“My actions are the ground on which I stand.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
I’ve been living in the world of words lately. As I try to grow this budding new “business” of mine (though that doesn’t seem a good description of it) I spend hours and hours writing, researching, listening to words of wisdom, and exploring.
I was talking with a client the other day who has been working on trying to build his business for some time. He has wonderful systems in place, a good vision statement, and beautiful product & service offerings designed.
And not a single client to show for it.
He’s been building the business in his head for a year. Building a website but not publicizing its existence. Building his expertise but not inviting anyone into it. His training is impeccable, his wisdom deep. But the weight of just carrying it around with no one stepping forward to say, “I want what you’re offering, here’s my money” was deepening into depression.
He asked me what to do.
I suggested he physically go out and find a client to work with.
He reminded me he didn’t know any clients.
I reminded him he knew some human beings.
He said that they weren’t interested in purchasing his coaching.
I said, who said anything about purchasing?
My advice was to close his laptop computer, get out of his home office, and ask, ideally in person, someone in his trusted circle (friends, family, cool colleagues) to be his coaching client, so he could try out what—until now—has been beautifully and productively happening only in his head and heart.
I suggested he make it someone who really believes in him and wants him to succeed, but also a) can benefit from what he’s doing, and b) is willing to be perfectly candid with him and give him good feedback.
Yes, I am a big believer in the small, bite-sized action as a powerful catalyst to jump out of torpor. Until the body moves, the brain will not get the picture.
Actions are the ground on which I stand. Thoughts and wisdom-gathering are essential. But the action of reaching out—in real life—and working with a real human made of skin and bone and muscle and neurons is essential to get it all the click into place, like hooking the train engine up to its cars so you can finally take people on their journey.
Actions are tangible, physical, and stimulating to your brain, body, spirit, and energy in order to start attracting the right people to you.
Actions—even “free” things like the one I’ve suggested to my client—tell the universe, I am here, I am moving, I am ready. See?
In his situation, he didn’t need more learning, more online workshops, more reading, more podcasts, more website tweaks.
He needed action. (And he’s working on it. He has his first meeting next week with his former boss, who was interested in what he’s offering.)
Now that I’ve helped him, I wonder what MY action will be?