The grass always looks greener on the other side. If you’ve been doing this blogging or Internet marketing thing (or freelance writing, in my case) for some period of time and you’ve managed to achieve some level of modest success at it, you’ve likely had friends and acquaintances come up to you and say “how nice” it must be for you to have “so much free time.”
They might casually mention in passing that they once had a page on Livejournal or Xanga and that’s pretty much the same thing that you’re doing. Or they say that they’re totally going to start looking into getting a blog or getting into affiliate marketing, but they “just haven’t gotten around to it yet.” They’ll tell you that they have all these “great ideas” and they have “big plans” for what they’re going to do. You know. Some day.
Or maybe you have some friends or colleagues or acquaintances who have given blogging or Internet marketing or some other online business a try. They get all enthusiastic about it in the beginning, but when their friends invite them out for a night of clubbing on Saturday, they jump at the chance. When they see that it’s a sunny day outside, they decided to take an extended walk around the neighborhood or they head over and spend the afternoon at the park. Or they decide to go shopping. Or watch “just one more episode” of The Punisher on Netflix.
They say that they want all these things and they say that they’re going to do all these things and then they never do. But they’ll tell you that they totally could if they “really wanted to.” I guess they never really wanted to.
“Ideas don’t impress me as much as execution. Sorry, kid, but where I come from we judge people by what they’ve done, not what they say they’ll do.”
That line comes from a fantasy novel called An Unwelcome Quest by Scott Meyer. It’s part of his Magic 2.0 series. The actual premise of the story doesn’t really matter and it’s not specifically relevant to the subject at hand, but that little excerpt hits the nail on the head. At the end of day, dreams and wishes and ideas aren’t worth much.
Do we know anything about the guy who thought that electric cars could be a big deal? Or do we know about Elon Musk who actually built up Tesla to the hugely influential company it is today? Do we know anything about the guy who had some grand ideas about how search engines could work with online advertising, integrating with so many other online services? Or do we know more about Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin?
What you say you’re going to do holds no weight. All of that “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” talk is worthless.
What did you actually do? Did you actually resist the temptation of another night of clubbing or another afternoon at the mall so that you can put in the time on your new e-book or one editing the copy for your sales letter? Did you take your brilliant idea for a mobile app and actually work with app developers to make that idea into a reality? Did you work late into the night? Did you put your money where your mouth is and put the hours, blood, sweat and tears in there too?
I bet those friends at the beginning of this article didn’t and that’s why they’re still where they are and that’s why they’re still doing what they’re doing.
But at the end of the day, especially when you’re in business for yourself, you have to do what they won’t so you can have what they don’t.