Why the threat of having to take massive action to get results can lead to inaction and stagnant business.

There’s a new buzzword in town and it’s making those ‘overnight success’ business owners a lot of money!

Packaging the latest business and personal development mantra and mindset as a pursuit of massive action is irresponsible. It gives people and business owners a scapegoat; a ‘you just didn’t take enough action’ get out of jail card for business failings, whereas the real problem could be something quite tangible and controllable; it could be products, business focus, strategy could all be wrong, nothing to do with a fictional and intangible amount of ‘action’ you think you have taken

The 20 year journey to overnight success.

I read, listen and respect many of the motivational ‘gurus’, most of their messages are brilliant, they resonate with me and inspire me: The Les Brown’s, Seth Godin, Jim Rohn’s of this world are a brilliant antidote to the naysayers and downers that are around in certain circles.

But what I find common, and perhaps most motivating amongst these influential figures is not that they are an overnight success, but rather they have taken years to get where they are today. Literally years. They have suffered bankruptcies, losses, prejudices and more but continued to make tracks and build huge followings and businesses.

Their assumed “overnight success” by some appears to be misguided.

A common thread I keep seeing and hearing across business speakers and articles is the popular phrase of ‘take massive action’. I keep hearing massive action mentioned as almost a silver bullet or potion that will bring riches and wonder to all those who follow it’s path. But it’s something I am struggling to understand and wonder if the definition of taking massive action has somehow become skewed?

There are books about massive action, videos about massive action, articles and plans about massive action. But just what is massive action?!

What is Massive Action?

According to a post I found whilst researching this article I found a definition from IQ Matrix;

Taking massive action means making your goal or the act of accomplishing that goal your duty, obligation, and responsibility. It means taking full ownership of your problems, mistakes, and failures and doing all you possibly can to rectify them.

Grant Cardone talks about 4-degrees of action. 4? Seems bizarre to me.

With all these articles, plans, books and videos about Massive Action, are we to believe that this is the one catch all for your business success? For if your business fails or reaches it’s natural ceiling, is the fault of massive action to blame?

A massive action question…

I can’t help but think those who throw the phrase around as if it were a new discovery are actually damaging their viewers and their communities business by filling them full of false hope and giving people a scapegoat perhaps, something intangible that can always be blamed when in reality the failings of a business may lie somewhere else more manageable, but when the blinkers are on and the pursuit and desire to pursue a life of “massive action” is the intention of the viewer, things closer to home are often missed or neglected that can in fact damage or hinder more focussed and progressive business improvement.

Haven’t you always been doing (massive) action?

In an average day I wake up early (or get woken up by the kids!), feed them, get them ready for school, take the eldest to school, check emails, arrange new meetings, have pre arranged meetings and calls, phone calls, client work, content work, planning, doing, writing, talking, networking, picking up from school, making food, playing, reading to children, bathing, changing, putting to bed, making our dinners, keeping up with socials, meeting new people and finally, talking to the Mrs and watching half an hour of TV before falling asleep!

That’s my typical day….but isn’t that most people’s days? What could be more massive without an army of staff, a handsome budget to outsource the tasks, much of which a small business, the target market for our influencers, simply can’t afford, and frankly, don’t need – but which all of our famous gurus certainly have (Take Gary Vee on the video below. He references his PA, his video guy, his team at the office – now there’s the facility to be ‘spontaneous!’)

Don’t become a rabbit in the headlights

Small persistent steps taken over time will get you achievable results. Massive Action can overload you as a business, it can lead to overwhlem which can lead to anxiety, loss of quality, inability to control your business.

Mixed messaging from business gurus.

We are told to better manage our time and to work a 4-hour work week (Tim Feriss – great book by the way!), but then also told to take massive, unrelenting action. Surely, it cannot be both?

“Massive Action without clearly defined goals is a form of laziness”.

My alternative approach to massive action!

I think a prerequisite to any form of approach to your work is that you must know and be clear about what you want in the first place. If you pursue a massive action approach but you are unknowingly heading down the wrong path, you are going to be running head-on in the wrong direction and be further away from the actual place you want to be (but then maybe you didn’t take enough action?!)

Think about it, if I jump in a supercar and head south from Sheffield towards London at 100mph but I need to be in Edinburgh and I set off in my normal car, using normal roads and speeds limits in a northerly direction, chances are, my normal car is going to get their quicker. Is that the fault of massive action or the fault of the supercar driver for just accepting the premise of massive action as a driver for business?

Okay so step one you must not be afraid of hard work. Running a business, building a brand is not easy and it is not for the work shy or those wanting routine or control…or a salary (in the first instance!).

People say no, they question your motives, your goals, your product, your service, your service delivery and more.

If this doesn’t terrify you and make you run for the hills then my approach, an approach I have followed myself and continue to do so is this…

Small persistent steps taken over time will lead to manageable business improvement and scale.

Whatever action points you have in your diary for the day, ask yourself to justify its purpose to your longer term goal? Does that action point support a larger objective? If so, then great! If not, can you move it in place for a more proactive piece of work, or even take the time to focus on something else?

My biggest tip: There is no magic bullet.

  1. Educate yourself beyond the motivational topics. What tactical knowledge can help get your business seen by more faces?
  2. Know what you want to achieve
  3. Set some goals that the positive results of which outweigh your hesitance to pursue them in the first place.
  4. Set yourself 10 action points that will ‘level-up’ your current position with a view on point 2 within the next 30 days
  5. Repeat.

Massive Action alone will not build you a business. Do not go down the path of massive action or be sold on a dream of its results if you do not know what you are doing in the first place.

Do not allow the threat of massive action lead to your inaction, as such as you must not let overwhelm lead to procrastination and a static business – hence the small persistent steps.

Action yes. You must start. You must do something to get your business noticed. Small persistent steps taken over time will lead to business improvement that is manageable and scaleable.

And don’t be afraid of hard work. But I guess that doesn’t sound as sexy, right?

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