Eddie and his wife June are shopping in their local supermarket. The husband picks up a case of Heineken and puts it in their cart. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ asks June. ‘They’re on sale, only $15 for 24 cans Eddie replies. ‘Put them back, we can’t afford them’ demands the wife, and so they carry on shopping.
A few aisles further on along June picks up a $30 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ asks Eddie. ‘It’s my face cream. It makes me look beautiful,’ replies the wife. Her husband retorts: ‘So does 24 cans of Heineken and it’s half the price.
Eddie never knew what hit him. The next thing he heard on the supermarket PA system was: ‘Cleanup on aisle 19, we have a husband down.’
As we are finishing the season of graduations I want to offer one piece of advice to all of those moving on. No, this is not a long diatribe of useless things to do but rather ONE truth new graduates should always keep in mind— “Action is cheaper than planning”.
The sooner you graduates face the fact that you are going to fail (we all do & it is normal) the sooner you realize failure is key to real success. So many are frozen in neutral mulling over plans for the 50th time. They get caught “playing it safe” by not doing anything until they know exactly what to do.
One great example—the Wright brothers were able to beat out all the large corporations in the race to build a working plane because they emphasized action over planning. After a failed flight, the Wright brothers would go back to their workshop and make a small, cheap, quick tweak and test the plane again. The corporations would spend months of planning and massive sums of money before trying another flight.
Today we are lucky, everybody has access to pretty much all the information in the world. Google will give you any information you need nearly instantly. My warning to you don’t live your life simply collecting information, the key is to use it. Han Fenizi made this observation about life: “Knowing the facts is easy. Knowing how to act based on the facts is difficult.
I know that school was a time for gathering knowledge, but eventually we need to put that knowledge into action. If you don’t act– all the knowledge in the world is useless. Reading ten books about starting a business isn’t as useful as two minutes spent test-selling a product or service.
Simply put, my life advice to everyone graduating is you’ve got spend more time in action mode than planning mode!