“What do you think sets apart successful people from those who give up, fail, or never even get started?”
This is the final question at the end of every episode of my favorite podcast, BiggerPockets. It has been asked nearly 300 times to successful investors, business experts, and entrepreneurs who are guests on the show.
Exact responses vary, but there’s a common theme to the majority of answers given. Successful people…
JUST DO IT.
Plain and simple. You achieve success when you just get off your ass and do stuff.
Ever heard of Art Williams?
Art is a cool guy. He’s 76 years old, and lives in Florida. Oh yeah… he’s also a self-made billionaire, motivational speaker, and preached about FI before FI was even a thing.
Back in the 70’s when Art started his own insurance company, he installed a company-wide teleconference system so he could broadcast internal team messages. On his weekly all-hands calls, Art personally taught his 100,000+ employees about personal finance, and encouraged them to achieve financial independence.
Imagine if the CEO of your current employer gave you weekly tips, tricks, advice, and motivation to become financially independent. Picture all of your peers working towards the same personal goals and learning together about saving, investing, and living a better life.
Would you work harder? Would you be happier at work each day? Put extra effort in everything you did for your company?
You bet your ass you would.
And that’s exactly what happened at Art’s company.
A.L. Williams & Associates was the fastest growing insurance company back then, changing the way people bought and sold insurance. Many of the employees went on to become financially independent at an early age and were genuinely happier people.
Art Williams Just Do It Speech:
Art once gave a motivational speech to the National Religious Broadcasters organization which got him famous for the phrase “Just Do It”.
This speech was in 1987.
One year later, in 1988, Nike trademarked the phrase and started a very successful marketing campaign that still exists today. (Apparently Nike didn’t steal the phrase from Art, but that’s debatable.)
A condensed video of the Just Do It speech is below, starting at my favorite part. (Full Just do it speech transcript here if you’re interested. It’s worth a read!)
“Almost” is a way of life for almost everyone.
“Almost everybody in America almost does enough to win. They almost get there, they’re almost over the hump, they almost have it going, they “almost…” in everything they do.”
It’s sad, but true. The majority of people out there are all talk and no walk.
Why is this?
Is it knowledge that holds us back? Is it lack of self confidence? Are we scared to fail? Or even worse… are we scared to succeed?
Perhaps it’s the fact that “almost” is a good enough achievement for most people. Having almost done something gives the feeling of temporary success. And that’s where most people stop.
9 out of 10 is perfectly acceptable in most cases, to most people.
I think you will agree that you don’t have to be smart to be successful. You just have to want it. You just have to do it.
The winners DO IT.
What do they do?
“They do whatever it takes to get the job done. They do it, and do it, and do it, and do it.”
Think about a time when you achieved something you never thought you could do. Something that none of your friends thought you could do and definitely couldn’t do themselves.
Why did you succeed? What challenges did you overcome? How did you get started? Better yet, how did you make it across the finish line?
Now, what advice would you give to others that want to do what you did but are clueless in where to start?
Umm… JUST DO IT?
If you can’t do it all, just do it just a little bit.
Nobody can wake up one day and just do a triathlon. You can’t dream up a billion dollar business idea one morning and then IPO that same afternoon.
Large goals should be broken up into small goals. Small goals broken into mini goals. Mini’s can break down into activities. And even activities can be broken down into simple, individual, no-brainer steps.
Just a few no-brainer steps each day gets you DOING IT!
I want to buy an investment property within the next 6 months. I have no clue where to start. What is my single next step?
Large Goal: (within 6 months) Buy an investment property.
Small, supporting Goal: (within 1 month) Find a good realtor that I trust.
Mini Goal: (within 2 weeks) Interview some realtors.
Activities: (This week) Schedule calls with 5 x realtors in my area.
Single Next Step: (Tomorrow) Log onto Facebook and ask my entire network: “Who is the best realtor in xyz area? Please send me their contact info”.
All it takes is one single step in the right direction. Then another step. Then another.
Having trouble finding your next single step? Having trouble just doing it? Leave a comment below, contact me, or join my daily 5AM email list. I’m your number #1 fan and want to help you achieve your goals.
PS. Art Williams also wrote a book called ‘Common Sense: A Simple Path to Financial Independence’. Written in 1983, so the principles are relevant but some figures/technology referenced is old. It’s only 55 pages long, and you might be able to find a free PDF copy online like I did.