Stop reading & start DOING

Growing up, my mom always said “readers are leaders.”

I think that statement is largely true. Reading and consuming information helps us grow and expand our knowledge.

However, with so much content to consume – through blogs, books and social networks – we’ve become bloated by digesting a bunch of stuff that’s not getting us any closer to our goals.

You see, we can read, scan and tweet all day long, but that practice will NOT help you succeed.

Before you jump on my case, let me explain.

A few years ago, before I started my business, I was in a job I despised and I was trying to determine my next move. During that time, I spent a LOT of time reading. I consumed blog posts and books. I immersed myself in social networks. I devoured everything I could looking for the answer….the yellow brick road that would lead me to a successful career.

But guess what? That answer didn’t come.

Sure, deep down I knew what I wanted to do. Yet, I wasn’t doing anything to make it happen.

I was stalling.

I have a feeling you might be too.

There are no secrets

While there’s nothing wrong with reading blogs or books, many of us do this looking for answers. We hope that there will be a secret magic formula or silver bullet that will help us grow our business or map out the path to success.

But, like most things, to achieve success, you have to do the work.

You have to put in the time.

You have to answer the tough questions.

You have to do the things you’ve been avoiding.

And, you have to apply what you’ve learned in all that content you’ve consumed.

There are so many fantastic, free resources out there today that can help you grow and market your business. However, if you don’t take the time and effort to actually implement what you’ve read, your business will never get anywhere.

As we get closer to the end of the year, you may be thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, the goals for your business or next year’s marketing plan (at least I hope you are).

As you embark on that effort, I challenge you to take a look at some of the most recent blog posts you’ve read and find one thing that you can implement TODAY. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be as simple as tweaking your next blog post headline or signing up for an email marketing account.

The point is to take action.

And, as you continue to read various e-letters, blog posts and books in the coming weeks, keep a notebook handy and write down ideas and tips you’d like to try. From there, you can determine the actions you are going to take to grow your business in 2012.

What say you? What can you take action on TODAY?

P.S. In case you missed it, earlier this week I put together a free worksheet to help you build your 2012 marketing plan. This will help you take action. Download it here!

Image credit: Alexandre Normand

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

15 replies on “Stop reading & start DOING”

Wow, what a pertinent topic! Laura, I was just having a conversation about this very thing earlier in the week.
There’s a guy I know who is an information junkie. He consumes more info than anybody I know. He’s on every marketer’s list, has read all the books, listens to all the webinars, yet has never taken action on any of this knowledge.
 I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the amount of information you consume, but the amount that you internalize and use. Knowledge isn’t power, applied knowledge is.

Thanks for bringing attention to a very real topic!

Oooh – I like this line “Knowledge isn’t power, applied knowledge is.” I might have to borrow that from you sometime!

I think we’ve all run across people like what you mentioned. I think it’s really easy to fall into that trap. There’s so much information out there that we just have to be okay with the fact that we can’t consume it all. Pick your favorites and move on.

Thanks for weighing in! (BTW – This is what came of my last minute idea before I went to bed!)

amen. i stopped reading so many blogs and started focusing on creating content. i think this is just a natural ebb-and-flow, depending on the season you’re in. some seasons are for learning, and some for doing.

This is true. A lot can be learned from consuming. I think I gained a lot from the time I did that. But, I think sometimes we let it get in the way of creating. We can’t let it be a crutch or an excuse.

Great post, Laura!

It’s easy to find visionaries. It’s difficult to find
 people who get stuff done. It’s nearly impossible to find someone who is both. Those are the people that really make a difference. That’s who I want to be when I grow up.

There’s no better time to start than right…


Great reminders Laura. Take Action – that certainly is the key. I need to be reminded of that frequently. And it does not need to be perfect action. Like my uncle says, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” You won’t know that it’s “wrong” until you do it, and you can then adjust and do it better.

I like that – it doesn’t have to be perfect action. I agree. Sometimes, the best lessons come from screwing up.
 After all, when Edison was creating the lightbulb, he said something like “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I think that’s so true.

Thanks for weighing in, Dick!

That’s a great idea. I’ve got two books sitting next to me right now that I’m going to read over the Christmas break: Brand Against the Machine and The Barefoot Executive. Both of which I got for free. 🙂

I realized I was getting a little burned out on reading books. I have 4 or 5 that are unfinished right now. My solution? I got The Gunslinger from the library and read most of it yesterday. It’s been over 15 years since I read it as a kid in high school. Sometimes just enjoying the process again is the best way to get back into it.

I also think it’s important to know when to quit a book. Before, I was always in it to finish. But now, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to set aside a book that’s not doing it for you. That gives you more time to read the good ones.

And, I think that making time for leisure reading is also VERY good. I’ve almost forgotten what kind of books I like. I read The Help a couple of months ago and was very glad I did.

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