Founder: It’s What You Do



The knowledge economy of the 21st century has put a lot of emphasis on “what you know.” Seemingly, “what you know” makes or breaks your career, but there has been some push back against that notion. The saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has populated our conversations, especially in entrepreneurial circles. I think we should take this succession one step further. As it often turns out, for entrepreneurs, “It’s not what you know or who you know that really counts, it’s what you do!”

As busy professionals, it’s important that we take a step back from our demanding routines and packed calendars and stare at our goals and aspirations directly. Meeting and exceeding our goals is only truly done when we evaluate and improve on “what we do,” which means saying “Yes!” to certain activities and “No!” to others. It all seems like a basic concept that any busy professional should have down, but you would be surprised to find how quickly we fall from our goals because our focus isn’t in the right place: it should be about “what we do.” No one ever solely networked or educated him or herself to success as an entrepreneur. True success is hard work, and believe it or not, it requires the action of doing a whole lot more than learning or networking.

While networking and knowledge can’t be ends unto themselves, for the entrepreneur, we don’t want to discount their importance. Though they shouldn’t be our core focus, they play a crucial role, and shouldn’t be neglected. With this in mind, and with a focus on “doing,” we can better pursue our goals in light of these priorities. When you really take a closer look, making an active choice to take action and “do” directly impacts “what you know”, and “who you know.” The act of doing precedes knowledge and professional connections. Rest assured that if you pursue the right actions in your process of “doing,” “what you know” and “who you know” will fall into place. Making the choice to pursue action is the first step and all else will follow.

There are many benefits to actively emphasizing the importance of “doing.” Pursuing action, better than any other technique, really gets things done. At the end of the day, entrepreneurs need to get things done and then move on to new goals. Emphasizing action creates a workplace environment where achievement and accomplishing large goals is to be strived for. A hardworking entrepreneurial team who understands the importance of action has no boundaries and can strive to do things no one thought possible.

A few helpful tips when pursuing a “doing” mentality for either yourself or your team:

– Set aside a certain time in your day to ask yourself: “Am I taking steps today that are action oriented?”

– At the end of every week, take some time to write down what you have been “doing,” including only what is moving you directly towards your long term goals

– Whenever you are taking time to pursue networking or learning engagements, ask yourself: “how can I make the most of these activities in light of my goals?”

These are just a few helpful thoughts that may help you as you actively seek to grow your business and your team. The act of “doing” trumps all other strategies in the startup world, no matter how “trendy” alternative work methods may seem to be. Live with a passion for action, both inside and outside of your business. Results are through hard work; you cannot learn your way to results or even network your way to them. Strive for a “doing” mentality where integrity is never compromised. Your ability as an entrepreneur is an asset: use it well.

Image credit: CC by Marcin Wichary

About the author: Luke Burkey

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