - we should start a walking club!  Let's talk about it over lunch!"

Of course, I say all of this without judgment as it's something I have to really work on in my own life.    If I were better at taking action, I would have finished my book by now.  I would have been a keynote speaker at one of those events last week instead of sitting in the audience thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.

Practicing what you preach sure is a b*tch.

One of the more inspiring people I met last week sent me this great quote from the movie Scent of a Woman where Al Pacino says,  "I've been at the crossroads in my life and I knew what the right road was; without question I knew. But, I didn't take it. Know why?  It was just too, damn, hard."

So what's your crossroads?  What is the thing you've been talking about but not actually doing?  What have you been "meaning to do"?

Stay tuned,
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Angela said...

I've been "meaning" to finish my novel, finish my memoir, sew through my fabric stash, create a new portfolio, play my guitar, make curtains, paint my office, paint my bedroom, update my budget, clean my desk, go to IKEA, well, the list goes on and on!

Aruna said...

Its taken me a year to do a product I (naively) thought would take a month. Now the product is finished and I'm onto the copywriting part. So I can totally relate to what you say about doing the whole enchilada when you thought you were just gonna add the hot sauce.

The funny thing is, now that is is close to being done, I've pulled out a knitting project I've been "meaning to" finish and started working on that.

My crossroads isn't at the start it's when the finish line is in sight.

Serene @ MomFood said...

I learned that one way to stop having a list of things I've been meaning to do, is to stop meaning to do things. I mean, reduce my commitments and my discontent, and be happy with what I have. My life is so much more peaceful now that I'm happy with where I am.

momentsofwhimsy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Charlene, and I will definitely be coming back to read more of your!

"Practicing what you preach sure is a b*tch"

LOVE it!!! And oh my goodness - ain't it the truth??

Cate ;-)

Savings Corner said...

New follower from Blog Frog. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Would love for you to visit me at Savings Corner (

Patti B. said...

I have been meaning to get out and socialize more. I have been talking about it, mostly with myself, and not doing it because most of the time, I can't afford to go out and get a meal or even a drink. It's been a problem coming up with gas money too. However, it's possible to join a book club at a local book store, or library for free. Hopefully, I can work up the courage to do this soon.

Losing Brownies said...

Following from BlogFrog and looking foward to reading more.

Sarah said...

Love the quote: Successful people do the things that people who aren't successful won't do. How true.

Anonymous said...

Truer words have never been spoken. Starting my business 2 years ago seems like a blur. The fear of failure, anxiety and sheer amount of work scared the heck out of me. However, looking back, it reminds me of child birth, there's alot of pain, but when you look at that baby, it's all worth it.
Keep writing, it's your passion. Don't forget the wise words from Dori in the movie Finding Nemo, "keep swimming, just keep swimming"

Stacy Galiczynski said...

Just came over from Blog Frog! I absolutely love your blog! Your writing style is hilarious! I look forward to reading more :)

Tracy said...

What a great post! I have been meaning to go back to college for sometime now. I took the plunge a month ago! I am currently enrolled in a 3 year program that I have always wanted to take! I'm almost done my 1st round of P90X, got a brand new puppy, have twin 4th graders and a wonderful Husband, PLUS to cats! To say the least, life is crazy, hair pulling NUTS at times, but it so worth it! Loving every minute of it! ~Take Care!

bigguysmama said...

My crossroads is deciding to "action" oriented in being more organized. Of course I've been at this crossroads for a long time. Sigh...

~Mimi from BlogFrog

Livy said...

I love that quote from Al Pacino. Usually the things that end up being the most rewarding are the ones that are also the hardest. I think motivation in the initial stages is where I am lacking.

Libby's Library said...

Dropping by via The Blog Frog.
New Follower:-)

Wauzzy said...

Hi I'm dropping by from MBC and you have a new follower.

I'm also doing P90X, ok I did it. Now my days are too full, but I'll start soon again. I have to say, I love it! Every workout is great.

What I'm meaning to do? I want to be more creative, paint, write, know my camera that is wat I would love to do.

Burciko said...

BALANCE.. All we need to survive,isn't it?
Thanks for finding me.. I will follow you.. I would be soo happy if you too.. ;)

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