Action = Money

Doing almost anything is better than doing nothing.
© christianchan /

It's easy to get so caught up in a business idea that we just can't wait to get started…so we start to plan.

And we plan, and we plan, and we plan…and don't start.

I'm not about to say planning isn't important, because it obviously is. But especially for “small time” entrepreneurs, planning can often take the place of action.

And action is where the money is.

While it would clearly be stupid to just go out and start a business without any planning at all, the fact is there's a strong pull to do a lot of planning that just isn't necessary.

We tell ourselves we'll start doing business “as soon as we figure out the advertising,” or “once we've gotten some customer feedback,” or any number of other things that ultimately are just impediments to actually starting.

All of that is busywork.

It's a series of delays; ways our mind tricks us into feeling productive and successful without really having to put anything on the line.

This is why New Year Resolutions fizzle. It's why many wannabe entrepreneurs have folders full of old half-baked business ideas, logo designs, and plans that never got acted on.

Busywork isn't really activity. It just feels like activity.

Busywork is just a way to "fail softly." It will scratch the entrepreneurial itch until it goes dormant again, but it won't make you a successful entrepreneur.

I like to say life is a journey of stepping stones. It's usually pretty clear which stone to step on next to get us closer to our destination.

But when we get caught up in busywork, it's like hopping around on all the little stones instead of taking the leap to the next real stone along the way.

If you want to be in business for yourself, you need to know the difference between activity and busywork.

Busywork is just a way to “fail softly.” It will scratch the entrepreneurial itch until it goes dormant again, but it won't make you a successful entrepreneur.

Action— real action—is predictive. Just as exercising and eating less calories than we burn will lead to losing weight, taking real, concrete action on our business will lead almost inevitably toward success.

This actually makes things a lot easier. After all, if imperfect hustle beats perfect busywork any day of the week (and it does), then becoming successful in business just got a lot easier than if we really had to do everything perfectly.

Be OK with imprefection. Don't be OK with inaction.

Action equals money.

Need help taking the right actions?

Take the guesswork out of your entrepreneurial journey by getting started in a business where industry experts have already figured out what activities are profitable—then just do the suggested actions! You'll still have to bring the hustle, but at least you'll know you're hustling where it counts. Here are some business opportunities that have already been figured out so all you need to do is act!